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Lems Chelsea Boots: Like the Blundstones, but better

A collage of the Lems Chelsea barefoot boot waterproof modeled outside in mud, dirt, and snow, showing it's flexibility and natural foot shape

If you love the look and functionality of the Blundstones, but want something more comfortable, – check outLems Chelsea. They’re stylish, functional AND have a wide toe box and a no-drop sole. What is not to love?

After extensive testing, here’s our review of the minimalist Lems Chelsea boots.


  1. Lems Chelsea Review
  2. Why I use Lems Chelsea
  3. What is Lems Chelsea better for
    • Field tested & amp; Approved
    • Durability
  4. Lems Chelsea Boot Care
  5. Size & Adjustment Type
    • Same shoe, different foot
  6. Lems Shoes Orders
  7. Lems Chelsea Review Conclusion

Lems Chelsea Review

A woman standing on her porch smiling at the camera wearing a sweater, coat, hat, and Lems Chelsea barefoot boots in Cedar

The Lems Chelsea Boots are a tough boot with stretch panels and pull tabs on the front and back. Based on Lems’ the widest sole shape, the Chelseas are my favorite Lems shoes to date!

Product Specifications:

  • Leather upper
  • Microfiber lining
  • Waterproof option available
  • 14.5mm thick with template (11mm without template)
  • Available in US sizes 6.5W – 15M
  • Two color schemes:
    • Cedar (not waterproof) – $150
    • Espresso (water resistant) – $165
Buy Lems Chelsea

These boots, and all Lems shoes, are in unisex sizing, so there is no difference between men’s and women’s shoes. Now let’s get to the good stuff.

Why I use Lems Chelsea

A woman holding up two pairs of shoes, the Lems Chelsea barefoot boot with the text "wear this" in one hand and Blundstones chelsea boot with the text "not that" in the other hand

It only takes trying on a pair of Chelsea Lems to notice that they feel completely different from your typical Chelsea boots. Here’s why.

1. Toe shape– Lems Chelseas have an anatomically friendly shape that won’t squash your toes. In addition to being essential for a pain-free fit, the wide toe box also supports foot health. Pointy shoes can contribute to foot problems such as:

  • Bunions
  • Plantar fasciosis
  • Collapsed Arches
A side by side comparison of the outsoles of two different shoes - the Lems Chelsea boots with an anatomical foot shape versus Blundstone Chelseas with a pointy toe

Now let’s see how my foot fits into each of these shoes. Here are my bare feet in a relaxed standing position superimposed on Lems Chelseas and the Blundstones.

a top down view of a pair of feet - left foot is wearing Lems Chelsea barefoot boot in Cedar with a bare foot super imposed to show the entire foot fits inside the shoe, right foot is wearing Blundstones chelsea with a bare foot superimposed over the top to show it does not fit inside the toe box

All of my toes fit inside the Lems, but in order to fit the Blundstones, my toes would have to squish together. Unfortunately many of our shoes do this on the toes.

2. Heel– Lems Chelsea boots are zero drop or flat flat, allowing for better alignment and less pressure on the lower back and pelvis. High heels push the hips forward, causing uneven stress on the spine.

A side by side image of a woman wearing zero drop Lems chelsea barefoot boots to show they support good alignment, versus the same woman wearing a pair of Blundstone boots that have an elevated heel which pushes her hips forwards causin her to bend at the low back

3. Flexible Sole– Feet bend, shoes too! It is much easier to keep your balance and move well if you can use your feet inside your shoes. And the movement also helps prevent stiffness in the foot.

A side by side comparison showing the flexibility of Lems Chelsea boots on the left, a hand is folding them up into a ball, and on the right Blundstones Chelsea boots are very stiff and can't bend

4. Weight– Lems Chelsea boots are half the weight of Blundstones. This one is a no-brainer, lighter shoes are easier to wear!

Shoes such as Lems Chelsea boots do not interfere with the function of my feet.they allow me to continue living life in comfort without sacrificing style or functionality. Given the choice, I will always choose Lems Chelsea boots over Blundstones.

Learn more about natural footwear and why it’s so important to me here.

What is Lems Chelsea better for

A close up side view of a pair of feet standing in snow wearing leg warmers and Lems Chelsea zero drop boots in Cedar suede leather

The Lems Chelsea Boot is a minimalist (or barefoot) shoe with a bit more cushioning than others. This makes it a good transitional barefoot shoe. They’re also great if you want more protection from your surroundings, have sore feet, or spend long hours on hard floors. If you like the concept of a barefoot shoe, but want a little extra sole under your foot for some reason, the Lems Chelsea are perfect.

I am wearing my Lems Chelseas casually. They work well in fall or spring temperatures, but with warm socks and a wool insole they have worked well in winter conditions as well.

They also work great as a rugged outdoor boot. In order to give you the best review possible, I enlisted Nick to really put Chelsea Lems to the test in the great outdoors by hunting, chopping wood, and hiking. Here is his experience.

Field tested & amp; Approved

A cloes up of a pair of feet walking across a fallen log in a forest wearing Lems Chelsea Espresso waterproof barefoot boots

“I’am Nick – farmer, outdoorsman, and battalion chief of our local fire department. I have tested the waterproof Lems Chelsea boots a lot and I am impressed; they can handle almost anything. I have used them for hunting, moving cow dung, felling trees, and for moderate walks through the woods.

