Minimalist running shoes have come to be incredibly in demand of late. No doubt you’ve observed the interestingly designed Vibram FiveFingers shoes that really look like, well… a foot. So, what is the big deal with minimalist running shoes, and why should you ponder transitioning to them?
Why Wear Minimalist Running Shoes?
To deal with that question, we first have to take a look at the emergence of minimalist running shoes. Barefoot running has become a popular class of activity in the last few years – and for great justification. Natural running, also dubbed barefoot running, is genuinely jogging and/or running wearing no shoes.
Running without shoes benefits the runner as it promotes a more consistent step. The runner’s stride has him landing on the mid-forefoot, rather than the heel. Eliminating the unpleasant impact and heel strike that is characteristic when wearing normal shoes helps to lessen injury and pain that can be arising out of it.
While a lot of people would love to join the barefoot running rage, for a few it just isn’t possible. For example, athletes afflicted from bunions or other foot ailments may observe that it’s just not foot-friendly to dart barefoot. Enter minimalist running shoes.
What are Minimalist Running Shoes?
Minimalist running shoes allow the runner to run while wearing shoes that mimic the experience of barefoot running. They have a very minimal quantity of material. They are chiefly a stripped down shoe that has a bottom and only enough material to firmly grasp the foot.
Minimalist running shoes have especially thin and bendable soles. There is commonly no heel or very little of a heel. Having little to no insulation or lining, they are meant to fit snugly. The structure of the shoes allows the runner to attain the sensation of running barefoot, while guarding the foot from injury and abrasions.
A zero drop sole, that is a shoe with no heel, helps to achieve a more natural form while running. The foot falls authentically and this allows for progressing strengthening of the foot with declined risk for injury that can be caused by a heel strike.
Safely Transition to Minimalist Running Shoes
Making the move to minimalist running shoes should be something you work toward deliberately. The change from usual running sneakers or shoes to a minimal shoe can be demanding on your legs and your joints. When starting the change, start out deliberately, alternating your usual shoes with your new minimalist ones. You’ll find that your gait and form are dissimilar in your new shoes, and this is perfectly common.
Another beneficial hint is to aim for a shorter stride when jogging or running. This will help to position your foot fall on the mid-forefront of your foot, instead of on your heel.
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