Let’s break down the difference between the Primal Zen and Primal 3 shoes to help you decide which is right for you!


Heel Drop
  • Widest toe box
  • 11mm stack height
  • Outsole: Lems IBR
  • Attached tongue 
  • More relaxed fit in heel/arch areas
  • Higher sidewalls
  • Flexibility: 3.5 out of 4
  • Widest toe box
  • 9.5mm stack height
  • Outsole: Lems IBR
  • Detached tongue
  • More snug fit in heel/arch areas
  • Higher sidewalls
  • Flexibility: 3.2 out of 4
Whole & half sizes
Whole & half sizes
8.2 oz (M10 / W11.5)
8.6 oz (M10 / W11.5) 

Similarities and Differences Between the Two

The Primal Zen and Primal 3 are both similar style shoes that can be used in similar ways.

The main difference between the two is the outsole and fit. Compared to the Primal Zen, you will notice that the Primal 3 has a more snug fit in the arch area and heel area.

The Primal 3 has a softer heel and no heel counter, whereas the Primal Zen has a firmer heel. This makes the Primal 3 more minimal and less structured in the heel overall.

Both include a zero-drop outsole, widest toe box option, and grounded base with higher sidewalls for added protection, stability, and lateral movement.

The materials used in both models feature a breathable mesh to increase air flow through the feet.

For those who wear Correct Toes with their shoes, they will find they fit perfectly inside the Primal Zen and Primal 3!

Best Use for Each Shoe

Because the Primal 3 and the Primal Zen are very similar, they are pretty interchangeable in terms of use.

Both shoes are light and made for everyday adventures and errands, like walking around town, meeting friends for happy hour, or bike commuting across town. 


    The Primal 3 comes in mostly single-tone colorways with little design markings. The minimal outsole gives the shoe a more streamlined appearance.

    Comparatively, the Primal Zen has a more athletic look on account of the additional materials and color variations throughout. This style is also available in a suede option for an even sleeker look.

    Both styles are unisex and come in whole and half sizes!

    Which is the Right Shoe for You? 

    If you’re looking for an everyday shoe for errands, walking the dog, or kicking it around town, you can’t go wrong with either shoe. 

    If you prefer a more athletic appearance, go for the Primal Zen. If you dig a more minimal look, then the Primal 3 may be more your style. 

    While both shoes are ultra lightweight and flexible compared to traditional footwear, we find the Primal Zen is slightly lighter and flexible than the Primal 3.

    No matter which one you choose, we can guarantee that you’ll look good and that your feet will feel oh-so-comfortable!

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