Meet Lems Boulder, the "Barefoot Shoe" Boot

Meet Lems Boulder, the "Barefoot Shoe" Boot

I got good news from Andrew Rademacher, founder of upstart minimalist/barefoot shoe manufacturer Lems Shoes* ("Light. Easy. Minimal.") — the first batch of the much-anticipated Lems Shoes Boulder Boot are now available for order! I say "first batch" because it's only the first few hundred pairs of production (more to come, of course, within a few weeks).

The release of the Boulder boot marks the first of a new line of Lems hitting the market in 2013! What's so exciting about the Boulder? Aside from it being a "barefoot shoe boot" that is super lightweight, zero drop, minimally and flexibly soled, and a boot, well, what else is there to say? If you've had a pair of Andrew's barefoot shoes, you're expectations are likely through the roof for these boots. We've reviewed the first offering from Lems that hit back in 2011 — the Primal (see reviews here and here) and had nothing but good things to say.

Andrew has a pair of Boulders coming my way, so I hope to share more about it soon, but if you're eager to snatch up a pair without further adieu and want to know the scoop, read on!

UPDATE: I got the boots! If you want to jump straight to my full review of the Lems Boulder boot, go here!

The official Boulder Boot specs from Lems!

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Brian at the Berlin Wall (in KSO Vibram Five Fingers)

Brian at the Berlin Wall (in KSO Vibram Five Fingers)
Brian, "Hear I am leaning against an appropriately painted remnant of the Berlin Wall."
Brian at the Berlin Wall (in KSO Vibram Five Fingers)
Brian, "Berlin is a great city for VFFs with all the different surfaces underfoot."

Brian, who you might recall from his Otterness photo or Fife playing, has been photographing Berlin this week in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall. Here's what Brian had to say about the trip:

Hi Justin,

I am in Berlin taking pictures to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall. It's for a project I've been working on since 1985, photographing the Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall, and then documenting their gradual transformation into historical artifacts and icons of the imagination. See the pictures from this week on my blog. The last time I was in Berlin, 2006, I had already converted to minimal shoes and was wearing Vivo Barefoots. This time, I'm doing the Berlin Wall in VFFs, my preferred footwear, even when carrying 40 pounds of photography equipment on my back. Temps have been in the low and mid-forties, but I've been perfectly comfortable in my KSOs.

Glad to hear the KSOs haven't been weighing you down as you haul gear around Berlin. It would be neat to view the Berlin Wall through the perspective of almost 25 years of change. Good luck on completing this body of work!

You can go check out a few of Brian's posts this week to see some of the Berlin photos he's been taking — for example, see here, here, and here.

Thanks, Brian!

"Barney Feet" a.k.a. Sprint FiveFingers on the Today Show

Looks like I need to update the alternate names for VFFs page to include "Barney Feet," the name given to Sprint Vibram FiveFingers (in fuscia-lilac) by the Today Show yesterday morning, November 10, 2009.

Here's the one minute clip where they talk about it:

TS: "Time to check in with Sara who's still wearing her purple Barney shoes. How's it going?"

Sara Haines: "I'm lovin' them ..."

She goes on to say that her pinky toe wasn't liking the separation so much but that she finds them to be pretty comfortable. Sara tweeted a photo of her in her "new kicks," too, which shoeaholics retweeted and it made it onto VFF Now. Stick with it Sara!

They also question if VFFs would be good if you had bunions — anyone have any experience with this? I've had a few people asking about bunions and VFFs, specifically.

In other VFFs-in-the-news news, musician Matthew Sweet apparently enjoys wearing his black KSO FiveFingers. Check it out:

Make like an apeman! They're called Five Fingers, even though Five Toes would describe them more accurately. I wear them religiously. They are shoes. Susanna Hoffs and I have been on the road playing informal acoustic shows in support of our covers records, 'Under The Covers volume 1 & 2.' One of the most asked questions for me at the venues is, "Tell us about those shoes!" "Those shoes" are the Five Fingers by Vibram, and they are a dream come true -- a shoe for people who would rather be barefoot, like me!

These are but two more examples of FiveFingers turning heads and becoming more popular!

H/T to Sean in Niceville for passing on the link to the Today Show clip!

FiveFingers and Tom Otterness sculptures on the Subway in NYC

FiveFingers and Tom Otterness sculptures on the Subway in NYC

Kristy sent in the above photo showing her black Classic FiveFingers-clad feet next to part of Tom Otterness' Life Underground (Info: NYC Subway page | Otterness page). Otterness' sculptures seem to be a perfect match for FiveFingers as we saw back in June via Brian.

