Lems Primal 2 Review

If you’re looking for a wide, zero-drop minimalist running shoe thats more durable than not, you’ll love the Lems Primal 2 which will not only exceed all your long distance road and trail running expectations, these barefoot shoes are also durably built for any harsh, beat-up, hard surface!

Lems Primal 2 Forefoot Running Shoes Review
The Lems Primal 2 strikes the perfect balance between barefoot-inspired minimalism and strong durability, making the shoe excellent for long distances.

Lems Primal 2 Forefoot Running Shoes Review
The Lems Primal 2 is built on a low-slung, level design that offers an intimate connection to the ground, helping keep your forefoot strike in line, while shielding your foot from harm.

Like a true minimalist shoe, the Lems Primal 2 is the perfect utility for foot strength revitalization because the shoes signature fit features an ultra wide toe-box to make your toes more functionally usable, while the completely unrestrictive fit of the overall shoe is a foot strength enhancer by giving the feet more power to engage and interact.

Lems Primal 2 Forefoot Running Shoes Review
Despite its sturdy structure and hearty durability, the Lems Primal 2 is quite the light covering, weighing in at around 6.9 oz, which delivers a noticeably peppy, responsive, agile and race ready ride!

Whats the Lems Primal 2 Good For?

The Lems Primal 2 is very versatile and is ideally suited for anything up to ultra long running distances. They’re also perfect for all of your favourite gym workouts, and are obviously a comfortable all-day, casual walking shoe. Because of the thicker protective foundation between you and the ground, the Primal 2 is a better choice for runners used to running in a more protective, cushioned running shoe.

The Lems Primal 2 is also trail-ready, especially for very treacherous rocky terrain in dry and wet conditions.

Upper Specifications

The upper is a combination of carefully positioned soft micro-fiber framing that gives a remarkably smooth feel. The upper also features panels of cross-hatching patterned closed-mesh fabrications for a closer, more comfortable, foot-conforming fit.

Lems Primal 2 Forefoot Running Shoes Review
The soft flexible mesh at the front breathes well while allowing your forefoot to spread and expand, giving a pressure-free, roomy, yet foot-hugging fit.

The wide toe-box has a good flex profile and is one of the shoes important assets because it engages the forefoot and toes at a much higher level as compared with traditional footwear which are often too narrow in the front which is a primary risk factor for bunions, neuromas and other painful foot ailments.

Lems Primal 2 Forefoot Running Shoes Review

One of the surest ways to physically and functionally damage your feet is by routinely wearing narrow shoes with a raised heel (left). Numerous studies have verified that narrow footwear is the main cause of bunions, neuromas and other painful foot malformations. Worse still, the toes aren’t even engaged in a basic level in conventional shoes because they cannot spread, flex and extend. This leads to dangerous rises in uneven impact stress over the foot, putting you in the danger zone for injury. Thankfully, Lems footwear (right) goes above and beyond meeting all the functional needs of the feet by designing barefoot-first shoes that work with your foot, not against it. Their shoes will keep your feet fully functional, especially allowing your toes to naturally expand and extend more fully for better balance control, especially on uneven terrain!

Lems Primal 2 Forefoot Running Shoes Review
I can’t get enough of the perfect fit of the shoe which is partly made possible by the pressure-free lacing pattern that follows the actual top-line of the foot and keeps the tongue perfectly in place. The lacing also keeps your foot centered in the shoe from foot strike to toe off.

To reduce weight and improve fit, the Primal 2’s upper has a slightly lower cut at the ankle. Even better, the uppers overall light and flexible materials makes it stretchy from forefoot to heel, yet snug enough throughout the heel and midfoot to prevent slippage when cutting corners.

Lems Primal 2 Forefoot Running Shoes Review
You can have some fun with expressing your personal style as the Lems Primal 2 is available in a range of vibrant and formal color options.

The upper is also warm enough to provide protection against cold weather, especially when thicker socks are worn, but is still airy enough to keep everything light and cool in hotter conditions.

Outsole Specifications

One of the most essential features of the Lems Primal 2 is its zero-drop, 8-mm thick, air-blown rubber sole provides the perfect amount of traction on dry and wet pavement, soft trails, moderately technical surfaces as well as rocky trails. Not to mention, its ample durability will definitely serve you well as a long distance running shoe!

Lems Primal 2 Forefoot Running Shoes Review
The sole materials are sturdy and protects against stone-bruising, so durability and protection will not be an issue for high-mileage running on rocky, harsh, beat-up roads. Most important, the sole’s low ride-height (no heel lift) helps you lock in a more properly aligned forefoot strike which has the direct effect of reducing heel pressures and impact on other areas of the leg, especially the shins and knees.

In addition to its rugged durability, the Primal 2’s sole also delivers moderate cushioning that doesn’t feel squishy or excessive, but is protective enough to make the bumps, rocks, twigs, acorns, etc, feel good!

Despite the added underfoot protection, the sole still allows you to feel the ground enough to keep you fully dialled into your forefoot strike.

Another bonus of the sole is it delivers a smoothing of the road and a comfortable landing that doesn’t lose comfort over longer runs or at faster paces, regardless of surface hardness! The primal 2’s also come with a removable insole for runners who enjoy an extra touch of protective cushioning.

Lems Primal 2 Forefoot Running Shoes Review
Another functional feature of the Lems Primal 2s sole is its flexible throughout the midfoot and forefoot. This is because the multi-flex cuts and indented deep circular grooves offers up more flexibility and bendability, giving the feet more opportunity to engage which is a prerequisite for the development of stronger intrinsic muscles in the foot.

Overall, the Primal 2’s sole packs lots of durability for high mileage on any road surface (dry or wet) and dry, rocky trails.

Lems Primal 2 Forefoot Running Shoes Review
Nowhere does the Lems Primal 2 minimalist shoes fail in the durability department! With that in mind, the Primal 2 is a good match for minimalist runners used to running in a more protective, cushioned running shoe but is also ideal for runners wanting to ease barefoot training into their routine as the Primal 2’s are made up of a variety of materials that nearly recreate the barefoot running experience!

Final Thoughts….


Without a doubt, the Lems Primal 2s is a solid minimalist shoe for high-mileage runners looking for an improved road and trail running experience. Not to mention, the Primal 2’s are excellent for speed-work, tempo runs and road and trail races, since the sole provides good responsiveness for faster efforts!

Lems Primal 2 Forefoot Running Shoes Review
The close-to-the-ground feel coupled with a shoe’s buoyant lightness will make you feel like you’re flying as you push your limits.

If you’re interested in getting your paws of a pair of the Lems Primal 2, you can do so here!

For a more clear-eyed view of the Lems Primal 2s in action, check out my YouTube review on them here!

If you’ve enjoyed this review, feel free to check out my other reviews here, on the minimalist running shoes most suitable for helping adopt the forefoot running technique.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my Run Forefoot Facebook page here! It’s a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I’m always happy to help!

You can also help keep Run Forefoot going by making a kind donation in any amount of your choosing https://www.paypal.me/RunForefoot

WalkingPad Folding Treadmill

Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!