The Best Minimalist Running Shoes
In a previous post we discussed some of the elements that make the best minimalist shoe, but choosing a par of minimalist running shoes can be very different. Minimalist shoes for work or for casual use might be focused more on comfort or appearance. Choosing a footwear for barefoot running should be focused on quality, experience and the true barefoot features.
1. Zero Offset
Undoubtedly one of the most important features of minimalist running shoes, zero offset refers to the elevation difference between the toe and heel of the shoe. The best minimalist running shoes will have an offset of zero. That’s zero not one millimetre or two millimetres, zero! This is important because any sort of offset or heel cushioning can lead one to begin to heel strike and minimalist shoes are focused on forefoot running.
2. The Barefoot Shoe Company
The manufactures who produce the best minimalist shoes are the ones who are staying ahead of the curve and have been around for a while. We’re not saying that new companies don’t have any merit, but older more established minimalist shoe producers have had the time and feedback to construct higher quality and more technologically advanced versions of their minimalist footwear. You can take a risk with a new company or you can look at the barefoot shoe reviews to see what feedback other people have provided.
3. The Minimalist Shoe Sole
As a general rule thinner is better for minimalist running shoes but this shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. The shoe sole thickness is important because the thinner the sole is, the more sensory perception is available to the wearer. However if the sole is so thin it won’t last more than a few months or wears away easily on rough terrain it definitely isn’t worth the investment. Check the reputation of the company and (again) the minimalist shoe reviews as these two sources will help to determine the quality of the sole. If quality is not in question, always aim for thinner soles over thicker versions.
4. Shoe Material
Minimalist trail running shoes are not going to be the same as minimalist shoes for work; make sure you’re picking shoes that are appropriate for your sport. Most makers of minimalist running shoes have a collection of footwear to choose from that range from trekking to road running to kayaking. Choosing the shoe style and material that most fits your needs is important to ensure that you get the most out of your shoes. If you want to know more about what materials the shoe is made of or if the footwear is eco-friendly and/or recycled check the company’s website or ask your local retailer for more information.
These steps are designed to help you choose the best pair of minimalist running shoes, but they are not the only criteria to follow. Always make sure the shoe fits snugly and it is not causing any blistering beyond the usual breaking in period. Barefoot running in a modern world can be a challenge, this article should act as a guide to help make your footwear decisions much easier.