Here's Kristy on the photo and her treasured VFFs:

I was in NYC yesterday afternoon with my Fiance walking around before heading back home to NJ; we were returning from a weekend trip to Port Jervis, NY. We wanted to see how far we could get without using a car this weekend. This picture was taken at a subway station at 8th Ave and 14th St (West Village). Was waiting for the Uptown A train and low and behold I see a statue of FEET! Thank goodness for camera phones ...

Wore my VFF's all weekend. My feet started to get pretty tired though at the end of the day yesterday as I was carrying an extra 20lbs in my backpack (Since we had no car we used backpacks to carry what we needed for the weekend). After arriving back in NYC at around 5pm, we walked around NYC for about 4-5 hrs, off and on ... very little sitting. That was the most time I have spent on my feet in my VFF's. We [also] ran that morning for about 5.5 miles, and I wore my blue camo KSO's.

A lot of working out for my feet this weekend!! They feel a bit sore/tired this morning - like my legs would after a good workout.

Ah nothing like a good foot workout a la Vibram FiveFingers. Sounds like you had an enjoyable time hoofing it around NYC! Thanks for sharing!

The FiveFingers Sprint Tan as demonstrated by Shivella

The FiveFingers Sprint Tan as demonstrated by Shivella
Shivella shows off her FiveFingers Sprint tan lines — an inevitable result of Shivella considering her VFFs her favorite shoes of all time.

I've managed a minor "Classic FiveFingers tan" on occasion but the photo above sent in by Shivella of her "killer vibram tan" (a la VFF Sprints) is a whole 'nother story!

And it's not too surprising that Shivella considers her Sprints her "favorite shoes ever!"

Keep enjoying your Sprints, Shivella!

Chad's Thoughts and Review of the Vibram Five Fingers KSO Treks [Review]

Chad's Thoughts and Review of the Vibram Five Fingers KSO Treks [Review]

Note from Justin: Chad Randolph regularly runs in his FiveFingers. To date, he's completed numerous races in them including a 10K and 5K in Classics and a marathon in KSOs. More recently, Chad picked up a pair of black KSO Treks and has begun running trails in them. As such, Chad volunteered to put together some thoughts to share with the VFF community on his KSO Treks. Here's Chad:

My Vibram Fivefingers KSO Treks so far...

Notice that I'm not calling it a review, as there are plenty of other more capable reviewers out there who have done the deed. However, I've found that most reviews are done during the initial stage, a.k.a. the "opening of the box." I'm more interested in how they perform as intended.

I have a route I run every week or so that I call the 'kitchen sink' that begins on a hard-packed fire road, transitions to four miles of hilly asphalt, then four miles of narrow rooty and rocky single-track., and then back. In the past I've tried this course in my beloved KSOs and they've done well with the exception of the single-track. The outsole couldn't handle the roots and rocks, which resulted in many occasions of me wincing and cursing under (and sometimes much louder) my breath.

I had a couple of 50k trail races scheduled for this fall and knew that my KSOs wouldn't cut it, so I picked up a pair of Inov-8 f-lite 230's. The f-lite 230s performed admirably but I found myself yearning to wear Fivefingers.

And so I was very excited to see the advent of the KSO Trek. First impressions were that they fit similarly to the KSOs except that they felt slightly bigger all around, which I attribute to the kangaroo leather being a little bulkier and less form-fitting than the KSO's nylon.

Over the past two weeks I've taken them on various surfaces and can say that they feel good on asphalt, the tread giving a bit of cushioning, which was noticeable on downhills. On simple dirt trails they performed better than my KSOs in that there was better protection from small rocks and other debris. On rooty and rocky single-track trails things weren't so rosy.

I took my KSO Treks out yesterday to run the 'kitchen sink' route. As mentioned, on the fire road and asphalt road they did just fine, but on the single-track portion they didn't quite cut the mustard. I'm sure I expected too much from them, but even though I did a fair job of dancing around roots and rocks my feet at the end of the single-track portion felt bruised.

Thus, while I would heartily recommend the KSO Treks for hard-packed trails I would hesitate to suggest them for gnarly single-track, unless you are closely related to an ibex.

My plans for the KSO Treks are to run in a 50k trail race this winter, one that's mostly fire road. I'll also throw in some road races for good measure.

Chad Randolph
Mooresville, NC

Update Read Chad's updated thoughts on the Vibram Five Fingers KSO Treks after running a marathon in them here!

Thanks, Chad! We'll keep an eye out for updated thoughts on the KSO Treks!