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    Lems Outlander Review: An Awesome Waterproof Minimalist Boot with Urban Styling

    Over the past six months, I’ve tested Lems retro styled, waterproof hiking boot – the Outland. In this Lems Outlander review, I’ll share why this boot is one of my new favorites to round the world adventure and urban travel.

    My well worn pair of Lems Outlanders, treading through the trails and streets of Asia for the past 6 months

    Retro hiking boot styling, the legendary comfort of the lems Boulder boot, minimalist construction, and a roomy toe box make this a lightweight, all around, urban and hiking friendly boot that performs as expected and more. Overall, I personally love this boot, and though it is a great choice for most – adventurous travelers aiming for footwear that looks good and performs well wet or dry, on trail or off – the fit you’re looking for and what you’re hoping for in a shoe/boot will determine whether the Lems Outlander is suitable for your life, travels, and adventures.

    In this Lems Outlander Review, I’ll share everything you need to know to decide if the Outlander is for you, and the best alternative for your needs and style.

    Note: I own, have tested, and love these Outlander boots, but I rarely take pictures using them when I travel…because I’m too busy traveling. I’ve borrowed pictures from Lems to share with you along with my opinion, until I find the pictures to pair with the review!

    Other Note: This article contains affiliate links

    Lems Outlander Review

    Contents of this Lems Outlander Review

    Click here to see colors available for the Outlander at Lems

    Quick Review of the Lems Outlander Waterproof Boot

    Following up the success of the Boulder Boot, possibly the most comfortable boots I’ve ever worn that also happen to be compressible and travel friendly, Lems added the last missing piece of an adventure friendly boot by creating the waterproof Boulder Boot. Though I personally love the Boulder Boot as a comfortable, minimalist travel friendly boot that does well on trail and off, I’ll be the first to admit that the “Boulder Colorado hippie” aesthetic may be perfrect for me, but may not be for everyone.

    Lems got smart to this need for a better looking, minimalist, waterproof boot and took the comfort, minimalist footwear function, and waterproofing of the waterproof Boulder Boot and added some cool urban styling with a touch of retro hiking boot look and ultimately created the Lems Outlander Waterproof Boot.

    A soft, breathable waterproof lining makes these urban styled kicks completely waterproof

    My Quick Thoughts: Comfy, stylish, and great “adventure shoe” for travelers and outdoorsy types

    After traveling through the heat of Bali beaches, the cool and rainy highlands around Chiang Mai, Thailand, and wandering for tens of miles per day through urban utopias of Tokyo and Kyoto and Japan, I can tell you, I love this boot.

    Though this “boot”, which is more like a sturdy yet lightweight high top shoe, isn’t as packable as the Boulder Boot, it delivers the all of the comfort and performance with waterproofing that has been great in the Bali and Thailand, and “urban kicks” styling that made it fit for exploring and nightlife in the posh cities of Japan.

    Lems Outlander Waterproof Boot

    The roomy toe box and just enough cushioning were good for (literally) 15+ miles of walking per day in Japan and have done well on the few hikes and adventures I’ve squuezed into my time in Indonesia.

    Later this year, I aim to return to Japan for the winter exploring the snowy north of Hokkaido prefecture and snowboarding in the mountain powder, and the Outlander will be the only shoe I bring for the cool, snowy, and wet adventures. That’s how much I love the Outlander.

    The one bit you need to warned of is that, due to the roomy foot shaped toe box, these shoes can look a little “bulky” as a tradeoff for minimalist footwear function. However, that “chunky” assessment is just compare to shoes, is not nearly as bad as most hiking boots, and is worth it for a tradeoff of having a stylish looking “shoe” that sufficies for miles of walking through city and trail, wet or dry.


