10 Best Minimalist Running Shoes of 2019: Great for Trail, Road, or Track Running

Minimalist Running Shoes

Minimalist running shoes are designed with basically no cushioning and little to no arch support.  They normally have thin soles and are described to be somewhere between barefoot and the normal running shoe in design.  The heel to toe drop on most designs are about 4 to 8 mm, leaving a very small drop.    The shoe is very lightweight and designed to give the runner the ability to feel contact with the ground giving them more control, while adding protection to your feet to keep from stepping on rocks or other debris.  Basically it is designed to be like barefoot or natural running with the bottom of your feet being protected by these shoes.  These shoes are designed to help runners develop their arch function and foot strength.  They offer traction for various running trails and conditions.  The tops are designed from a variety of different fabrics and synthetic materials and mesh. Most are designed to be breathable to help keep the runners feet from getting wet from sweating.  Many of these shoes fit like a glove on your foot, some even fitted with individual toe socks for each to have its own space.  Some are lined with a lining that can be removable.

Top Minimalist Running Shoes Comparison Chart

ProductMaterialSole DesignPriceWhere to Buy?
New Balance Women’s WT10v1 Minimus Trail Running ShoeSyntheticVibram$$$Check Price On Amazon
Merrell Women’s Vapor Glove 2 Barefoot Trail Running ShoeTextileRubber $$Check Price On Amazon
Vibrams Women’s V Running ShoePolyester Lycra Stretch Mesh/Polyester MicrofiberSynthetic $$$Check Price On Amazon
Xero Shoes Prio Women’s Minimalist Running ShoesRubber $$Check Price On Amazon
Joomra Women’s Wide Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot ShoesRubber $Check Price On Amazon
New Balance Men’s MT10V1 Minimus Trail Running ShoesSynthetic/MeshVibram$$$Check Price On Amazon
New Balance Men’s MT1010 Minimus Trail Running ShoesSynthetic & FabricSynthetic$$Check Price On Amazon
Merrell Men’s Trail Glove 3 Minimal Trail Running ShoeSynthetic & FabricRubber$$$Check Price On Amazon
Xero Shoes Prio Men’s Minamalist Barefoot Running ShoesRubber$$Check Price On Amazon
Vibram Men’s V Trail RunnerPolyester & SpandexRubber$$Check Price On Amazon

Minimalist Running Shoes Buyers Guide

There are many things to learn about a minimalist running shoe.  As a runner finding the proper shoe is a vital part of proper training and fitness.  This shoe has to allow the runner to gain better foot control and proper style while they are building up the muscles in their feet and arch support.  If the shoe is wrong for the runner, not fitting properly or not being the proper type of shoe for the runner’s ability, this could hamper their training and not develop the proper muscles for the runner.  The  design of natural running or barefoot running lets the runner feel the ground below to help develop the senses in their feet and brain how the ground should feel under their feet.  This helps the runner to develop a proper posture and a more balanced running technique.  The control that this gives the runner is vital to their development and technique.  Learning the proper running techniques and keeping control while developing their running styles will help to prevent injuries while developing their muscles in a proper manner.  Selecting the proper fitting shoe and the style that gives each runner the most natural feel with the ground may take a little time.  Some runners will have more than one pair to ensure that perfect fit.

Style

There are a variety of different styles and designs that these shoes are manufactured to show.  Each company wants their style to look cooler than the others so there are many choices for the consumer.  Most are made with a breathable fabric or a synthetic material with holes in the upper such as you would find in mesh.  This allows the airflow through the shoe letting the perspiration inside evaporate or dry quickly to keep the runners feet from being wet.  The wetness that stays inside of a person’s shoe can cause foot odor inside of the shoe and can also cause problems with or infections for the feet.  So purchasing a shoe that is breathable is a very important choice.  The various styles can help a runner feel more confident about the way they look and to know that their shoes match the rest of their running attire.  There are running shoes that have individual toe socks so each toe will have their own area, where others have a regular toe box with the design just like a normal shoe.   Whichever choice you make, must allow your feet to make their natural movements for proper development.

