What is Minimalist Running?
Put simply, minimalist running is running in as little shoe as possible while still wearing shoes. Though often referred to as “barefoot running shoes,” I prefer the term minimalist running shoes as to not confuse minimalist runners with those that actually choose to run completely unshod. Runners that choose minimalist shoes are generally, those that are seeking the benefits of barefoot running without the drawbacks of running barefoot, (frostbite for example).
There is currently a small selection of “barefoot running shoes” currently on the market, and more and more are emerging as the benefits of minimalist running become better known. Perhaps the most well known minimalist, or “barefoot running” shoe is the Vibram Five Fingers. Other less radical varieties include Terra Plana Evo, Merrell Trail Glove, and Altra Adam.
For those that take the minimalist part of minimalist running literally and would rather not pay $80 to $200 for a pair of barefoot running shoes, some choose to fashion their own sandals in a style similar to that of the Tarahumara runners of Mexico, popularized by Christopher McDougal’s book, Born to Run.
I have reviewed many of these shoes to provide the most complete information possible. If there is a review you would like to see, leave me a comment. If have worn a minimalist shoe and would like to review it please submit your review. If it fits, and I would love to feature it on runnaturally.org
See the guide on what to look for in a minimalist shoe.