The bottom line is minimalist shoes are good. They encourage a forefoot strike rather than a heel strike. The positive part is that they strengthen foot muscles. They decrease the number of foot injuries when wearing conventional shoes. Some podiatrists encourage wearing minimalist shoes because they allow a natural movement of the foot. Wearing traditional shoes compromise the intended purpose and natural functionality of the foot.
Minimalist shoes are helpful, and nowadays, some runners are adapting to their style. They offer better shock absorption, encouraging low arch and stable foot movement. Furthermore, minimalist shoes allow ankle flexibility and toe engagement.
Minimalist shoes can put a lot of pressure on the foot that can cause heel fractures. There are injuries associated with wearing minimalist shoes. Sometimes it’s better to ask your doctor first before going minimal, especially if you have foot problems or injuries.
Is it better to run barefoot?
There’s nothing wrong with barefoot running, though other drawbacks are associated with it. Running barefoot activates your hip, ankle, and foot muscles. You feel more grounded and balanced. Barefoot runners report reduced heel pain and minimizes knee injuries compared to shoes. The foot’s natural movement isn’t compromised promotes muscle strength and proprioception.
A quick transition to barefoot running can cause a lot of pressure on the muscles and tendons, leading to some foot injuries. There’s also little foot protection; you may step on anything that may hurt your feet. Barefoot dunning can also increase plantar pain and is more susceptible to blisters. Before attempting barefoot, you have to take your time transitioning and always consult your doctor.
When did the minimalist movement begin, and why
History says that we first covered our feet about 40000 years ago, with the first shoe resembling sandals or moccasin made of leather. From this history, footwear emerged as one of the fashion accessories we know today.
Minimalist shoes evolved to minimize the influence of shoes on gait and foot function. The first minimalist shoe emerged in 1977, called racing flats. These minimalist shoes featured minimum padding, zero pitch heels, ultra-thin soles, meager arch support, and a wide toe box.
The Nike Free rekindled their interest in minimalists and partial minimalist shoes in 2005 with different designs. From there, a lot of manufactures came with new minimalist versions. Some popular minimalist shoes include Skechers. They are used by athletes and the Vibram Five-finger, which looks like a glove and is very close to barefoot.
The people’s voice on minimalist shoes and the future of footwear
Besides podiatrists and doctors, many people have seen the benefits of minimalist shoes. There is a lot of research advocating for less cushioned footwear and support. It focuses on all the people, including children and adults. Our feet weren’t designed to be cushioned all the time, and minimal footwear is where we all come from.
Wearing cushioned shoes doesn’t allow feet to develop, leading to weaker muscles, especially in children. Minimal footwear builds up the resiliency of the calf and foot muscles.
Those against minimalist shoes say that the muscles of the feet fatigue quicker because of a lack of shock absorption. Moreover, they argue that you experience a lot of pressure on your foot muscles and tendons, leading to pain and injuries.
Footwear designs are still emerging. Nowadays, manufacturers are trying to incorporate many health aspects in shoe design. Shoes are becoming health monitors with extended comfort features.
With many innovations introduced and health experts getting involved, footwear designs will become more health alert other than fashion-centered.
The American legal system says on barefoot shoes.
The American legal system says that barefoot shoes are inappropriate. The Federal banned the Vibram company from claiming that their shoes strengthen foot muscles or reduce foot injury. The American Podiatric Medicine Association put out a policy statement saying that there’s not yet any research that has classified the minimalist practice’s long and short-term effects.
Are barefoot shoes suitable for everyday use?
There’s nothing wrong with wearing barefoot shoes every day. After all, it has many benefits that include encouraging foot strength and allowing a natural foot gait. Barefoot shoes will enable you to connect with the ground you are stepping on.
If you are concerned with foot health, mobility and strength, you are not mistaken in choosing the minimalist way. If you are someone who experiences foot pain or injuries, you cannot risk starting the minimalist journey. You can visit a podiatrist and check if you can wear minimalist shoes every day.
Are barefoot shoes wrong for you?
Barefoot shoes are not wrong, but a quick transition to barefoot shoes can result in a lot of pressure on the tendons and muscles of your foot.
Besides that, barefoot shoes positively activate ankle, hip, and foot muscles. Because they are most likely the same as barefoot, they allow a natural foot movement and reduce hip pain. Moreover, many runners who use barefoot shoes report minimizing many foot and knee injuries.
What are the Benefits of zero drop shoes?
Zero drop shoes have solved many foot problems, including flat feet. Because they are flat-soled with a 0mm heel drop, you will level your feet perfectly in their natural stance.
Benefits of Zero drop shoes
- They encourage low impact gait because of the minimum heel drop.
- Provide foot stability, especially to the flat-footed
- Offer a solid, stable connected feel with the ground.
- Strengthen your feet by allowing you to stand on your forefoot rather than depending on the heel for support.
- They minimize injuries by turning calves into shock absorbers.
- Allow your toes to splay because of the wide toe box
Difference between regular and minimalist shoes
Regular shoes are a bit heavy because of their level of cushioning. Their maximum heel drop level is about half of an inch. Minimalist shoes are lightweight with a very minimum level of cushioning.
Regular shoes contain a lot of substance in the heel, which causes an imbalance. The zero cushioning found on minimalist shoes encourages foot stability and balance.
Why runners should try walking minimalistic
A lot of positive reports are coming from runners on the issue of minimalist shoes. Runners can always try to walk with minimalist shoes because of the benefits they have on their feet. There’s better shock absorption and fewer foot injuries when walking with minimalist shoes.
Minimalist shoes will assist runners in developing low arch levels and foot stability. Wearing minimalist shoes help with ankle flexibility allowing a natural foot gait while offering protection.