Minimalist shoes (or barefoot running shoes) mimics the feel of running barefoot. This is because of the thin cushioning and outsoles that it has. It also provides all the protection that the feet need in order to run without any pain. The best kind of minimalist shoes should provide support so that you don’t injure your feet or legs.
Running barefoot has its benefits, as it goes back to when man did not have shoes. Although running barefoot can be dangerous these days, having the right minimalist running shoes can give the added benefits we list below.
Promotes Recovery– Running with shoes that have too much cushioning and support may not be the best. This is because it can lead to an unnatural gait which can cause stress and imbalance to your posture and movement. Minimalist running shoes also give the runner the opportunity to land on their forefoot and midfoot. As a result, this is a more effective way to embrace the impact of stress on the foot.
Encourages Natural Gait – People who run with too much cushioning run the risk of developing unnatural and heavy strides as they are heavily dependent on the support of the shoes. This also makes the runner feel l a lot more tired because they spend more energy on unnecessary movements. Meanwhile, running with minimalist running shoes encourages you to run with a good posture. You allow your body to embrace the impact of running, which re-aligns your bones to their optimal state.
Improves Balance – Running using minimalist running shoes makes you more balanced and have more coordination with your body. Also, running while feeling the ground enables you to connect with your surroundings effectively. Therefore, it makes you more aware of your movements.
Improves Sleep – When you connect with your surroundings and exercise regularly, you reap the benefits of releasing chemicals that encourage you to sleep better.
Helps Prevent Plantar Fasciitis – If you have heavy strides, it can encourage the inflammation of the plantar fascia because you are landing on your heels instead of using your forefoot or you’re midfoot to land. Whenever you do this, you are putting more weight on the heel which causes stress on the area. As a result, it can trigger the inflammation of this tissue which eventually leads to plantar fasciitis. By wearing minimalist running shoes, you are preventing yourself from putting stress on this area. Therefore, you discourage the development of plantar fasciitis.
Boosts Blood Circulation – Running using minimalist running shoes makes you mimic the conditions needed to wake up the muscles of your legs, which encourages good blood circulation. This prevents the blood from coagulating as it boosts the oxygenation of red blood cells in those body parts. Furthermore, it also prevents the likelihood of developing varicose veins which are the result of having dormant leg muscles.
But Minimalist Running Shoes Are Not Perfect
Minimalist running, as with every type of exercise, has its disadvantages as well. The following points are things to consider for wearing minimalist running shoes. Although they aren’t the most harmful, it is worth noting.
Might Encourage the Development of Stress Injuries – A common problem that most new minimalist runners face is that they become prone to stress injuries. This becomes an issue becuse the body normally adapts slowly to stimuli, and so cannot distribute stress very fast. That increases the risk of stress fractures and other conditions.
Not Ideal in Asphalt and Concrete Pavements – Minimalist running does not mean that you are immune to extreme shock that can be felt when you are running on asphalt and concrete pavements. Running on such surfaces increases stress on your body as compared to when you run with normal running shoes. The only time when minimalist running is good is when you are running on a softer terrain such as grass or dirt.
Our Top Recommended Shoes
It is important to take note of the top minimalist running shoes out there. Since you are running close to barefoot with these types of shoes, it is absolutely vital to get shoes that actually work well. Poor quality shoes may result in bigger problems later on.
This product is available in four colors and sizes that go up to 11.5 inches. It is very light-weight and flexible, which is ideal for minimalist running. This enables your feet to bend and move naturally without the burden of having too much extra weight from the shoe. Furthermore, it features the Foot First design. This allows your toes to spread and relax, enabling a more balanced run. It has a zero-drop, non-elevated sole which encourages your body’s posture to correct itself. Moreover, the FeetTrue sole gives great traction and protection to the feet.
Easy to slip on and off
Not super durable
Fit not true to size
Tesla Men's Trail Running Minimalist Barefoot Shoe
This shoe is available in seven colors. It simulates the rear side of the feet and enhances your leg’s power and stability. Furthermore, you will find this shoe light-weight and durable as it is from strong materials. The slightly cushioned zero-drop outsoles enable you to feel the terrain as closely as possible. Moreover, it also helps in developing the lower muscles of your feet for better stability. The Dura Nylon Band enables in-step support and enhances a tight fit. As a result, this makes the shoe more comfortable while discouraging slippage.
