If you are looking for a great pair of vegan hiking shoes, Lems Shoes are exceptionally well-designed shoes that are worth checking out.
Lems is the brainchild of Andrew Rademacher. In 2008 Andrew set out to design shoes that fit the natural shape of the foot. After years of research, Lems released their first shoes in 2011 and have grown from there. Today they make a variety of shoes including five fully vegan styles.
We are huge fans of minimal footwear and have experienced the benefit of lower-zero heel drop shoes. I also have wider feet and have had problems with the narrow toe box in other hiking/trail running shoes in the past. Lems shoes offer a wider toe box, firm cushioning, and low-zero heel drop. Being avid hikers, we interested in their trail shoes. We reached out to Lems and they were kind enough to send us a pair to try.
While scrolling through Lems website, I was immediately drawn to the Mesa sneakers. I just loved the look of them and was intrigued by the sock design. I loved the idea of having no tongue. Eric went for their Trailhead V2 sneakers. (*Mercury Sunset color is not vegan) I'd say both our sneakers are pretty similar in design except for the tongue. They are both lightweight, and super flexible and have a 4mm heel drop.
When I first put on my Mesa sneakers, I was impressed by the fit. They felt snug like a sock but my toes had plenty of room. I pretty much fell in love right away. Our first test run in our Lems was a steep waterfall hike in Prescott Arizona. The ground kept giving way on our way down and at times was a little scary. Luckily our Lems had great traction and prevented us from sliding down the hill. We went through a couple of creek crossings on our hike and I was nervous that our shoes would hold a lot of water and weigh us down. To my surprise, they didn't seem to hold any water and dried quickly after.
I like to switch up my hiking shoes depending on the terrain and length of my hike. I prefer my Lems for longer more strenuous hikes because they are so comfortable, offer great foot support, and have great traction. They also look good with everything. It's rare to find a shoe that performs so well on a trail but also looks good to wear around town.
Find more about Lems shoes here https://www.lemsshoes.com/
Be sure to read about their recycling and sustainability efforts as well.