Do Minimalist Shoes Work?

If you wrestle with the idea of barefoot running or running in minimalist shoes, in this post, I’m going to provide some convincing insights that affirms that you have a better chance of developing a more efficient and safe forefoot running style in minimalist shoes as compared with thick cushioned running shoes.

Do Minimalist Running Shoes Work?
One of the many reasons minimalist shoes are better for you is they give a greater sense of the landing surface which was found to do more to un-stress the entire body as compared with thick cushioned running shoes.

The big problem with traditional running shoes is they have too much stiff cushioning under the heel, which has an outsized influence in facilitating a heel strike tied to more all-around force components than landing with a forefoot strike in a barefoot-inspired shoe. This is why many people are taking up barefoot running or minimalist running, and report not only a significant drop in injury and muscle soreness, but report that running feels more true, effortless and natural. This is probably because the paper-thin sole gives a better sense of the ground which was found to engage the brain in a unique manner that activates the body’s neuromuscular and reflexive machinery that allows you to completely avoid high impact collisions.

It’s for all these reasons elite runners, like Camille Herron (shown below)  are incorporating barefoot/minimalist running in their training regiment.

Do Minimalist Shoes Work?
Camille Herron, now an elite marathoner, was a ‘hobby jogger’ who struggled with endless injuries. After learning about the health and performance benefits of barefoot and minimalist running, she became a minimalist runner which helped springboard her running performance to a whole new level!

To give more positive momentum to the minimalist and barefoot running movement, I thought it would be important to discuss an inspiring and informational article on a ‘hobby jogger’ who went from running in traditional footwear to becoming an elite marathoner with the aid of running barefoot and in minimalist footwear.

The article featured Camille Herron, who is now a 2hr:37min elite marathoner with an even more impressive record at the ultra-running distance level. In the article, Herron described her journey of transitioning from traditional running shoes to running barefoot and in minimalist running shoes, and she also outlined many of the known drawbacks of training in traditional trainers and made inferences about how such footwear can impede performance gains via weakening the feet.

Ultimately, Herron’s experience certainly expands the anecdotal evidence affirming that running in traditional running shoes with orthotics does not consistently work well to prevent injury or enhance performance.

Herrons remarks are so compelling in helping marshal the evidence that a runner will flourish if they adopt a more barefoot/minimalist lifestyle. At the same time, there’s plenty of scientific data supporting the anecdotes, too! You can find the article here featured on the Running Centers website which is operated by Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, a barefoot/minimalist running advocate. I hope you enjoy the article as I did!!

Finally, speaking of scientific data, here are more evidence-backed reasons minimalist shoes literally work for everyone!

If you enjoyed my post, you’ll love my YouTube channel, here, where I show why forefoot running is better than heel strike running in every day!
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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!