Near-perfect foot-shaped shoe
Appearance: 10/10 - very "dress shoe" without looking too casual, easy to keep shined.
Durability: 10/10 - Haven't a scuff yet I wasn't able to shine out. Used more roughly than most would in a "dress" shoe, but no signs of glue separation, sole barely has visible wear thus far. I predict a very above-average life cycle for this shoe.
Proprioception: 9/10 - very good, near-barefoot, utilizes/engages most foot & toe muscles. Impressive for a leather-upper shoe.
Foot shape: 8/10 - Needless to say, making a factory-produced (non-custom) shoe to fit all shapes & lengths of feet is an impossible task. I was born with triangle-shaped "duck feet" which, when barefoot & allowed to splay naturally have an almost exact 5 inch measurement from the outside of the big toe to the outside of the pinkie toe.
I bought the Nine2Fives along with Correct Toes but have been disappointed since, ironically, while individually both have helped my foot health tremendously I cannot use them together.
Separately, I have enjoyed all the true-to-life advertised benefits of both the Nine2Fives and the Correct Toes. However, I cannot wear my Correct Toes in my Nine2Fives without pushing my big and little toes up and over the insole edges (and yes, I am wearing the correct size Correct Toes, and even a size bigger of the Nine2Fives than the Lems sizing chart recommends- which are, I believe, and absolute perfect fit - a 45). I have tried wearing thin or no socks, removing the insole, stretching the toebox leather with professional toe stretchers, all the while holding off writing this review in hopes that constant wear of the shoes with the Correct Toes would "break in" and create a perfect fit. Instead, my honest and pleading feedback, Lems, is to please consider an "extra wide toebox" addition to your line, that allows for even a 1/4" if not 1/2" more splay.
I seem to be able to wear them without the Correct toes although failing the "Lems liner test" & the "15% expansion upon impact" test, even without the Correct Toes.
Serious question- I am aware that different upper materials effect shoe fit. Were I to make my next Lems purchase, say, a pair of Primals, could I perhaps expect a more forgiving fit than the leather upper of the Nine2Fives? Should I go up a size? A 45 still leaves me with a solid inch from the tip of my big toe to the inside of the shoe at the front. Any information would be welcome and I look forward to wearing each of your styles!
Thank you, Joseph
Reviewed by: Joseph from South Dakota.