This product is available in three color design variations. It has a rubber sole. The five-toe design strengthens the bottom of the shoe, which makes it durable while keeping you comfortable. Furthermore, its top portion is of polyester fabric that allows your feet to breathe. Moreover, it prevents your feet from suffering the dreadful heat and sweat. It also has a slip-resistant sole that grips onto your feet, making it a better fit. It has nylon laces that consequently offer support and security to your feet.
This product is available in three color design variations and sizes that go up to 12.5 inches. It is of polyester lycra mesh and polyester microfiber. The upper part of this shoe makes your feet more comfortable. It also enables proper ventilation and that keeps your feet cool and dry. There is an adjustable pull tab and cord closure that ensures the security of your feet. Furthermore, it features the VI-Lite Midsole with XS Run outsole rubber compound.
This product is available in two color design variations and sizes that go up to eleven inches. It is a very light-weight shoe that enhances your performance without sacrificing your comfort. It also has a Barefoot-inspired TrueFeet rubber sole that effectively protects your feet from the impact of the ground. Moreover, the 4 mm lugged sole allows you to have better traction in different conditions. The foot-first natural movement design allows your feet to flex and bend in whichever direction you please.
Does not need to be broken in
Has great traction
Fit not true to size as advertised
Has limited shoe sizes
QANSI Mens Hiking Shoes Mesh Breathable Barefoot Water Shoes Gym Athletics Running Walking Outdoor Sports Training Shoes
This product is available in three design variations and sizes that go up to twelve inches. Its sole is made up of high-quality fabric. The upper portion of the shoe is of fabric and synthetic leather. This allows your feet to be comfortable as it encourages ventilation. Furthermore, it has anti-slip soles which discourage your feet from slipping off from the shoe while you run.
This product is available in four design variations. Its upper part is of polyester fabric. It has a lightly-padded tongue that makes provides protection to your feet. Additionally, it has a serrated blade lug design to give your feet more traction when you run on different terrains. It also has zero drop, which enables you to feel the ground as closely as possible without having to sacrifice your feet’s protection.
This product is made up of synthetic materials and mesh. While the sole is rubber, the shaft of the shoe measures approximately low-top from the arch. This, in turn, allows your ankles to have better mobility. Furthermore, the FlyWire technology featured in here allows for a light-weight shoe without sacrificing support. Moreover, the Nike Free Phylite midsole doubles as an outsole, as well as serves as light-weight cushioning. It does this without sacrificing its durability and effectively reducing its weight.
This product is available in eight color design variations. It is made up of textile and synthetic materials. It also features the Vibram sole. Furthermore, it is vegan-friendly as it features a mesh and TPU upper. The zero drop that is featured here allows you to feel the terrain you run on. Moreover, the Vibram TC5 outsole allows you to have better traction, while the Trail Protect pad allows your feet to have more flexibility. The insole is only 3 mm thick. As a result, this enables you to have a good feel for the ground.
Has a great design
There is great traction
Dries-up very quickly
Toe box is narrower than in previous models
Not very durable
New Balance Men's MT10V1 Minimus Trail Running Shoe
This product is available in three color design variations. It is made up of synthetic materials and mesh. Moreover, it also features the Vibram sole. The shaft measures approximately low-top from the arch. This, in turn, allows your ankles to have more mobility. On top of that, the Acteva midsole is very light-weight and durable. It has an antimicrobial treatment. Therefore, you don’t have to wash your shoes often to get rid of the odor.
Has very good traction
Needs to be broken in
Fit not true to size as advertised
In summary, minimalistic shoes may be an awesome fit for you if you wish to be stronger and faster. Running with these shoes on soft terrains enables you to reap the benefits of going barefoot. Every minimalistic running shoe has different properties from the other. For this reason, it is important to read through each one item carefully. They may seem roughly similar, but they all serve different purposes. Moreover, if you are not satisfied with the choices of shoes that are mentioned here, you may do your own research. However, we guarantee one of the items above will be worth noting.