Minimalist shoes help sprinters to feel as if they are running on barefoot. These shoes feature thin soles, have lesser cushioning and are also lighter in weight as compared to other running shoes. Apart from providing protection from different ground conditions, it enables the runner to experience a sensory contact for his feet on the ground.
We have penned down a handy list for you that contains the best minimalist running shoes in the market today alongside their brief reviews and features to help you have a better understanding of what you are about to buy.
Vibram KSO EVO Cross
The Vibram KSO EVO Cross is for you in case you would like to have a genuine barefoot running experience. It virtually becomes one with your feet and helps to add some cushion to your feet by featuring a slightly padded tongue; however, you will be able to feel the ground beneath you since the cushion is not present underneath. Nevertheless, the durable and tough Vibram rubber helps to provide you with the required protection. The insole is actually made for teaching and not for comfort. Being less than 5 millimeters, it teaches the body proper running form and also offers adequate protection from the bottom. Being just 4.9 ounces it is definitely one of the best out there.
The Vivobarefoot EVO Pure is a zero drop running shoe which will stimulate feeling barefoot and is ideal for running on both drylands and multi-terrain. The wide toe-box is also another important feature of this shoe. The Vivobarefoot EVO Pure is known for delivering high amounts of tactile stimulation that help to improve motor performance, balance, strength, postural control and functioning which results in fluid and smooth forefoot running movement. Besides this, the shoe is also lightweight and extremely flexible and you will hardly feel anything on your feet while running. Also, you can wear them easily without any socks. These amazing running shoes will help to enhance the neuromuscular control of the knees, ankles and hips and give you that minimalist feeling.
Merrell Vapor Glove 2
The Merrell Vapor Glove 2 has got a great reputation when it comes to the top-rated minimalist shoes
on the market. The Merrell shoes are actually created on a minimalist design without any huge amounts of cushioning and provides a significant level of comfort to the runner. Moreover, its weight is only 5.8 oz. A thin Vibram outsole helps to embody running which enables full ground contact while a breathable mesh wraps around the feet just like a second skin. The footbed and the mesh lining are treated with M-Select which helps to eradicate any bacteria while maintaining a healthy minimalistic foot environment.
New Balance Minimus
The New Balance Minimus shoes imitates the design of a racing flat providing the much-needed comfort and durability and enables the runner to feel the minimalist experience while running. The New Balance features a zero drop design, a barely-there sole and also a mesh upper that feels just like a slipper and makes the runner have a great tactile experience. Featuring a weight of just 7.8 ounces, these shoes are definitely a fantastic model that offers an “ultra-minimalist” experience while safeguarding the feet against all possible hazards on the road. Although compact it is still powerful. The outsole of this shoe includes a layer of durable Vibram rubber along with sections of high-strength rubber along the midfoot and the heel. This helps to improve the lifespan of the shoe in the long run. A similar design is also featured by the midsole where cushioning is applied only when required and also in conservative amounts. The New Balance Minimus is ideal for the starters since it includes a zero heel drop providing a genuinely minimalistic running experience.
Inov-8 X-Talon 212
Experience running super fast over any type of terrain with this lightweight and flexible running shoes. In fact, the Inov-8 x-Talon 212 happens to be a great favorite among the top athletes at present. They are fast protective minimalist running shoes offering solid grip on softer and looser terrain. The Inov-8 feature a 8 mm rubber studs which help to run in soft terrain while holding firm on a harder surface. Having a weight of only 212 g and being extremely flexible, it enhances the natural movement of the feet while increasing speed. Apart from this, a 6 mm heel-to-toe drop helps to provide underfoot comfort even while running on a rough and steep terrain. There is no chance for the feet to get wet because of the DWR coating that repels water.
Best Minimalist Running Shoes Buying Guide
The weight of the shoe will significantly affect any runner’s performance. It’s the light weight that has immensely increased their popularity. Minimalist shoes do not drag the runner down but they still offer protection and comfort needed for an injury free training and running.
- The Drop from Heel to Toe
They have a lower difference between the height of the heel and the height of the toe from the ground. A drop from zero to four is recommended as it offers a better ground contact.
- The shoe structure
The structure should not be crowded with features. The fewer features the minimalist shoes have, the more minimalist benefits it will offer. It will also give a better bare-foot-running emulation.
Check here our complete list: Best Running Shoes – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide