Comment from: Mark Geoffriau [Visitor]
Mark Geoffriau

Looks very, very interesting...something I could wear every day without drawing stares.

One request though...we need a model without the graphics on the heel. Some of us would just like to have comfortable, healthy shoes without having to "advertise" that we're making an alternative choice in footwear.

01/03/12 @ 11:58
Comment from: Heather [Visitor]

These look an awful lot like the Merrel Barefoot Run Pace. Other than your recommendation now to run in these ones, how do these two shoes compare?

01/03/12 @ 13:07
Comment from: Againstthegrain [Visitor]

Do you know if they have any plans for a sustainable leather version? I'm not wild about so-called "vegan" shoes. Synthetics and plant textiles aren't necessarily any more "eco" than leather from sustainably raised animals (free-ranging on their natural diets, not grain & garbage fed in CAFOs). Additionally, the skin on my feet just seems to be healthier in leather; synthetics can really become rather stinky, as well as promote fungal growth.

01/03/12 @ 14:19
Comment from: Aaron [Visitor]

Just ordered a pair using the BirthdayShoes coupon code - apparently I was the first to use it. Total order with shipping came to $85.

I had to place my order via phone. The guy who helped me was great. Answered all of my questions and got my order processed quickly. I'm a stickler for excellent customer service.

I asked if he has gotten any feedback from people running in Stems. He said he runs in them and they work really well. He also confirmed that they fit 1/2 size small. He (like me) wears 12 in running shoes and wears the 12-12.5 in the Stems.

Can't wait to try them.

01/03/12 @ 15:19
Comment from: asle [Visitor]

I bought a pair of these earlier last fall just after they had arrived. I use them even in the winter snow. I never had shoes like this before where I could really spread my toes. I even do som running in them instead of my Trail Gloves. I tried Vivo casual shoes but Stem is now my favorite shoe. I also use the "Correct Toes" spacers in them. I have good things to say about them too.

01/03/12 @ 16:35
Comment from: Hap [Visitor]

On the issue of Stem sizing:

With one foot size 12.5 and the other closer to 14, I was very concerned about the fit. Though neither of my toes touched the front of the shoe, the Stems 'looked' too small, perhaps because I'm used to seeing a more pointed toe in other shoes. The big toe on my larger foot, though, could subtly feel the gentle rise of the sole at the front. This concerned me and I hesitated about wearing the shoes outdoors in anticipation of perhaps having to return them.

But there turned out to be a detail I hadn't anticipated.

I'd heard about Stem from podiatrist Ray McClanahan's Northwest Foot and Ankle website. He was excited by a new shoe which would comfortably accommodate a product he sells called 'Correct Toes.' This is a one-piece gel spacer set which separates one's toes to give better architectural alignment. (See his website for another example of what Moshe Feldenkrais called "The Elusive Obvious," i.e. how powerful the role is of big toe alignment is in stabilizing our feet. Perhaps the blame should not be placed on 'weak ankles.' The fault may well be in a pressed-in big toe, often accompanied by a bunion.) Anyhow, the Correct Toes spacer apparently raises my toes very slightly, thus eliminating any sensing of the rising sole mentioned above.

So far no sizing problems. I have the 13-13.5 shoes.

I am looking forward to trying the Stems with the Correct Toes when doing tai chi. Tai chi includes many moments of one-legged standing, which for me can mean wobbly ankles (as a product a toe misalignment and mild flat-footedness). I'm hoping the Correct Toes/Stem combination will stabilize me better in that practice.

To me, this foot business is not trivial stuff. So it's worth investing in what works.

Fascinating McClanahan foot anatomy video:

01/03/12 @ 17:01
Comment from: James Howell [Visitor]
James Howell

I have three pair -- two pair of the grey, one pair brown. I love these shoes. I use one of the grey pair at my job and run/relax/etc. in the other grey pair and in the brown. I have large, wide feet; these Stem shoes are perfect. (Rumor has it that black shoes are coming out in early spring 2012.)

I now own no other shoes. I gave my VFFs and other minimalist shoes to Goodwill. (I don't work in an office so "dress" shoes are not required.)

01/03/12 @ 17:51
Comment from: Shawn Z [Visitor]  
Shawn Z

I picked up a pair of these in Michigan while on Thanksgiving Leave and I have to admit, they are comfy. I love to wear them driving and just doing day to day activities.....I tied the laces when I bought them, and have never untied them, they slip on like slippers with a good knot. I have to agree though, I wouldnt wear them for any kind of Plyo workout, the fabric uppers seems too stretchy for that.