Outer Sole

The outer soles will be designed differently on each style of shoe.  The outer soles are designed from rubber or a synthetic type of material.  They can have anywhere between lugs or multi directional grooves for traction.  When lugs are used, they are normally strategically placed so that they do not restrict the natural movement of the foot.  These soles are normally around 5 mm of thickness, designed to give the wearer the feel of barefoot or a natural feel to the ground.  The purpose of these soles is to protect your feet from the rocks or debris on the ground that you might step on while you are running.  The outer sole design is what gives the shoe a zero to 4 mm heel to toe drop, allowing the feet to feel like they are on the ground.  Selecting the style of outer sole that gives you the traction and control that a person needs is a very important aspect when it comes to making the proper selection.

Insole

The insole of a minimalist running shoe is very minimal.  It is designed with a thickness of around 2 mm and is used to help to cushion the runner’s feet.  The insoles are in various designs where some of them are removable, leaving it up to the discretion of the runner if they want to use them or not.  With the combination of the insoles and outer soles, this helps to protect the runner from jars to the body giving them a smoother run.  If the sole is removable and the runner’s style is to use them without the insoles, they are easily removed and the shoes can be worn with more of a barefoot feeling.

Liners

Inside of many of these shoes there are sock like liners.  Many of which are removable so the shoe can be worn with or without them.  The liners are designed to help the shoe fit the wearer like a glove allowing the foot to move naturally.  This liner in some styles can help to hold the shoe in place and keep it from slipping around on your foot.  With this liner in place some offer a V strap that is connected that will keep the arch area of your shoe in place but leaving your toes and the rest of your foot free to move naturally.

Closures

There are many different styles of closure for these shoes.  Some have elastic type laces that are already laced and can be pulled tight with a fastener to adjust the looseness or tightness of the shoe.  Others have regular laces that can be tied and knotted for a proper fit.  There are also designs that are fully enclosed with an elastic type of top that will fit snugly against the ankle.  All of these selections are used to help to hold the shoe in place to keep the runner in control.  If the shoe is not secure and glove fitting on a runner’s foot, it can put the runner at risk of slips and falls or injuries to the muscles or from their fall.

Sizing

One of the best choices to make would be to go to a brick and mortar store and try on some of these various shoes.  When you order online, there is no way to try them on. Even when you are ordering your shoes from an online source, at least if you have tried them on at a local store you would have an idea how the shoe is going to fit.  When ordering online, most sites offer sizing charts to help you to select the proper size.  Follow the guidelines and instructions carefully for a proper fit.  Some will even give measurements and charts for you to go by.   Most of your minimalist running shoes will run a different size than you would get if you were purchasing a pair of tennis shoes for every day wear.  These are designed to fit like a glove and give you that barefoot feel.

Best Women’s Minimalist Running Shoes for Reviews

  1. New Balance Women’s WT10v1 Minimus Trail Running Shoe

This shoe is 100% synthetic with an upper mesh as the lace up front adds adjustable comfort and a secure fit.  The outer sole is a Vibram with flex grooves that offers traction and protection that your foot needs while running on the rocks and debris.  The design gives a 4 mm drop for your running comfort.  The insole is a lightweight foam support that is treated with an odor resistant treatment to help to reduce foot odors.  It also offers an Acteva midsole with an antimicrobial anti odor treatment.  This design and style is available in different colors to match various running outfits, so choose the one that best completes your running attire.  This shoe totes the New Balance brand and is popular among its female runners.  This shoe with its functional purpose and rugged quality is worth its price.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Anti odor treatment
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Shoe seems to run about ½ size smaller than a normal shoe
  • Some wearers may not like the comfort that the band across the top offers
  • Shoe may not last as long as some seem to think it would
  1. Merrell Women’s Vapor Glove 2 Barefoot Trail Running Shoe

This women’s running shoe has made some strategic designs for your comfort and running abilities.  This shoe offers an upper mesh for breathability and a rubber sole that can make your feel like you are running barefoot.  It still offers the protection to your feet from the rocks and debris and has lugs that are placed on the sole, but does not block the arch area, keeping your feet flexible and allowing you to keep more control.  This shoe offers a 0 mm heel to toe drop and 0 cushioning for your ability to feel your ground to foot control.   This design has a Microfiber soft foot bed for added protection to the bottom of your feet.  The enclosure system is a lace up system and the interior has an added mesh lining to make this runner more breathable to help prevent foot odor.  The interior is also treated with an antimicrobial treatment that is used to help to break down the microbes that cause the odors inside of your shoes.  This shoe is washable in cold water and dryable in a gentle cycle air dry to help to keep your shoes new and fresh looking.   This ladies popular runner has been used by many for quite some time.  Its popularity and quality has made it well worth its cost.

