Get in touch with your ancestral roots and starting running the way you were born to! Minimalist running shoes provide enough freedom to move the way you were meant to with enough protection to allow you to run almost anywhere. From gym shoes to minimalist trail running shoes, there’s the right barefoot shoe for you. Build foot strength and do away with running pains by purchasing running shoes that enhance your natural ability, not diminish it. There are everyday minimalist shoes or minimalist shoes for work if you want to move the comfort of barefoot running into other areas of your life. The minimalist shoe reviews area of our website can also have you to determine what barefoot shoe(s) are best for you.
There are a lot of companies that produce barefoot running shoes. Many of the athletic shoes actually vary from one another focusing on anything from barefoot water sport shoes to minimalist trail running shoes. In general we recommend the companies that specialize in barefoot shoes as their entire company is oriented around manufacturing and selling the best minimalist running shoe and they’re not competing in little to no other markets.
Below are some of the best and most high quality producers of minimalist running shoes:
We mention VIVOBAREFOOT in the casual minimalist shoe section but they also fall into the athletic category as they produce a large variety of running and training shoes suitable for the gym, the road or the mountains. The company has excellent eco-friendly production methods and is focused on both sustainability and naturalness in its products.
The company produces linings that are anywhere from 50% to 100% recycled that incorporate moisture wicking and antibacterial technology. In the past the VIVOBAREFOOT shoes were produced as a collection by Terra Plana but the shoe line has been so successful that now exists as a standalone brand.
With over a decade worth of study of how to conserve energy while running, Newton Shoes are aptly named. The company actually owns a patent to a special barefoot technology it makes use of to help the runner conserve energy and allow the foot to step and run in the way it was meant to.
The website features the science behind barefoot running and videos and guide about how to improve your running stride. There is also a large variety of running shoes available with retailers located globally. There’s even an entire “Newton Community” based around the different sports and events as well as a coaches and athletes page.
Well known for their light trail shoes, Merrell is now officially included in the barefoot shoe company group. They offer excellent minimalist trail running shoes in a variety of colours and styles. The company has even gone so far as to offer a Merrel Barefoot iPhone app which along with the videos on their website helps promote good running form and assists in one’s training.
Merrel barefoot shoes are not as identifiable as other companies and can easily pass as everyday multi-sport footwear. The website offers it’s own “barefoot blog” as well as a variety of other helpful articles and recommendations about how to make the switch between traditional running shoes and minimalist shoes.
As a new entrant into the minimalist running shoe market, New Balance has partnered with Vibram to produce high quality barefoot soles. Merrell took the same steps in order to continue to produce a traditional looking shoe but offer the barefoot flexibility now available. New Balance is now producing a small number of barefoot shoes that look similar to their regular line but have the minimalist footwear aspect that is allowing them to enter the barefoot market.
Well known as one of the original pioneers and innovators of barefoot technology, Vibram producse both insoles for other companies as well as their only line of shoes referred to as “five fingers”. Vibram FiveFingers are very distinct as they have individual slots for one’s toes and are perhaps, along with Vivobarefoot or Terra Plana, the closest to true minimalism as one get can get in footwear these days.
Vibram directs it’s efforts toward a multitude of sports from yoga and Pilates to water sports and trekking. They have shoes specifically for travelling and running and are continually working to serve the barefoot market as best as they possibly can. Their website contains a wide variety of information relating to barefoot and minimalist shoes including best practices. If you’re looking to show off your minimalist footwear choice, this brand is for you.
ZEMgear (Zone of Endless Motion) produces some of the most distinct minimalist shoes in the business. Very popular for water sports from kayaking to wakeboarding, ZEM shoes are also used for yoga, running and other outdoor activities. The shoe’s design is focused on providing the maximum protection for one’s foot yet simultaneously allowing the sole’s natural tactile awareness to transmit messages about the environment to the brain.
The company prides itself on producing footwear that encourages people to redevelop their natural method of movement, stability and balance. Each pair of shoes is carefully designed to with specific traction lugs, high frequency tech-band support and 4-way stretch technology in order to allow the shoes to mould to your feet. More information about ZEM minimalist shoes are available on the company’s website.