How Long Does It Take To Transition To Minimalist Running?

How long does it take to transition to minimalist running? 8 minutes, according to a recent study by Delattre et al., who investigated the time needed for a runner to adopt a forefoot strike in minimalist shoes. Note that the minimalist shoes used in the study were zero-drop.

How Long Does It Take To Transition To Minimalist Running?

How Long Does It Take To Transition To Minimalist Running?

In addition, the researchers found that at the very beginning of the running session, the foot-to-ground angle at touchdown evolved significantly in minimalist shoes.

The runners reached a steady foot strike pattern after 8 minutes of running in minimalist shoes. The researchers concluded that runners may need 8 minutes to fully adapt their foot strike pattern to a new minimalist shoe condition.

However, other work found that less time (5 minutes) was needed for runners to adopt to a new minimalist running shoe condition. And of course, barefoot running required the least amount of time for forefoot strike adoption.

Nevertheless, the findings offer some guidance on a definitive time-frame for forefoot strike adaptation in minimalist shoes as well as information on the specific type of minimalist shoes, zero drop, that are most effective at triggering a prompt change in foot strike pattern.

Now runners can stop haphazardly guessing what shoe is best for forefoot running: zero-dropped or just go barefoot.

Flat Minimalist Shoes Better for Forefoot Strike
Flatter minimalist shoes are better for adopting a forefoot strike.

Be sure to check out my reviews on the most popular minimalist running shoes for forefoot strikers.

More From Run Forefoot:

How heel strike running imposes abusive loads on the Achilles tendon.

Why you keep hurting your ankle when you run.

Create the best mindset when transitioning from heel striking to forefoot striking.

Energize your water with these water-soluble tablets.

Certain running shoes alters foot strike pattern for the worst


Delattre et al. Effect of time during a running session with minimal footwear. Comp Methods Biomech Biomed Eng, 2013; 16(S1):104-105.

Hardin et al. Kinematic adaptations during running:effects of footwear, surface, and duration. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2004; 36(5):838-44.

Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!

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