    • “Urban kicks” meets retro hiking boot aesthetic makes these boots stylish enough for daily wear, as minimalist, traveler, or bumming around a mountain town

    • Waterproofing performs well in rain and puddle jumping

    • Insanely comfy and just enough cushioning makes miles of walking easy

    • Very lightweight


    • Chunky look may be offputting to some

    • In very hot climates (hot season of the tropics or in deserts) waterproofing and extra fabric can make your feet feel hot

    • Breathable nature of the waterproof liner works best in cooler climates, not as well in hot

    Who is the Lems Outlander best for

    • Travelers looking for an all purpose walking and hiking friendly “shoe”

    • Outdoorsy types looking for an a minimalist, all weather, adventure ready shoe that works for daily wear

    Who the Lems Outlander is not best for

    • If you know you want a slimmer looking boot or shoe (these are admitedly wide and chunky)

    • If your feet get hot easily, and you plan to wear these in warmer climates

    How to pair the Outlander with other shoes for your travels: A sleek shoe, an adventure-friendly sandal, and lightweight wool socks

    I love the Outlander because it’s function (walk for miles in any weather and stay comfy) and look (daily wear friendly) make them suitable for a minimalist or a traveler’s wardrobe. However, being honest, you’ll be better of with a couple additions.

    Rocking the Outlanders through a rainy day in Bali, and wearing them until the sun comes out.

    The Outlander can get a little hot on those 90 degree days. Additionally, if you want to visit a restaurant with a formal dress code, you need a nicer pair of shoes.

    So, I recommend pair these bits with the Outlander:

    • Xero Trails: Adventure ready sandals to use on the hot days, and actually great for running, workouts, and getting wet.

    • Glyphs: Packable, washable, travel loafers that look amazing (with jeans * or some Chinos shorts -) and are a good “nice shoe” that will fit in the bottom of the bag.

    How does the Lems Outlander compare to the Lems Waterproof Boulder Boot?

    I still own and still love the Boulder Boot, which has a slightly more rugged look, but is just as comfortable and minimalist.

    The main difference between the Outlander and the Boulder Boot, besides the aesthetic, is that the Boulder Boot is slightly more packable and the Outlander is a bit sturdier and warmer.

    I love both shoes equally but, if you want a more packable shoe with waterproofing get the Boulder Boot. If you want a warmer boot or a boot with a more urban look, get the Lems Outlander**

    The health and functional value of a minimalist boot: Wide toe box and zero drop from heel to toe

    The wide toe box that give the Lems Outlander its unique look gives plenty of freeing room to your toes and forefoot, allowing them to splay naturally within the boot. This natural movement, compared to the constrictingly supportive nature of most tight boots and atheltic shoes allows for natural movement of your feet and toes, which allows the natural development of strength, foot flexibility, and self support wwhich makes feet injury resistant and health.

    The zero drop design, or the flat sole with the heel at the same height as the sole, creates a walking experience more like nature intended that recreates walking on the ground barefoot and encouraging mid foot strike that is generally healthier on the ankles and knees.

    Quick Verdict on the Lems Outlander

    The Lems Outlander is an all around great all weather, all adventure shoe that’s perfect for travelers and minimalists. If you can get beyond the slightly bulky look, these are a pair of shoes you’ll likely love for look, comfort, and function.

    I highly recommend the Lems Outlander

    Click here to buy the Outlander boot at Lems

    Full Review of the Lems Outlander Boot

    Top Benefits

    • Retro hiking boot style looks like traditional footwear allowing versatile wear (hiking or daily life) for minimalists and travelers

    • Waterproofing and sticky rubber, lugged outsole performs like a minimalist hiking boot

    • Light weight makes these easy to wear endlessly and great for travel



    During the “test period” in Japan, I walked between 10 and 20 miles per day, sometimes on streets between train stations, and other times on the many trails to temples, monkey viewing, remote onsens, and more. Ultimately through that period, the Outlander to proved to be a capable hiking boot.

    Though I usually only lace the Outlander just above the ankle, however, robust strong fabric and a comfy lacing system that goes well above the ankle offers great ankle support for super long hikes (think hikes like the Everest Base Camp Trek) or backcountry hikes with lots of weight.

    The Outlander’s leather and nylon uppers absolutely add more durability than the Boulder Boot has

    In any case, I would absolutely reach for the Outlander as a hiking boot.

