Comment from: joe korber [Visitor]
joe korber

I'm sure there are good bunch of noble reasons why but 125 bucks for a pair of casual shoes, a little bit disappointing. Great looking shoe but the price is a deal breaker at this juncture

11/12/13 @ 15:47
Comment from: Dale Barnard [Visitor]  
Dale Barnard

I'm seriously confused by this review. There is NO ground feel in these shoes. The color is not brown, it's baby sh*t, and it's truly awful with jeans, tan pants, blue pants, green pants--I haven't found a color it goes with yet. However, I used kiwi shoe polish just fine to make them medium-brown, but they're still a little baby sh*t, and I'm looking for dark-brown shoe polish (which doesn't seem to exist).

These shoes are NOTHING like the Primals that Lems did so well with. These are tall shoes that will rub blisters for 20+ miles of break-in that are an awful color. And the price is crazy high.

11/12/13 @ 20:39
Comment from: [Member]


- "No ground feel." For a subjective statement about a very gray subject, that's a fairly black/white conclusion. That said, the Nine2Fives don't offer a ton of ground feel but it's reasonable given their stack height.

- Re: the color -- looks fine per my experience. I really didn't have any problem matching these with numerous styles and colors of jeans (more than the three pairs photoed above, which I guess you don't like either?)

- Interesting to know about the shoe polish. Might have to try that.

- What do you mean by "tall shoes?" Where did you get blisters? I never got blisters in mine even in the break-in period wearing them sockless. I did have a crease point on my right foot instep on sockless wear that went away quickly. Again, no blisters.

The Lems Primal sole is certainly more minimalist than the Boulder/Mariner/Nine2Five. They're different animals and for more feel and flex, you gotta go Primal(2). That said, I don't dislike this newer sole. It serves a separate purpose.

11/13/13 @ 10:18
Comment from: Brian [Visitor]  

Nice review! I've owned the Nine2Fives for about a month now, and I really like the look, especially considering it is barefoot style.

I was surprised to read that you said the leather was unpolishable. I've actually polished mine with Kiwi brown shoe polish, and I really adore the look. In fact, I probably wouldn't have liked the shoes in their original color as I prefer them to have a more richer brown tone. Anyway, in my experience, polishing the shoes has been a great move and they look far better to me (they shine well and have a darker brown tone).

11/13/13 @ 13:44
Comment from: Doug [Visitor]

Wow. These look good. The price is a little steep, but a promo code makes them very enticing. I've gotten a few 'comments' on my Softstar moccasins so I think I need something a little more traditional looking for work. They've also made us start wearing ties, but thankfully khakis are still okay.

btw, I recognize that skyline. (I think you even got my building in one of the backgrounds. :)

11/13/13 @ 15:14
Comment from: a smith [Visitor]  
a smith

I am so looking forward to owning a pair of Lems (the Boulder Boot) and I've been recommending Lems to my customers who are looking for minimalist shoes with a wider (read: normal) toe box. While they are expensive, the price is not unreasonable when compared to other quality shoes. However, since I get vendor deals on most of the shoes I buy, I'm struggling to pull the trigger on them. But, as someone who sells shoes for a large retailer, I think they are priced reasonably for quality shoes produced by a small, young company that probably doesn't have the capacity or market share to manufacture in quantities that significantly reduce cost. To those that consider the price too high, I wonder how much they usually pay for their shoes and if they recognize that buying cheap shoes just externalizes the costs on society in the form of lost jobs to off-shoring production, corporate welfare in the form of tax incentives that shift the tax burden to individual taxpayers, all while creating a society that values cheap prices for cheaply made crap over quality goods.

That said, although I love the styling of these shoes and I think they'd work in more casual office environments with khakis and dark jeans, I still don't see guys in suits wearing these to the office without getting a few cross-eyed looks from his peers. I agree with you that the lighter colored soles are what really dresses this shoe down and I hope Lems considers expanding the color selection to something more muted in the future. Not too mention, if Lems can ever figure out how to create a dressy feminine shoe that doesn't turn us chicks into gimps with deformed feet, I'd be eternally grateful.

I wish the best to this company because I do believe they got it right. Western society has been mistreating its feet for far too long and it's great to see new companies creating a market for healthful footwear. I can't tell you how many times I've suggested to people that the shoes they are wearing are creating all the maladies they are complaining about and then hearing the response that the shoes that would relieve all those issues are "too ugly." Well, it's all I can do to refrain from asking them how they like the look of their hammertoes and bunions. *shudder*

Keep up the good work, and Lems! I'll keep spreading the word about both of you!