Pros

  • Quality and durable
  • Flexible design
  • Washable

Cons

  • Sole appears more flimsy than some may prefer
  • Seams seem to be coming unthreaded
  • Sides of shoes are getting holes after short periods
  1. Vibrams Women’s V Running Shoe

This women’s running shoe has been designed with a Polyester Lycra Stretch Mesh with holes in the upper for breathability.  This shoe has been designed with a low top to add to its style.  A synthetic sole has been designed as a foot glove with each toe having its own padded area.  A padded mid sole has been added to work with the outer sole allowing the protection and comfort for your feet.  A cord closure with a pull tab has been added to the front to keep the shoes secure and comfortable on your feet.  The design has included an extra small run compound at the toe area and the heel area to help to keep the shoe secure on your feet.  On the inside an antimircrobial drilex sock liner has been added to help keep your feet supported.  It is recommended to order this shoe a size smaller than you would normally wear your shoes.  A machine washable shoe that can be air dried on cold temperatures to help keep the odor down and your shoe fresh and new.  This shoe has been designed with added detail and quality to make it popular within its style.  This shoe is showing up to be worth the price for a well designed running shoe.

Pros

  • Washable and dryable shoe to stay fresh and clean
  • Well designed for the connection between your feet and the ground
  • Individual toe area designed for each toe

Cons

  • Shoe runs big compared to most sizes
  • Lack of stretching ability and too rigid
  • Shoe may seem to run long and narrow
  1. Xero Shoes Prio Women’s Minimalist Running Shoes

This well designed women’s minimalist is designed for lightweight balance and comfort.  This shoe has a zero drop from toe to heel helping you to maintain a proper posture.  It allows your feet to have full control and agility feeling like you are running and making contact with the ground.  The outer sole has been designed with a 5.5 mm FeelTrue rubber sole for the feeling of barefoot running.  A lightweight flexible shoe that road or trial running, fitness and much more.  The insole is a thin 2 mm cushion that can be removed but when combined with the outer sole protects the bottom of your feet but yet still keeps them moving natural and keeping you in control.   An adjustable instep strap has been added to allow you to strap down strap down you instep but will still allow your toes to have their freedom in the wide designed toe box.   With the well planned out technology and style of this shoe it has became one of the most popular running and training shoe.  It is worth the price for many wearers helping them to stay balanced and in control of their run.

Pros

  • Designed lightweight and flexible
  • The use of technology and function
  • A zero drop from toe to heel allowing you to feel the ground

Cons

  • The shoe appears a bit bulky for a running shoe
  • Not all wearers feel that they are comfortable
  • The sizing does not seem right for some wearers
  1. Joomra Women’s Wide Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoes

This women’s running shoe is designed to fit your foot like a glove.  The uppers are made of a breathable mesh helping to keep your feet cool.  The outer sole is designed with lug patterns to provide traction and gripping ability while you are on the move.  The removable insoles help to support the arches when they are chosen to be worn inside of the shoes.  A thicker top line wraps around your feet to help hold the shoes in place and keeps them from slipping and sliding while you are in motion.  The front has laces that appear to be able to be pulled tight that also helps to hold the shoe in place on your feet giving you more control.  Being made in a wider width than many running shoes, if you have a narrower foot, this shoe is recommended to be ordered in a ½ size smaller than your normal shoe.  This running shoe has been designed to help you feel the earth beneath your feet while protecting against the stones and gravel on the road ahead.  The design and style to add flexibility and balance to your run has made this shoe worth the price that you will pay for its durability and abilities.

