The Lems Primal 3 – An All-Purpose Wide Sneaker

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The Lems Primal 3 is out now! Lems Shoes makes excellent shoes for people who crave comfort and want to be kinder to their feet.

Check out my review of them in the video above for the highlights, and below I’ll share a few additional details.

Lems Primal 3 Review

A pair of feet resting on concrete wearing blue Lems Shoes Primal 3 barefoot sneakers

These sneakers have a universal fit that works for most foot types, and is an all-around excellent shoe for people who want total comfort.

Especially for those who don’t want an ultra thin sole, spend a lot of time on their feet on hard surfaces, and/or are recovering from any kind of foot pain, the Primal 3 is a good option with a bit of cushion.

A top down view of a man and woman's feet standing toe to toe wearing Lems Primal 3 blue barefoot sneakers with a wide toe box

Justin loves his moderately cushioned barefoot shoes, and he has been wearing his Primal 3s to play volleyball, on long travel days, and for everyday walking the last few months. He was a long time Primal 2 fan, but has happily made the switch to the Primal 3.

Comparison to Primal 2

If you are a Primal 2 fan, you’ll want to know the biggest differences between 2 and 3. Let’s go through them one by one.

Wider outsole

The outsoles side by side of a Lems Primal 2 barefoot sneaker next to the Primal 3 to show the difference in width

The toe box is the same shape and width, but the midfoot and heel are wider. This is good for people who were spilling over the middle of the shoe in the Primal 2s.

But I did notice that the wider heel adds some lateral stability to the shoe. This will be nice for some people, but I personally prefer a slimmer heel with rounded sides (no lateral stability) for a more barefoot feel.

Thicker, More Durable Sole

A close up side view of a man's feet wearing jeans and blue Lems Shoes Primal 3 barefoot sneakers

The Primal 3 is a few millimeters thicker than the Primal 2 and is a little more structured. This makes for more durability and stability in the shoe – they should last longer and won’t twist around the foot or deform as it breaks in. This is great news for people who want a shoe that can take more of a beating.

But it does mean less ground feel and flexibility in all directions, so if you were a Primal 2 fan, that is important to note.

Half Sizes

A close up side view of a woman kneeling down to tie her blue Lems Shoes Primal 3 barefoot sneakers

Fit is important in shoes for your foot health, and having half sizes makes it easier to fine tune things. This increase in the size range should make you in-betweeners very happy!

Primal Eco

A pair of feet standing on concrete wearing Lems Shoes Primal Eco barefoot sneakers in beige

The Primal Eco is another new model coming soon from Lems this spring that is very similar to the Primal 3 but is made of 50% recycled materials for a more sustainable shoe.

The fit in the Eco is a little bit snugger in the upper because the material isn’t as soft and stretchy, which actually fits me a little better than the Primal 3. I have really low volume feet, so I love when a shoe fits nice and close around my midfoot.

Besides this fit difference and a slightly different design, the Primal Eco is made on the same shoe mold as the Primal 3 and overall is very similar.

Primal Zen

A close up view of a pair of feet resting on concrete wearing Lems Barefoot shoes Primal Zen suede in blue with the text "Anya's Reviews" on the bottom

The Primal Zen from Lems is another similar sneaker. It’s made on a slightly different shoe last, but the fit feels pretty similar. However if you have a wide midfoot, you will probably be more comfortable in the Primal 3 and Primal Eco.

I love all 3 (and all 3 are excellent for toe freedom and comfort), but out of all of Lem’s wide toe box sneakers my favorite is still the Primal Zen.

The Primal 3 is spacious and durable

Ultimately, the Lems Primal 3 is going to be excellent for people who want lots of space for their feet and a more durable, functional shoe.

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9 thoughts on “The Lems Primal 3 – An All-Purpose Wide Sneaker”

  1. I’m so bummed to see their sizing for this new shoe starts at size 6, just like the Zen. I need a 5.5.

  2. This might be the perfect shoe for someone, but I think not for me. Lems has been moving away from their roots for awhile. Several of the primal 3 reviews on their website complain that the new sole ruins ground feel. I still think the Primal 1 is the best shoe they made. Maybe I’m not in the target customer group anymore. But these days, it’s really easy to find alternatives. Anya, thank you for these reviews, they really do help me.

  3. Hi Anya,
    Do you size up at all with Lems shoes? Normally I wear a US 8.5W, but I have a pair of the Lems Telluride and had to size up to US 9W. I’m wondering if I should do the same for the Primal 3. Your thoughts are appreciated 🙂

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Hi. I'm Anya.

Hi. I'm Anya.

I first discovered barefoot shoes after a long history of foot issues. By changing my footwear and strengthening my body I was able to completely transform my life. Anya’s Reviews is my way of sharing with the world that healthy feet are happy feet!

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