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February 21, 2023

Chelsea Boot - Lems | Barefoot Shoes Review

Inside this article:

For those looking for a stylish, lightweight, waterproof and zero-drop alternative to traditional chelsea boots, Lems' Chelsea Boot seems to offer just that. I recently got my hands on a pair and I'm here to report that they deliver... If you've been on the hunt for a stylish waterproof shoe that won't weigh you down, let me tell you why the Lems' Chelsea Boot could be for you.

Summary & Tech Spec

• Espresso version is full-grain oiled leather upper with waterproof membrane, Cedar is suede upper with no waterproof membrane

• 9.5mm LemsRubber™ (air-injection rubber) outsole, 11.0mm stack height (not incl. 3.5mm insole), zero drop, 9.8oz (Men's 10)

• WIDEST Natural-Shape™ Last, removable 3.5mm moisture-wicking PU insole

• Unisex sizing, suggest ordering 1/2 size larger due to thickness of leather & waterproof membrane

• Good grip except in mud, balance of style & function

• For people with low volume feet , better to use tongue pads or leg warmers

The Good

As an avid barefoot shoe wearer I knew that I was going to be a fan of the Lems' Chelsea Boot. This unique and stylish pull-on style of boots has waterproof and zero-drop features that make them suitable for cold weather urban wear. There are two colorways available- Cedar (not waterproof) with a suede upper and Espresso (waterproof) with a fully waterproof membrane and oiled leather upper.

The Chelsea Boot is made of a full-grain oiled leather upper and a 9.5mm LemsRubber™ (air-injection rubber) outsole with a zero drop design. The stack height is 11.0mm (not including 3.5mm insole) and the weight comes in at 9.8oz (Men's 10). Their leather upper, rubber sole construction give a feeling of durability and comfort. In terms of grip, I found the boots to have good traction, except for in mud.

The boot is constructed with LEMs WIDEST Natural-Shape™ mould, which is roomy enough to accommodate thicker socks along with other foot care devices like toe spacers. Lems Chelsea also comes equipped with a removable 3.5mm moisture-wicking PU insole to keep your feet dry and warm.

The Bad

While Lems' Chelsea Boot is a great zero-drop, lightweight and ultra-wide fit barefoot boot - there are still areas that could be improved.

The boots are generally comfortable and well-made, but they are a little stiff out of the box requiring a little break in time.

Sizing can be tricky. Depending on your foot size, you may need to size up in order to achieve the perfect fit. Many people have reported that the toe box can be too narrow if you're wearing thicker socks. While the shoes are already quite wide, it never hurts to have an even wider design.I have some recommendations about sizing below.

At 11mm stack sole height, it makes a great transition boot, but probably won't appeal to the purists out there.

Price, Shipping and Returns

LEMs Chelsea boots are priced at $165 and offer flat rate domestic shipping for $5.95, and they can be bought from international retailers like Bprimal (Australia), Cool East Market (Canada), and Mugavik (Europe). You can also see their full list of counties they ship to here and well as their returns policy.

Sizing/Fitting Advice

I highly recommend to measure your foot and purchase according to LEMs size chart, as the sizing can be tricky. Due to the thickness of the leather and waterproof membrane on the Espresso model, Lems recommend ordering up ½ size larger than your normal US size.

Caring For LEMs Chelsea Boots

When it comes to care & maintenance, you’ll want to use petroleum-based shoe wax or a waterproofing spray to keep them in top condition. A shoe brush and Bick 4 Cleaner & Conditioner are also great for cleaning. With the right care, these shoes will last you a long time.

Final Thoughts

I highly recommend the Lems Chelsea Boot as a stylish and waterproof, zero-drop and lightweight boot. The materials used make it a very comfortable and durable shoe for many different scenarios. For those looking for a stylish, lightweight, waterproof and zero-drop alternative to traditional chelsea boots, Lems' Chelsea Boot seems to offer just that.

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