Pros

  • Fits your foot like a glove
  • Gives you more control and balance
  • Removable arch support for your choice of comfort

Cons

  • Too wide for some wearers
  • Could be a bit more flexible
  • Could add a bit more breathability for some wearers

Best Men’s Minimalist Running Shoes for Reviews

  1. New Balance Men’s MT10V1 Minimus Trail Running Shoes

This lightweight men’s running shoe has an upper made of 100% synthetic mesh.  The drop on this shoe from heel to toe is 4 mm still allowing flexibility and control.  The Vibram outer sole of this shoe is designed with flex grooves to give good traction and control for the runner.   The interior of this shoe offers a premium lightweight foam support along with a midsole wrap to help steady your feet.  The interior is also treated with antimicrobial treatment to reduce and eliminate the odors that sometime get left inside of your shoes.  A lace up enclosure on the front helps to hold the shoe in place and give the wearer more control.  A strap over the top of the front helps with support and design and style of this New Balance Men’s Running Shoe.  With the quality of the manufacturing of this shoe and the durability that it offers its wearers on their runs, this shoe is worth the price to add to your running gear.

Pros

  • Quality construction
  • 4 mm toe to heel drop
  • Added flexibility and traction

Cons

  • Even the wide width seems to run a bit small for some wearers
  • The strap on the top of the foot seems to be a problem for some
  • There is a strap in the upper toe box that that is uncomfortable for wearers
  1. New Balance Men’s MT1010 Minimus Trail Running Shoes

This men’s running shoe has been constructed with fabric and synthetic materials.  The synthetic sole offers a 4 mm heel to toe drop allowing proper balance and control.  The mesh uppers create airflow to keep your feet cool during your run times.  The RevLite foam midsole help to offer protection to your feet against the rocks and gravel on the trails.   These lightweight and comfortable shoes are designed with quality and durability to help to get you in shape and to increase your running skills.  The feeling like your feet are actually making a connection with the ground keeping you poised and in proper running form while the thin outer soles are protecting the bottom of your feet from the debris on the ground.  These lightweight and flexible men’s running shoes are worth the price to complete your running gear.

Pros

  • Offers a 4 mm heel to toe drop
  • Lightweight
  • Thin outer sole leaves you in control

Cons

  • Side has been known to rip out
  • Seams have been known to ravel out
  • The outer sole of the shoe has came unglued
  1. Merrell Men’s Trail Glove 3 Minimal Trail Running Shoe

This shoe is styled with 100% fabric that creates a lightweight upper that molds to your feet fitting them like a glove.  The Vibram lugged sole creates traction to help you keep control on the gravel from the road and the trails while giving you the flexibility to move your foot naturally.  This shoe has a 0 mm drop from toe to heel to allow your feet to feel like they are running on the ground.  This also allows more balance and self control for the runner.  This shoe is designed with the long lasting M Select Fresh technology to keep the sweat from affecting the freshness of your shoes.  The antimicrobial helps to break down the agents that cause the odor inside of your shoes.  The design is also Vegan friendly and still offers the support and control for the runner.  This quality shoe has created the ability to feel the ground with confidence and control to improve your running skills and abilities.   This popular men’s running shoe has been worth the price that has been paid to hit the running trail.

Pros

  • Quality designed
  • Lightweight
  • Zero mm heel to toe drop

Cons

  • Foam wedge under the arch support makes some wearers feel that this is no longer a good running shoe style
  • The lacing system does not lace evenly and leaves tension areas in some spots
  • Some wearers have had problems with the sole coming unglued
  1. Xero Shoes Prio Men’s Minamalist Barefoot Running Shoes

This men’s running shoe has been designed as a high performance quality shoe.  An upper mesh for comfort and breathability along with a flexible 5.5 mm Truerubber outsole, gives the runner the ability to move their foot naturally like there is no shoe at all.  A zero drop from the toe to the heel gives the runner the ability to feel the ground with more balance and control.  This also helps the runner to maintain a better posture for proper training and increased running skills.  This shoe comes with a 2 mm removable insole that leaves its usage up to the runner.  A wide toe box gives your toes plenty of room for their natural movements while a V strap allows you to help strap down your instep.   A design that is Vegan friendly meaning no animal products have been used in creating this shoe.  This shoe comes in variety of colors to match most any running attire.  The well planned out men’s running shoes are worth the cost to enhance your barefoot running experience.

