Lems x Wilderness Culture
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to work with two amazing brands, Lems & Wilderness Culture, on the launch of Lem’s new shoe called the “Trailhead.” The Trailhead is the first product in their new "Mountain to Town" collection and is a “minimalist hiking shoe that is equip to take on the trail and tackle the city streets in the same day.” To test the shoes, my friend Paige and I headed out into Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington to do a few waterfall hikes and they planned to hit up a local brewery afterwards. We did the ultimate shoe test and took the shoes straight out of the box, put them on our feet and headed out on our hike. (Side note: the last time I did this kind of test on a hiking shoe I regretted it horribly, but its a good test nonetheless.)
Right away I noticed that the shoes were lightweight compared to other boots and trail runners I have in my closet. Also, I opted for a red shoe which is very unlike me (I usually ask for gray or blue) but I figured since we were going to be hiking in the Pacific Northwest, red would be better to pop out against the foggy blue surroundings. The red was muted enough that it fit my style and I was really happy that I moved out of my comfort zone to try a new color!
It was a perfect day to test trail shoes; the sun was shining, it was a crisp 55 degrees and there weren’t a ton of people a the trailhead. Trail conditions were prime for testing as well and we hiked over wet, slippery leaves, exposed tree roots that had been rubbed smooth from many feet hiking over them, rocks by the river and on steep muddy embankments around the waterfall. The full length rubber soles are specifically engineered for both trail and pavement and they did their job; I’m happy to report that the shoes didn’t slip in any situation!
Another side note: I broke my foot back in college so a pair of shoes that are comfortable for both my feet are somewhat hard to come by. Usually if my left foot starts aching but my right foot is fine, I assume the shoes are comfortable knowing that my broken foot is just more finicky... but, both my feet were super comfortable in these shoes (and keep in mind this is right out of the box!) so I was really happy about that. Additionally, the shoes have a wide toe box that don’t constrict your foot (I have wide runners feet) and a minimal heel drop to help reduce heel striking and foot fatigue. All of these factors put together made my feet pretty stinkin’ happy. I was impressed.
After we finished up our hikes we headed back into Portland to a favorite brewery, Great Notion Brewery, to grab some beers and food. Paige and I both love sour beers so that’s what we ordered but they also have a great selection of IPAs. You can grab a glass of beer or opt for a flight. I also ordered the salmon burger with extra aioli sauce and Paige dug into a juicy vegan burger. As we ate, we chatted about the shoes and what we thought and peeked under the table to take a look at our feet… the shoes were muddy, had leaves stuck to the bottoms and we both agreed they were a fantastic pair of shoes that are definitely great for hiking, but would also be good for just every day wear. Paige said her feet also felt great and agreed that the shoes passed all the checks.
Overall I was really impressed with how comfortable the shoe was right off the bat. We hiked a little over six miles by the end of the day and I didn’t have any blisters or aching spots. I also really love the design of the shoe; I’ve never owned a hiking shoe that I would also throw on to go to a brewery (independent of hitting up a brewery after a hike) or to just put on to run errands.