I recently had one of my followers asked me, which is a better running shoe, between a minimalist and barefoot running shoes. She noted that she is a novice runner, and she just want to take proper precautions and prevent any possible injuries as much as she can. I went over these points with her, I hope they are helpful to some of you who are runners too…
Minimalist Running Shoes
- They are the closest to a regular running shoe, meaning they have minimal sole height difference between heel and a toe
- Good for transitioning from a regular running shoe to a barefoot running shoe (more cushion and support)
- They promote a mid-foot strike instead of heel strike.
- Protects lower limbs and your feet from running impact related injuries.
- Allow one to run in a comfortable and a well balanced manner.
- May strengths muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Barefoot Running Shoes
- They are the closest to running barefooted, meaning there isn’t any sole height difference between heel and toe.
- Can cause injuries if you’ve not train your foot to transition from regular running shoe to barefoot (they don’t have cushion or support)
- Promote a fore-foot strike instead of heel strike.
- Protects lower limbs and your feet from impact related injuries.
- Allow one to run in a more natural way (the way we were meant to run).
- Helps build foot strength and may also promote better muscle, tendons and ligaments strength.
- Improves balance and co-ordination.
- Promotes overall better stride .
- More grounded, therefore less protection from debris.
- Can cause blisters or callused feet
I should mention that both “terms” (minimalist and barefoot) have been used interchangeably for marketing purposes. In other words, there are so many running shoes that are actually minimalist, but marketed as barefoot running shoes. Which is why there is a lot of confusion as into which one is which, most think that minimalist and barefoot running shoes are one and the same. Now that being said, both of them do promote a natural way of running and they help you run in a way that’s going to give you optimum results with less damage to the body if used properly.