When it comes to discussing running shoes, there are many arguments about which types of shoes is the best for running. In addition, if you are trying to find the best footwear for being on feet all day, it is quite challenging.
Once people want to choose a pair of running shoes, they usually question many things and factors such as types, colors, designs, features, etc. A good pair of running shoes is a must-have gear that every runner has at least one. Furthermore, it is also worth to invest in a good pair of running shoes that fits the runner and lasts for a long time.
In the market, there are many brands and types of running shoes available, which makes it quite hard and confused for a runner to pick the most favorable one. Recently, ‘barefoot running’ has become a top trend in the running world. It has raised a lot of interests from runners that they are seeking for minimalist footwear
There are now two types of minimalist shoes including barefoot running shoes and minimalist running shoes. Here is a quick brief about these two types of running shoes.
Barefoot Running Shoes
It is also called barefoot shoes for short. As you can see from its name, this type of shoes will give you the feeling of running with your barefoot as naturally as possible. In order to enhance natural feeling, many barefoot running shoes do not have a cushion in the heel. However, there is also a few barefoot shoes that have a bit cushioning.
The material layer of the shoes is very thin, around 3-4 mm. Therefore, you will be able to have the authentic feeling between your foot and the ground. In addition, the protection from barefoot running shoes is also at its slow.
In comparison, the difference between the height of heels and height of toes of normal running shoes are higher than barefoot running shoes. All barefoot running shoes feature a zero drop from heel to toe. While normal running shoes are 10-12 mm drop.
There is not so much arch support that runner can receive from barefoot running shoes. Therefore, for those people who have high arches, barefoot running shoes fit them the most with fewest problems. Whereas, people with low arch type will be in lack of arch support and need to adjust themselves with that problem.
Minimalist Running Shoes
This type of shoes is a combination between barefoot running shoes and traditional running shoes. It is a hybrid of both types of shoes which make it easier for you to start barefoot running. It is spacious in minimalist running shoes’ toe box that improves balance.
Let’s put it again in comparison with barefoot running shoes. Minimalist running shoes feature 4-8 mm heel drop. Moreover, it will have little arch supports than barefoot running shoes. This kind of shoes is designed to be lightweight, cushioning and flexible.
Benefits Of Wearing Barefoot and Minimalist Running Shoes
When running with a pair of barefoot or minimalist shoes, you are taken back to the most natural feel in moving. A pair of minimalist running shoes has more space in its toe box so that your toes can move freely. Moreover, go minimalist also mean more flexibility that your feet can move in all directions easily.
One highlight feature of minimalist running shoes is zero to a very low drop from heel to toe. Your leg swing and posture are enhanced as much as it does when you do not wear shoes. There is a kind of minimalist shoes like slipper which stays really tight to your feet during the run.
Tips for Barefoot and Minimalist Running Shoes
In term of barefoot running shoes, you should look for a perfect fit pair of shoes. You do not need a pair of shoes with space in your toes like traditional running shoes. A good pair of barefoot running shoes sticks to your feet like a glove.
In addition, there is no need in wearing socks when you are wearing barefoot running shoes. However, socks will help you reduce the crash directly from your skin to the shoes. Therefore, it can protect the runner from the blister and give extra heat.
There is some kind of minimalist shoes that feature closures rather than lace system. In comparison, a lace system help runner save time in taking on and off. Moreover, it also gives more support to people with high arch type.
One of the best things about minimalist shoes is that you can wash the shoes by washing machine. It will save your time to clean the shoes. You will be able to keep good hygiene on your minimalist shoes than the traditional running shoes.
Getting Started in Barefoot Running
You are suggested to begin with barefoot running slowly. Not everyone is successful when they practice barefoot running even though anyone can give it a try. With a gradual start, you can reduce the risk of being injured and other related problems.
First of all, you can practice by standing barefoot in a gravel to strengthen the soles of your feet skin. Then, you should start with a walk rather than a run. And when it comes to running, you are recommended to run the short distance not long distance.
When you want a more distanced run, you should build up more of your strengths and endurance. To be able to run far and fast, you should not be too eager, try to add up 10 to 20% of your distance length every week and practice. Besides, it is also essential to have a smooth transition between your new running forms to the old one.
However, before starting barefoot running, you should consult your doctor beforehand if you are having a problem with fasciitis and ailments. The last thing is to feel your body, no one can give you exact advice to your body than yourself. You should stop or change the way of practice whenever you feel painful.