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Lems Trailhead V2 Review

I put these shoes through their paces during a two week trip to Morocco -- sand, cities, mountains, and more.

By: Kyle Frost + Save to a List

I recently spent two weeks traveling around the beautiful country of Morocco. While I often bring a pair of very casual shoes and another hiking-oriented pair, I wanted to pack a bit lighter and see if I could find something that fit both. I was looking for something that I could wear around cities all day and look "good" (like my Blundstones) but could also tackle trails as well.

A few people recommended Lems to me -- and since I'm a Boulder local, I decided I needed to take a pair for a spin. Lems makes "zero-drop" shoes, which means that the sole is more or less flat from the heel to the toe. I've previously owned their Boulder Boots, which are great travel shoes but not particularly sturdy. However, the new Trailhead V2s have the same comfortable toe box of the Boulder Boot, but a much sturdier and more functional sole (IMO).

Plus, I think they just look great. Lems has positioned them as a "Mountain to Town" shoe, and I think that's an apt description.

We spent much of our time in the crowded medinas of Morocco, in both Marrakech and Fez. This involved a lot of wandering around dirt or cobblestone streets for 10-15 miles a day (we wander a lot). I felt great wearing the Trailheads all day; they're quite comfortable and I didn't feel like I experienced any extra fatigue. As a bonus, I didn't look like I was trekking around town in a pair of hiking boots.

As an extra test, we also climbed the highest mountain in Morocco, Jebel Toubkal. We hiked about 24 miles over 2 days and 8,000 ft of elevation gain. I wore the Trailheads for all but the summit portion -- I wasn't sure how they'd hold up to crampons, but in retrospect I think I would've been fine with them and a pair of microspikes. Even though they're light weight, I found that they handled the varied terrain well. They have decent traction, but I wouldn't consider that a highlight of these shoes. I can't quite pinpoint it but occasionally they felt like they were less grippy on terrain that I expected them to be fine on. Not a huge issue, just surprising occasionally.

Final Verdict

I like the Trailhead V2s a lot. The combination of a low drop, light weight, durable design and that 'mountain to town' looks means that they're on my feet quite a bit these days. I've worn them for both short and long hikes, as well as around town. I'd consider these *pretty good* at most things -- a better casual shoe than shoes like the Salomon SpeedCross, and good for most hiking but not optimal for rockier, more technical terrain, or running.

I probably wouldn't recommend them for people with weak arches, as you might find the zero-drop/minimal design uncomfortable.

Check them out here.

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