    Daily wear for minimalist wardrobes and travel

    Thanks to comfiness and aesthetic, the Outlander makes a great “shoe” to wear on a daily basis (again, as long as you don’t mind the chunky toe). The Outlander looks great with a pair of jeans or Chinos. This comfy + wearable combo is what makes this a great shoe for travelers or a minimalist wardrobe as a daily wear shoe in addition to a comfy hiking boot.

    Rain and wet

    Waterproofing is the main draw of the Outlander and it performs in spades, very very well.

    The Outlander is waterproofed via a waterproof membrane sewn into the shoe, that extends through the tongue completely attached and gusseted. This means that you can walk through puddles up to just below the top of the boot- which I have and came out dry.

    When raining, even if your wearing slimmer jeans or pants, as long as I laced the Outlanders up to the top, they always kept my feet warm and dry.

    Comfort and Fit

    A combination of just enough cushion, without compromising the minimalist construction of the boot, and nice, spacious toe box standard for minimalist boots make these a comfy pair of shoes to wear. The foot bridge and around the ankle are snug enough to hold your foot in place against the sole, but not restrictive. The toe box is super roomy and actually does give your feet a freeing feeling of natural movement that will make most athletic shoes feel restrictive after.

    The main selling point of the Outlander’s predecessor, the Boulder Boot, that kept drawing customers was how comfy they were, and the Outlander continues this trend.

    Features & Function

    • Fully waterproof membrane liner and waterproof uppers keeps your feet dry through puddles and rain

    • 4mm deep lugs on winter traction outsole with lugs and zig zag delivers incredible traction wet, dry, or in snow

    • Sticky rubber outsole maintains solid traction wet or dry

    • Tough nylon and leather upper shows little wear and a ton of durability after 6 months of wear. I’ve been wearing my Boulder Boots for 4+ years, and I expect that the Outlander will outlast those

    • The liner is a soft, comfy polyester with waterproof membrane lining that feels good on feet (barefoot or not) and keeps the feet dry

    The tough leather and nylon lower portion of the uppers adds additional water resistance and lots of durability

    Materials and Construction

    • Waterproof liner with breathable waterproof membrane tongue keeps the boot waterproof above the ankle.

    • Gusseted tongue completely attached to the boot keeps the tongue completely in place when boots are worn loose

    • Nylon and leather lining of the upper offers a ton of durability and an additional outer layer of water resistance

    The gusseting and high connection of the tongue to the uppers means the Outlanders waterproofing goes right to the top of the laces

    Aesthetic and Style

    The styling is a combination of old school urban kicks and retro hiking boot style gives this “boot” a shoe look that makes it – in my opinion – a very versatile boot in terms of fashion, that would look great with a pair of jeans or a set of travel ready pants.

    Final verdict on the Lems Outlander

    For travelers that need a single pair of footwear that can do it all, or adventurous minimalist aiming for a small wardrobe and shoes that can adventure as well on the trails and daily life and look good along the way, the Outlander is a solid shoe.

    Comfy, lightweight, great waterproofing, and true to the foot healthy design of a minimalist shoe, the Outlander is a sturdy “adventure ready shoe” that I will take as my single round the world shoe for cold, wet, and urban adventures for the next while. i highly recommend them.

    Alternatives to consider

    Recommend Shoes to Pair with for travels


    • How does the Lems Outlander perform in warmer climates and tropical weather? — Though I love the Outlander, the nature of waterproof breathable membrane can make them slightly too warm for hot climates like the hot season in Thailand, Bali, or Ecuador. I still recommend the Outlanders for adventures, but pair them with an adventure friendly sandal for those adventures in hot climates.

    Click here to purchase the Outlander at Lems

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      About A Brother Abroad


      Carlos is a nomad, slow traveler, and writer dedicated to helping others live abroad and travel better by using his 7+ years of experience living abroad and background as a management consultant and financial advisor to help other nomad and expats plot better paths for an international lifestyle. Click here to learn more about Carlos's story.