Amateur philosopher, writer
Lems Drifter shoes product shot

The Drifter by Lems is the ultimate surf slip-on. Photo: Lems

The Inertia

Editor’s Note: This feature is brought to you by Lems Shoes.

Above is what my pair of Lems Drifter Slip Ons looked like when I first received them a few months ago. Below is what they look like now. Yeah, they haven’t really left my feet since I got them.

lems drifters used product shot

My Drifters, after a few months of hard wear, are still going strong. Photo: Will Sileo

Hailing from Boulder, Colorado, Lems has been on a mission to do things differently in the shoe world, going back to the basics of what a shoe is made for – your feet – and starting from there. Almost all of their shoes (except the Mesa and Trailhead sneakers which have only 4mm of drop) are made with zero-drop footbeds that mimic a barefoot feeling. “Traditional footwear elevates the heel an average of 14-24mm (0.5″-1.0″), which throws off the alignment of the spine and forces an unnatural heel strike,” reads an article on the Lems site.

Lems zero-drop footbeds encourage a mid-to-front foot strike, which can alleviate pain in the lower back, improve balance and posture, and improve your running and walking gait. Another way Lems differs from traditional footwear is the wide toebox, giving your foot plenty of room to spread out and be comfortable instead of feeling cramped.

lems shoes wetsuit change

Easy off, easy on, perfect for wetsuit changes, camping, van life, and so much more! Photo: Lems

The Drifter is the ultimate incarnation of the surf shoe. In this piece, I made the case for a good pair of surf slippers. They’re great for the convenience factor, and fuzzy insulation is ideal for cold surfs in the dead of winter. However, it’s summer, so now what I find myself reaching for post surf is a pair of slip-ons. And the Lems Drifter takes the slip-on idea to a whole new level. Because they’re slip-on shoes instead of slippers, there’s no furry lining which is a massive plus for year-round use and adds to their already amazing versatility.

Insanely light and comfortable, my favorite feature has got to be the fold-down heel, which lets me shove my feet in them hands-free – perfect for changing into my wetsuit and hopping in and out of tents, vans, or cabins. While I’m working from home, as many of us are right now, they make for the perfect errand shoe to stuff my feet in for a quick trip to the supermarket.

lems shoes the drifter

Casual, but classy enough to make a good impression – The Drifter. Photo: Lems

They’ve even done some service as a skate shoe. When I want less “slip” and more “on” I just flip up the back and these comfy moccasins are plenty of shoe for surf-skating and cruising around town. Another favorite feature of mine is the cork innersole, which keeps my feet cool and dry, with or without socks. Casual, but classy enough to make a good impression, with Drifters on your feet you’ll be ready for just about anything.

Check out The Drifter and the rest of the Lems Shoes lineup on


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