We all know about the barefoot running craze that has been raging all over the world in recent years. Since that time period, minimalist running shoes are becoming more advanced and they are now more adapted towards barefoot running style.
As per the research data from Sports One Source, there were $400 million worth minimalist shoes sales happened in the year 2012 in US alone. Since that time, there was close to 13% decline in the sales of these types of shoes.
But as per the information provided by Tony Post who is CEO and founder of Topo Athletic, a well known running shoe company; it is now very much clear that more and more people are inclined again towards buying lightweight and zero drop minimalist running shoes after the minimalist movement.
Rise of Barefoot Minimalist Running Shoes
After the barefoot running boom, the minimalist running shoe manufacturers like Merrell, Vibram Five Fingers, etc. are producing more dynamic and robust minimalist running shoes that fully support barefoot style running.
If you pay close attention to these types of shoes recently, you will find out that they are now more lightweight, neutral drop from heel to toe and feel more natural and supportive for your toes, heels, ankles, hips and legs.
In the initial days, the design of the minimalist shoes was not providing sufficient time for our body to adapt quickly. But in the recent years, the popular shoe manufacturers are producing more robust and ergonomic styled minimalist shoes that have the best features of the both world.
According to the research data provided by the American College of Sports Medicine, it is now very much clear that the features of the best and the most safe running shoes are lightness, minimal heel-to-toe drop and less presence of stability and motion control elements. Earlier, the regular shoes were having nearly 10 to 20 mm drop from heel to toe. But nowadays the picture has been changed a lot.
After the huge barefoot movement, people are now becoming more alert and aware about the importance of barefoot styled minimalist running shoes.
A Washington based Biomechanist, Katy Bowman who is also an author of “Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement”, added that it takes longer time to develop strength in your legs while running.
Use of barefoot styled minimalist running shoes is highly recommended to enhance your running stamina and strength in your legs.
If you want to improve blood circulation and foot’s support structure, effective barefoot exercises are equally recommended. After all, if you want to go barefoot, you have to have strong legs that can withstand any running environment such as pavements, tough roads, downhill, uphill, debris, etc.
Watch this video to find out some of the best barefoot style minimalist running shoes that can help you improve your running style and get the maximum health benefit without any body pain or discomfort.
In order to survive these running conditions, you will have to choose the best barefoot minimalist running shoes that are flexible, zero drop heel-to-toe and very lightweight in nature.
If you use these shoes all the time of the day, they really are your secret weapon which can enhance the strength of your legs, improve body postures and alignment, increase stimulation, reduce stressful impacts, etc. All in all, these shoes are best for improving your overall walking and running style.
7 Proven Benefits of Wearing Barefoot Minimalist Running Shoes
There are immense health benefits of barefoot running as discussed at Runnersworld.com researched article. To get maximum benefits, you can start wearing minimalist running shoes.
The main advantages of using such types of footwear are provided as follows.
1. Good Foot Stability: By wearing these shoes and running in them, you get a good feeling of the running ground. Plus your foot stability is improved to a great extent.
Through the thin sole of the shoe, your feet tends to get really good running stride. And your running is improved to a great extent due to stable foot contact to the ground.
2. Running Economy is Improved: Studies have proved that Running Economy Ratio (RE Ratio) is usually improved when you start using minimalist running footwear for your daily running routine. Check out this Wikipedia source to understand more about Running Economy Ratio.
3. Oxygen Intake Increment: Your Oxygen intake is automatically improved to a great extent when you run in minimalist shoes. It is also called as VO2 max or Oxygen Consumption.
This immensely help in enhancing your muscle stiffness and thus improving your running stamina. I recommend you to check out this NIH research article to know more about Oxygen intake enhancement.
4. Foot Balance Improvement: Reduction in foot injuries is another known benefit of minimalist running footwear. With regular running shoes, you might end up hurting your ankles, heels and leg muscles.
You also tend to lose balance while running in regular running footwear. Minimalist footwear promotes good balance and prevents foot injuries while running in them.
5. Enhancement in Your Running Strides: Improvement in your running strides is a really big advantage of using these types of shoes. Your common running footwear usually cause heavy running strides and make you unenthusiastic to progress in your running routine.
On the other side, minimalist running footwear produce short, smooth and quick running strides. This immensely motivates the runner to run more and progress quickly.
While barefoot running, your midfoot area lands more on the ground which pushes you to run faster and further without any doubts.
6. Prevention of Heel Slippage: Several foot injuries such as peroneal tendonitis, achilles tendonitis, ankle sprain, calf strains and many other foot ailments are generally prevented when you start running in barefoot minimalist shoes. Check out this article for more detailed explanation.
Heel lifting or heel slippage which is often experienced in running shoes is totally absent in case of minimalist running shoes. This is the reason barefoot runners do not experience heel pain, calf strains or ligament or foot muscle injuries.
7. Improvement in Blood Circulation: By regularly using your minimalist running shoes, you can gradually improve the blood flow towards your leg muscles. This means you can prevent the chances of having serious foot issues such as varicose veins, cramps, heel pain, ankle sprains, etc.
Barefoot running activates your dormant leg muscles and it encourages natural blood circulation in your feet. Check out this new research article for more details.
My Favourite Barefoot Minimalist Running Shoe
There are several good quality minimalist footwear available in the market today. But my favourite one is Vibram Five Fingers KSO.
If you are searching for a barefoot running shoe that you can wear for all types of terrains, then this is the number one recommendation from my side.
It takes the exact shape and conforms to your foot perfectly once you wear it. Its material is durable and comfortable as well.
This shoe immensely helps you to adopt to your foot bio-mechanics quickly and effortlessly from day one.
The outsole of this shoe offers great comfort, durability, support and foot balance. It is highly lightweight and gives your feet the much needed running stride and higher running economy.
Click Here to See Latest Price and Reviews of Vibram Five Fingers KSO Shoe for Men.
Click Here to See Reviews and Price of Women’s Vibram Five Fingers KSO Running Shoe.