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Barefoot Running

Updated on August 19, 2013

Are you taking up the barefoot running mantra?

As more and more runners are taking up the rising trend of barefoot running. Many more would join this crowd if it weren't for the fact that most of us donât live on a beach or have an abundance of wooded trails. Running on rocks hurt, pavementâs unkind and the cold of winter can make the conditions for barefoot runners impossible.

Enter barefoot running shoes. Sometimes called minimalist running shoes, this trendy new footwear is much more than a fad and has been catching the attention of people and companies inside and outside of athletics for a lot of reasons.

Are Barefoot Running Shoes Right For You?

But what are they, exactly? What are the benefits of wearing them? And do the benefits offset the risks? Bottom line, is wearing minimalist running shoes right for you?

I first get one thing straight. Wearing a barefoot running shoe is NOT the same thing as running barefoot. Even the most minimalist footwear still changes the experience to some degree.

The whole concept is to find the perfect symmetry between the physical support of a traditional running shoe and the benefits of running barefoot. Any shoe that aspires to be compared to going barefoot should allow the same degree of flexibility to help you improve balance, provide plenty of feedback from the ground to watch for the pain that can precede injury, and yet still give the wearer a measure of protection from the environment.

With the increased interest in this unique footwear comes a market full of new products. While the Nike Free was the first shoes to market the barefoot feeling to runners. Shoes designed for every level of foot motion are readily available. The variety can be overwhelming.

By far some of the more popular pairs rely on the Vibram bottom. Vibrams were originally offered in the five finger design. While the shoes might not be the best on the spectrum of fashion they offer incredible flexible and control for barefoot shoes. Although several major shoes brands like New Balance and Merrell not utilize the Vibram soles. Making the Vibram Soles in a more aesthetically appealing shoe.

Some of the BEST Barefoot Running Shoes on the Market

Barefoot running and heel strike

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    • drmattshepard profile image

      drmattshepard 4 years ago

      @Mobley5: I couldn't agree more.

    • profile image

      Mobley5 4 years ago

      Barefoot running seems so alien to me - I like a strong, sturdy running shoe. But the important thing is to avoid injury and keep running, so best that you find what works uniquely for you.

    • drmattshepard profile image

      drmattshepard 4 years ago

      @SBPI Inc: Thanks for the input. And barefoot shoes are to simulate the natural benefits of barefoot walking and running.

    • drmattshepard profile image

      drmattshepard 4 years ago

      @skylander: Thanks

    • SBPI Inc profile image

      SBPI Inc 4 years ago

      Great lens. I do not run barefoot but just may use those shoes. When using shoes I do not consider it as barefoot running though although I understand your intent. Thank you for your lens and all your information on those shoes as they do appear quite special. Jonathan