01/03/12 @ 18:07
Comment from: cla [Visitor]

I got a pair and have run about 40 miles in them. For me (male) I found the sizing to be bigger than expected. I returned them for the next smaller size. Returning and getting a new shipment was quick and easy. I was looking for something with a zero drop and a wide toe box so that my toes don't feel cramped. I really don't find having separate toe compartments that special for what I do, which is running on groomed trails. The special sox and the extra time to put each toe in is a pain that I endured for the zero drop and the available toe splay. These shoes have the benefits without the disadvantages. It does feel a little bit like wearing a boat for shoes compared to Vibrams though. But I think it is worth not having to deal with putting a toe in each hole 10 times when I put the Vibrams on.

01/03/12 @ 20:31
Comment from: Utahguy [Visitor]

I would love to try a pair but I have really narrow feet. Anyone else with narrow feet who wears them? their site says fits medium to wide feet so I kind of doubt they would work for me.

01/04/12 @ 13:27
Comment from: EweJay [Visitor]

Any word on large sizes becoming available? I was pretty happy when I saw the NB Minimus came in 15s, they're now my go-to shoe.

01/06/12 @ 09:16
Comment from: Jay [Visitor]

I got a pair several months ago. I REALLY like them. I did have a problem with stitching coming loose but when I emailed Andrew he allowed me to return mine for a replacement (outside of the 30 day return policy)

Great shoes, great service. Just remember to wash them every couple of weeks so friends and family don't start to avoid you ;)

01/06/12 @ 18:03
Comment from: Seth [Visitor]  

Ordered mine last week with the discount code and got them before the weekend.

Wore them most of the day on Saturday & Sunday and I can attest that they're very comfy - almost like a moccasin - and I enjoy the look as well.

01/09/12 @ 11:49
Comment from: Sonia [Visitor]

I have narrow feet and I love my Stems! They are super comfy and with socks my feet are warm even in winter. I have both colors available for women, and wear them ALL the time but would love a less sporty looking pair for going out. Stem just announced in their newsletter (that included a link to this website!) that they will have black Primal Origins available in March.

01/09/12 @ 20:20
Comment from: Ron [Visitor]  

Bought a pair from Two Rivers Treads over the Thanksgiving weekend, wore them the next day on a long DC Mall visit (much walking), and am finding them to be my favorite shoe. Because of shoulder surgery I must refrain from running for 3 months, but have been doing a 4-5 mile walk 4 times per week in place of running. These walks have been in my Stems and even in 20 degree weather at 5 a.m., and with a light pair of ankle socks under heavy wool, my feet remain toasty.

I can't wait for the sugeon to give me the green light to get back into my runs so I can try out the Stems in that mode. Definately going to have a few pair of these on my shoe rack. Wife loves hers also.

01/10/12 @ 09:42
Comment from: Rachel [Visitor]

These look like a great alternative to VFF's, especially during occasions where my toe shoe look is frowned upon, but does anyone know if the mens sizes run wider than the womens? I love this color and the women's version has a pink stitching that--though it might be trivial--irritates the heck out of me.

02/17/12 @ 00:23
Comment from: jim [Visitor]

Nuts, I absolutely love these shoes. But, the price of these minimalist shoes kill me. It is just too high for me. I have been looking at them for a year and I finally found two promo codes that could be combined. But, I still figured my wife would kill me if I paid even $75 with the shipping.(I have 3 kids) Today I finally decided to bite the bullet and take my chance on them and now I can only add one promo. I guess it just wasn't meant to be. Oh well. they do look awesome. Although I much preferred the old name. All I can think of with the new name is my old Lemmings video game.

04/05/12 @ 00:36
Comment from: Post-neolith Neolithic [Visitor]
Post-neolith Neolithic

I guess having a stupid graphic on the side of the heel, they felt that an equally stupid brand name was in order.

It's a nice shoe, though.

08/22/12 @ 01:10
Comment from: Post-neolithic Neolith [Visitor]
Post-neolithic Neolith

And yes, I know I screwed up my screen name there.

08/22/12 @ 01:12
Comment from: Laura [Visitor]

I think these shoes look very cool; stylish and subtle. I've been wanting to get some for my husband; i read another review by the guy who runs in huraches and he loves these. Thanks for this review and the comments.

11/21/12 @ 14:03
Comment from: Austin Dach [Visitor]  
Austin Dach

I bought original Stems Primal-1 several years ago. They were/are the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned. I recently bought a pair of Lems Primal-2 and they are not the same shoe. They are slightly (1/2 size or so) smaller and the soles are not as supple. Beware if you purchase off the Lems website. They do not tell you about the size difference (order larger than your regular size.) I called their customer service number, spoke with Steve and thought maybe they would offer me a pair of shoes that were properly sized, but no such luck. Not customer friendly. They have lost my confidence and I will look elsewhere for shoes in the future.

11/18/15 @ 16:44
Comment from: jeri [Visitor]

Just want to add that primal 2 have gotten narrower and the look is not as nice. Kind of cheap looking now. Toe box is narrower. Not good.

12/19/15 @ 21:31

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