Pros

  • Gives the runner balance and control
  • Offers a wide toe box
  • Removable insole for the wearer’s choice

Cons

  • Sole on some keeps coming unglued from the upper part of the shoe
  • The durability of this shoe seems to disappoint some customers
  • Sizing seems to be off for some wearers
  1. Vibram Men’s V Trail Runner

This minimalist running shoe is made from 100% spandex and polyester.  It has a Vibram 5 mm rubber outer sole and a 2 mm inner sole that protects the feet.  The outer soles are designed with multi directional lugs to provide quality traction.  This combination allows your feet to feel like it is barefoot while running the trails, feeling the ground for more control and strength for your arch and feet.  It is designed to allow your feet the flexibility for its natural movements.  The toe fingers design has given each toe its own space allowing them movement.  The toe box area before the toe finger area is designed to be wide giving the rest of the foot space to be natural.   Inside is an antimicrobial poly sock liner to help comfort your feet and allow them to breathe, helping to keep them cool.  The upper offers a snug fit around the ankles to keep the shoe from sliding off of your foot during your workout.  This shoe is designed to be washable in cold water and can be air dried to help keep your running shoes fresh and clean.  The Vibram quality of this shoe has shone through and has made it worth the cost to take this shoe out on your running trails.

Pros

  • 5 mm outer sole with multi directional lugs give traction for the harder trails
  • Quality constructed
  • Washable in cold water to keep your shoe fresh

Cons

  • Sizing could be wrong for some wearers
  • The comfort level for this shoe does not work for all wearers
  • The toe fingers seem to be a bit to restricting

Conclusion And Final Minimalist Running Shoes Recommendations

With all of the choices that a person who is interested in getting into running, has when selecting the perfect running shoe, there is a lot of decisions to make.  There is a lot of knowledge to gain and a smart consumer will do their research before making a decision.  There are many ways to gain information, for example if you have a coach that is training you, your coach should have a lot of information on which shoes would be best for you.  If you are an individual who is just looking to add a pair of minimalist running shoes to your running attire, there is information online that can help you make the decisions.  Many shoe stores and manufacturers will have information or can answer many of your questions.  When you are doing your research, check online for the reviews for each type of shoe that you are considering for purchase.  The reviews by other consumers can be very helpful, but keep in mind that everyone is different and has different likes so not everyone’s opinion is going to be the same for each shoe.   Trying various styles and brands on at a local shoe store is an excellent way to find a perfect fit, even if you plan on purchasing online.   It is important for your foot to have room to move naturally and to be comfortable.  You must have control of your shoe, no slipping and sliding around on your foot.  Your proper fit will help prevent injuries and will also help to develop the proper muscles that your feet will need to get you down your running trails.

Another thing to consider would be your budget.  Most of us have to budget out money and in reality, most things can be found cheaper by purchasing them online.  For someone that is an avid runner that goes out on their daily runs to stay in shape a good choice would be a New Balance WT10V1 Minimus Trail Running Shoe for men and women.  Both styles of this shoe is backed by the New Balance name and has been designed to be lightweight and quality.  Its durability is built to last and with its minimum toe drop and flexibility offers the runner the ability to feel the ground beneath their feet.  This gives them more balance and control allowing for a smoother and more enjoyable run.  The insides are treated with an anti odor treatment which breaks down the odor causing elements, keeping the foot odor out of the shoes.  This shoe offers a price that most avid runners have in their budget, because most runners expect to pay a little bit more for a quality product.  So when purchasing your new minimalist running shoe, making a proper selection for your budget and running style should keep you happily running for some time.

FAQs about Minimalist Running Shoes

There may still be questions that need to be answered:

Why Choose The Minimalist Running Shoes?

The minimalist running shoes are light weight and are designed for both males and females.  These shoes are designed with a very thin outer sole and inner sole, allowing the runner to feel like they have no shoe on at all.  Sometime these shoes are referred to as the barefoot shoes.  These shoes will normally have a zero to a very minimum heel to toe drop allowing the runner to have their feet on the ground.  The main purposes for the inner and outer soles are to protect the runner’s feet from the debris on the ground or trail.  This also allows the runner to have a better posture, which in turn helps to create the control.  When a runners foot is allowed to move naturally and flex where it would normally flex while in a running motion, it helps to develop the arch and foot strength.  These shoes are used from professional runners to individuals who run to stay in shape.  Others may purchase these shoes to wear on occasion to give their feet a more natural feel.  Many of these shoes are designed with a purpose but also with a style that makes them acceptable to most people to wear to town to run their errands or to grab their dinner from the local store.

