What are Barefoot & Minimalist Running Shoes

You know that lovely feeling of walking barefoot? The sand beneath your toes, the mud squishing under your feet, the gentle give of the ground under each step…

This is the way you were meant to walk and the way you were meant to run yet up until the five or six years ago we chose to cover the up that feeling in favour of heavily shielded and cushioned shoes. The choice was understandable of course, the general move toward urban locations and the creation of cities left less and less places where moving and running barefoot would safe or appropriate. But this choice has cost us, and as a result we’ve had to deal with a whole new host of problems that stem from altering the natural movement of each step.

It wasn’t until people began to notice some of the negative side effects that arose from wearing traditional shoes that the interest in barefoot movement began to grow. Foot, leg and spine injuries caused by shoes led people to realize that modifying our stride had implications that were usually not apparent until many years after the person had been wearing shoes. It was out of this realization that the barefoot movement was born.

Since the early 2000s there has been a growing number of companies producing minimalist shoes who seek to solve the problem between ergonomic movement and protection. Barefoot shoes are lightweight, thin and flexible to allow the foot to move the way it is meant to. They come in multiple styles and many different forms depending on the wearer’s need and have continually grown in popularity as more and more people are finding that minimalist shoes cause less strain and stress on one’s legs.

This is especially important for runners as many running injuries are caused by poor form. Minimalist running shoes can often take some getting used to if you’re a long time runner but the positive long term effects outweigh any length of change over period. Many experts estimate that half of the strain on the legs is eliminated by switching from regular shoes to barefoot running shoes.

The barefoot movement is growing. As more and more people developing a growing interest in their own health and wellbeing their are looking for methods to remove unnecessary stress and eliminate any problems before they occur. Minimalist shoes are one of the most effective products to prevent injury and improve posture. Our ancestors had something right when they ran barefoot, and today we can get it right too.