While I like the comfort of foot-shaped shoes, I’ve previously had trouble finding a barefoot boot with a good enough sole for my needs. I was very pleased that these Lems Chelsea boots had enough grip for everything except mud. Shallow streams, wet grass, and rain were not a problem at all. Even walking through fields of broken cornstalks (which can be pretty rough) was no problem thanks to the thicker protective sole. All while remaining lightweight and flexible.

A man sitting in front of a pile of chopped wood wearing work pants, a flannel shirt, and Lems Chelsea Espresso waterproof barefoot boots

As I like to keep things simple, I’ve been using the waterproof Chelsea Lems as a replacement for several pairs of shoes – Keen hiking boots, ankle-high Muck boots, and a pair of slip-on loafers that had seen better days. Yes, I even wore them as dress shoes! After cleaning them up a bit😉

The leather has developed a nice patina, and I’ve worn little else since I bought these! My footwear tends to be more about function than fashion, but the Lems Chelsea offers a great balance of both. I’m still looking for a boot like this with a higher shaft and a more aggressive sole, but in the meantime, these are my new favorite shoes.


Let’s talk for a minute about the soles of these minimalist boots. Lems Chelsea soles are made ofinjection blown rubber, which means there is air mixed in to get thickness without weight. The tradeoff is that less material means less durability. While I personally haven’t had a problem with the soles of my Lems breaking down prematurely (and not something I’ve heard from other readers here), years of use will likely take its toll. Blundstones on the other hand, pretty sure those soles could survive a nuke.

But that’s not what I look for in a shoe. While it may seem more expensive to have to replace boots sooner, ultimately the cost of ill-fitting shoes could be higher in the long run. My feet are worth much more to me than the soles of my shoes!

Lems Chelsea Boot Care

a close up of a hand holding a dirty Lems Chelsea Espresso waterproof minimalist zero drop boot with a shoe brush cleaning off the dirst

I have the Cedar Chelsea, which is a light colored suede, so I sprayed them with Carbon Pro before wearing them. This applies a waterproof coating that protects the color and texture of my boots without affecting their look. If they get dirty I can easily brush them off once dry and then reapply the spray.

Nick used his Espresso Chelseas without treating them beforehand. After they were good and dirty, he cleaned them with a shoe brush and then someBick 4 & Conditioner.

Size & Adjustment Type

In our experience, Lems Chelsea boots fit:

  • Mostly true to size, but you can go up 1/2 size if you have extra wide or bulky feet.
  • Width at toe box
  • Medium to high volume (remove template for more space)
  • Medium width at ankle opening
  • Plenty of vertical space for your toes

In Lems’ website recommend ordering your regular size in Cedar and 1/2 size larger in Espresso (because of the waterproof membrane). We both went 1/2 size larger than usual and both fit a little loose on us. We appreciate the extra room for our wide feet, but if we don’t wear thick socks with them, they’re big. So based on our experiences in both boots at both ends of the size spectrum, they run true to size.

If you have low volume feet like me, you can use leg warmers or tongue pads to keep your foot from slipping (find myfavorite low volume fit products and hacks here). Those tricks are lifesavers in Chelsea boots where there is no fit!

Same shoe, different foot

a top down view of a pair of feet standing on concrete. One is wearing a Lems Chelsea boot the other is in a sock to show that the shoe matches the shape of the bare foot

Nick’s feet are 27.5 cm long and 11 cm wide and he normally wears a US size 11.5. He has an extra wide sloping foot that is of great volume. He is a size 12 in his Lems Chelseas and they are a little big on him, but perfect with thick socks.

a top down view of a pair of feet standing on concrete. Left foot is wearing Lems Chelsea boots in Cedar, right foot is bare, showing that the boots have an anatomical foot shape

My feet are 23.3 cm long and 9.3 cm wide, and I normally wear a women’s US 7.5 or EU 38. My feet are low-volume and fan-shaped. Lems Chelseas in size 8 fit my wide toe, but are a bit loose around my ankles and heels. If I had gotten a 7.5, I wouldn’t be able to wear thick socks with them in the winter, so no regrets!

Learn more about foot shapes here

Lems Shoes Orders

Lems Shoes is located in the US and offers $5.95 flat rate domestic shipping. You can also order from Lems if you live abroad, with international shipping options depending on location and weight.See the full list of countries available for shipping here.

If you want to shop closer to home,Chelsea is sold by the following international Lems retailers:

  • Bprimal (Australia)
  • Cool East Market (Canada)
  • Mugavik (Europe)– It will be in stock early next year. Use the codeANYREVISIONwith a 5% discount

Lems Chelsea Review Conclusion

The Lems Chelsea Boots have exceeded our expectations across the board. They are a dream to wear and serve an important role for foot conscious people who need a functional shoe. I think the only thing that would make these shoes better is if they could be worked out so they really do last forever!

Buy Lems Chelsea

a top down view of a pair of feet standing on snow and grass wearing leg warmers and LEms Chelsea barefoot minimalist zero drop boots in Cedar

PostingChelsea Boots Lems – Like Blundstones, but betterfirst appeared inAnya’s Reviews.

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