How To Choose The Best Fit For Your Minimalist Running Shoe?

When making a decision to purchase a new pair of minimalist running shoes, it is vital to get a pair that fits your properly.  These shoes will not serve their purpose and will not be comfortable for the runner if they do not fit on your foot properly.  For a first time wearer it would be wise to visit a local shoe store and have your foot fitted professionally for a proper fit.  A coach or another professional in the industry would also be able to offer advice for a proper fit.  The foot must comfortably fit into the shoe and since there is very minimal support, this support needs to fit and line up properly with your foot.  Your arch needs to fit comfortably on the area that is designed in your shoe to support the arch.  This is the padding that will help prevent jarring and injuries to your body.   It is also vital for the flexibility of your feet to move naturally so your muscles and foot strength can develop in a proper manor.  This is true for the person who decides to wear these shoes on an occasion or for the runner that has been professionally trained.  A comfortable feel is also very important, a shoe that is the right length or width is also very important.  When a shoe like this is supposed to fit like a glove, a shoe that will allow your foot to slide around will not accomplish your goal.  A shoe that is too large or small and is not forming to your foot can not only cause issues for your muscles but can also cause blisters and other painful areas.

How Can You Save Money While Still Purchasing A Quality Shoe?

Many of us have a budget that we need to stay within when making a purchase of most anything.  A shoe and clothing budget is added to many household budgets.  Even though with a budget all of us still want a shoe that is made with quality and that serves the purpose that we need it to serve.   When you have found that perfect pair of minimalist running shoes and you want to make that purchase, finding a cheaper price is important to most of us.  One way would be to watch the sales be it online or in a brick and mortar store.  Many stores and even manufacturers will offer sales and advertise to bring in new customers or to bring back some of their repeat customers.  With these sales they will normally mark down the price of the item, saving you from its original price.  There are sometimes coupons that are offered that will take off a certain dollar amount or percentage of the original price.  Some of these coupons can sometimes offer a substantial savings.  Unless you are someone that has to have the latest style that just hits the store shelves, you can also save by purchasing a pair of shoes that is designed with an older style.  This does not necessarily mean that the older style is out of style, it means that the store may be trying to move the older style to make more room for the newer ones.  When this happens, sometimes the style of shoe that has been on their shelves for a while will be discounted and offers you the consumer an additional savings.

How Long Will A Quality Pair Of Minimalist Running Shoes Normally Last?

There is no real set answer to this question.  There are many factors that make this different for most people.  Some people are very hard on shoes while others can make shoes last for a long time.  The factors for a minimalist running shoe depend on a person’s running style and type of running that they do.  If a person runs a distance on a daily basis, they are going to wear out their shoes faster than someone who takes short runs a couple of times a week.  If two people both run the same distance every day but one runs on a smooth surface and the other runs on a rougher trail the shoe that is used on the rougher trail will normally wear out first.  Other factors would include a person’s weight, a person who is heavier, be it in muscle weight or height or body fat, will normally wear out a pair of shoes faster, because this puts more weight and pressure on the shoes as they are running.  Many professionals will advise to replace your minimalist running shoes every 300 to 400 miles whiles others will have different opinions.  Once a minimalist running shoe starts to wear down and does not fit or support your foot like it should, it would be time to replace the shoe.  As in all types of shoes you are going to have some that will last you quite some time, while others will not allow the same results.  In reality the life of a pair of quality running shoes is going to vary.

Are The Five Finger Shoes Any Better For Running?

Five finger shoes are designed to give the runner a feeling of running barefoot.  Some will say that these are the best running shoes that have ever been designed.  They give each toe the ability to move naturally in its own separate area and not just in a toe box.  These shoes give your entire foot the ability to move in its own natural way.   This design was created to strengthen a runner’s toes, feet and ankles.  It also helps to strengthen the muscles in your foot and lower leg while allowing the runner to strengthen their range of motions in their lower legs, feet and toes.  This will help a runner’s sensory awareness that will increase their balance and their posture.  With this type of shoe creating more balance and awareness for a runner, it allows a more natural run leaving less pressure on their back and legs.  This helps to keep a runner from injuring their back or leg muscles during their runs.  There are some people that have a problem with the look of these shoes.  Some people who don’t like different will call them monkey shoes or some other comment.  But if you are someone who don’t care what judgmental people might say, these shoes will offer a huge benefit for someone who is actually training and working on building up the proper muscles for a safe and stronger run.