11/13/13 @ 16:32
Comment from: Sue [Visitor]

"Not too mention, if Lems can ever figure out how to create a dressy feminine shoe that doesn't turn us chicks into gimps with deformed feet, I'd be eternally grateful. I wish the best to this company because I do believe they got it right."

WELL SAID! I couldn't agree more. I don't necessarily need "ground feel" but I'm in dire need of zero drop heels and normal (i.e. wide) toeboxes. I cannot for the life of me understand why it is so hard to design such a shoe that is cute and normal looking.

Lems is the only company I know getting it (though still a little more feminine would be nice). It sort of reminds me when electric cars first came out and looked so freakish. No functional reason other than to look different I suppose. They are finally coming around and looking more like a "normal" cars. I can only hope for the same in the "minimalist" shoe area as well. Lems is definitely on the right path and I will continue to support them! (LOVE Primal 2 shoes too -- I live in them)

11/14/13 @ 20:29
Comment from: Kevin [Visitor]  

I am wondering- is there a way to peruse this site (or another) and find the barefoot shoes that are just dressy shoes? I have merrills and five finger shoes- and due to flat feet and a hip issue, really want to get rid of any non-minimalist shoes... these shoes you're blogging about look ok, but they're really not that dressy. I don't mind the price... but would really like to find a complete list of dress shoes. is there a list on the site? I didn't see that, but probably missed it somewhere here.

thanks. since i've started wearing minimalist shoes my hip and feet have been much happier.... thanks for making this easier.

11/21/13 @ 01:37
Comment from: [Member]


There is -- try:

Not everything is *that* dressy but it gets at the dressier barefoot shoe options that we've reviewed on the site. Hopefully, helpful to you!

11/21/13 @ 11:34
Comment from: Austin [Visitor]  

My biggest problem with these shoes is how easily the leather scuffs up. I found within the first day or two the leather surrounding the toes quickly became discolored. As I continued to wear them this only seemed to escalate. I have had them for about 2-3 weeks now and they look so awful, I no longer deem them work appropriate. I am extremely disappointed that my $125 "work shoes" are no longer appropriate for work. I work in a very casual office and my coworkers have already started asking me when I was planning on getting new shoes.

12/22/13 @ 14:47
Comment from: Art [Visitor]

I had the same experience as Austin above. Other than the durability of the leather, I am quite satisfied with them. I also dig their new fitting system, and realized I should have sized up. Perhaps my feet are enjoying the room their getting and I'm a half size larger than before.

I see the new versions, and it appears that they have changed leathers and manufacturers. Hoping that the new leather will wear better. Will we get an update soon?

06/11/14 @ 11:22
Comment from: [Member]


Check the top post on right now -- updated leather!

06/11/14 @ 15:57
Comment from: Mike H [Visitor]
Mike H

Just wondering..are the Nine to Five's waterproof?

(I currently own a pair of True Linkswear Tours for rainy work days,which I love..but they're wearing out the tread faster than I thought possible-only had them 3 months..)

06/18/14 @ 08:56
Comment from: L [Visitor]

I just received mine from LEM's and am trying to decide if they are too large and if I should return them for one size smaller. I need to decide before I wear them enough to fail their returns inspection. I have the 44s with a measured standing foot length of 10.25-10.5. I tried them on with my Correcttoes and they fit just barely in width. If I tried the 43s, they might be too narrow for use with the Correcttoes.

When you stand in yours, do you have a little more than a thumb's width out front between tip of shoe and tip of toe?

As to the quality and design, I like them. This is my first pair of minimalist shoes and I agree that I'm not feeling much through the soles - not much ground feel. They're for work, though, and I think that's OK for that application.

The rest of the fit is good, except it rubs the outside of my left (smaller) foot's ankle.

I want to get Primal 2 Lem's next. The sizing chart on Lem's site has those as slightly wider, which is good. I think on those I will get size 43. Is there more ground feel with the Primal 2s?

05/21/16 @ 02:21
Comment from: Bruno [Visitor]

I have a pair of the 9to5 and I never wear them because the sole is way too thick. I think the thickness of the primal 2 is better. If you like the sole on Vivobarefoot you will hate the 9to5.

One good thing about this shoe is the toe box, it's very roomy. Lems has the best toe box on the market, much better than Vivobarefoot. They just need to make their sole thinner. Are you listening Lems?

There is not a shoe on the market that has a THIN enough sole AND a WIDE enough toe box....with style. I'm waiting.

05/26/16 @ 12:59

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