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Protecting our feet while on the move is imperative in any situation. It may be a recreational hike or a serious emergency situation. We change our socks, we choose the best lacing for our shoes & we even add moleskin to our kits in case those blisters show up while on the trail. All of these options are viable for taking care of our feet but I like to take it a bit further.
One of the injuries that I sustained a few years back was the loss of my ACL & Meniscus in my right knee. I spoke to countless doctors & specialists but my choices were very bleak.. I could be on pain killers for the rest of my life or have a ligament taken from a dead body (cadaver) and have it fused into my right knee. Yes, my stomach turned a bit too, when I first heard the options. I began to look for other choices and came across a group of minimalist runners touting their opinions.
I am a layperson so I will shoot from the hip since this is, of course, just my experience on the topic. What was brought to my attention was the following concept, – The analogy that I like to give has to do with the rotation of snow tires on our vehicles back in the day.
In the snowy winter months, we would rotate our regular tires from our vehicles and replaced them with snow tires that had much more tread and consistency to them. Once the snow tires were on, we were able to barrel over any terrain and barely even feel a bump in our cars or trucks. This was great for the purpose of getting through the snow filled seasons. But when we think about this same analogy in the terms of shoes & boots, the end result isn’t practical for what I want to achieve in terms of physical preparedness.
When we add in the latest technology found in most of our footwear choices, the scenario becomes very similar to us putting snow tires on our feet. What has been happening for the past few decades goes as follows. Most of our running & hiking shoes were zero-drop which means that the shoe has a level profile and have little or no “drop” from where the heel sits in the shoe and where the front of your foot rests in the shoe. Somewhere in there, marketing took over. The shoe companies began adding all sorts of technology to their shoes and this new type of shoe became the norm & endorsed by athletes & celebrities.
I decided to give minimalist footwear a try since I was barely able to walk correctly with “fancy” high-end running shoes. Doctors kept telling me to just stick with the surgery options and get it over with. But I began to feel a difference with the old-school type shoes. I tried a few of the options that were available at the time & even went back to wearing my Converse All-Stars (Chuck Taylor’s) on a daily basis. When I think about it in simple terms, it makes sense to me. By putting on the latest running shoes with all the added technology, we are asking the shoe to do the work for us while we are moving around (locomotion). When we wear minimalist type shoes or even walk around barefoot, we are allowing our bodies (muscles, tendons, ligaments) to do the actually work and build with each passing step.
There are conflicting reports on both sides of the “argument”; what else is new, right? But all that I am doing here is sharing my opinion and experience. Doctors told me that I would barely be able to live a pain-free life with my knee issue let alone have an active lifestyle. Well, with my training in the NTC Method & utilizing minimalist footwear, I was able to complete the NYC Marathon & the grueling 12.1 mile Tough Mudder course pain-free! It took a lot of work & dedication but my other choice(s) were not even an option in my mind so I went for it. Trust me on these following, overused, words.. If I can do it, any one can!
I reviewed various minimalist shoes in the past. The one issue that those who prefer minimalist footwear had was the availability of a few good shoe options but when it came to boots.. we were on our own. Well recently, a company called Huckberry sent me a pair of boots called, Lems Boulder Boots, to review. Let me start by saying that these may be the most comfortable pair of boots that I have ever worn. Whether I am on the trail, walking my dogs at the local park or even going out for a night on the town; these Lems boots are ideal.
The Lems Boulder Boots have a comfy cotton lined inside with the outside made of water-resistant nylon and full-grain leather. When you add in the fact that they have a zero-drop sole & I can fold them up to stuff inside my pack makes them ideal for my lifestyle.
If you need a pair of comfortable boots that can be worn in multiple applications, then take a serious look at these Lems Boulder Boots. Your feet will thank you for it!
SPECS ON THE LEMS BOULDER BOOT:
- Available in Various Colors
- Last: Lems Natural-Shape™ Last
- Upper: leather + 1200 denier nylon
- Lining: 100% cotton
- Outsole: 9.0 mm LemsRubber™ (air-injection rubber)
- Footbed: 3.0 mm removable PU insole
- Weight: 9.9 fl. oz. (sz 43)
- Stain & Moisture Resistant
- Water Resistant
- Zero-Drop Sole
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