Are Most Minimalist Running Shoes Washable?

It is always best to check the recommendation of the manufacturer for each minimalist running shoe.  These shoes are put to a lot of hard work.  Most of them are designed breathable, helping to keep down the foot odor caused from the sweat inside of the shoes.  When a shoe is breathable it allows the sweat to dry faster and it actually helps to keep the feet cooler, so they will sweat less.  Many of these shoes are treated with an antimicrobial treatment that has a chemical that will help to break down the agents inside of your shoe that causes the smell.  Some of these shoes are made to be washable in cold water and are even available to be dried in a cool air dry cycle.  This helps to keep your shoes clean from the dust and dirt on the trails and fresh smelling from the sweat build up on the inside.  Other shoes may not be as washable, so please check with the manufacturer or get your information from a professional at your local shoe store.

Are Cheaper Brands Of Minimalist Running Shoes Really Any Good?

There are many different styles and types of cheaper shoes that are considered minimalist.  As long as a shoe has a soft and flexible sole and very little padding, it can qualify as a minimalist.  There are actually some brands that offer minimalist running shoes at a cheaper price.  To answer this question fairly, it will honestly depend upon each individual runner.  There are people that can wear a pair of shoes for a long time and it is like they never wear out.  There are other people that can wear the exact same brand and make of the shoe and it will not last them but a couple of months.  Some of the major brands use their own technology when manufacturing their shoes.  Others will use generic or different types of technology.  Sometimes some of the cheaper shoes will not have the same quality that some of the more expensive shoes have.  Some of the complaints that I have seen that on some of the cheaper shoes the seams will rip out or the sole will come unglued.  That is not true in all cases.  If you are searching for a minimalist running shoe and have found a cheaper one that you are willing to try, as long as it is in your budget and you think it is worth it, see how it works for you.  Many people who may run a couple of times a week have used these and have been totally satisfied.  If you can get a pair for example for $20 versus paying around a $100 and you get 200  miles of running time and they have been comfortable for your feet and your running technique, then yes a cheaper shoe will work good for you.

Are The Five Finger Minimalist Running Shoes Better Than Shoes With A Toe Box?

The five finger shoes gives each toe its own space and allows them to move naturally.  This is very important to many runners in order to keep their balance and a good running technique.  There are a variety of different styles of shoes with a toe box.  One of the big differences is how big the toe box is.  Some shoes have smaller toe boxes which seem to restrict the movement of a runner’s toe.  When the movements are restricted, it will not let the movements be natural.  A bigger toe box will also give your toes room to move and not be restricted which will allow them to move naturally.  As long as the toes can move and are not restricted on their movements, a toe box will work fine.  Finding a minimalist running shoe that has a big enough toe box to allow your feet including your toes to move naturally so you can maintain your balance and control over your run will offer as many benefits as the five finger shoes.  A lot of this may also have to do with the choice of the runner and their style of running.  If you are use to running with the five finger shoes and you suddenly find yourself with a shoe that has a toe box, it may take a little getting used to at first.

Why Has Bare Foot Running Become So Popular?

Many people love to run; it helps them to stay in shape both mentally and physically.  Running has been proven to help reduce stress.  When people start to run and they are wearing normal tennis shoes it is very normal to get muscle injuries in the foot, leg and back.  Proper running requires good posture and balance giving the runner complete control.  If someone starts running in a shoe with an increased sole and a lot of padding, they do not always have the control they need to keep a good posture and balance.  Minimalist Running Shoes or Bare Foot running as it is sometimes called, are designed with no more than a 5mm outsole.  This thin outer sole allows the runner to feel the ground and to run with the natural movements of their feet.  This also gives the runner the control of how their feet hit the ground allows them to keep their balance and posture.  Barefoot running has become very popular today; because it helps the runner have the proper technique and control that they need to properly develop their muscles naturally and has been proven to prevent many muscle injuries.  The main purpose of the minimalist running shoe outer sole is to protect the runner’s feet from rocks and debris on the running trails.

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