Alright! Here is a list of best minimalist running shoes!
I have divided them into 4 different categories with my top picks in each category. The categories are based off of what shoes you will need according to where you are at in the transitioning process (from beginner to experienced):
If you are not sure which level you fall into see the transition process to determine.
The specific shoe picks in each group are based off of whether they check off the minimalist shoe checklist you see which you can review on the following Shopping Checklist.
Keep in mind when you are trying shoes on, if you are able to answer a resounding "Yes!" to each of the items on the checklist, then you may have found a winner!
Download this minimalist shoe shopping checklist to help you find a shoe that has all the natural features you are looking for. It also includes space for you to right down all the shoes that you come across that you want to try on, research reviews, or possibly buy.
These minimalist running shoes are best for those just starting to make the transition to more natural running shoes.
If you could never see yourself running in a pair of Vibram 5 fingers or barefeet (which I don't advise due to not knowing what you are going to stumble upon) then these shoes are still great options compared to traditional PECH running shoes.
As the name suggests, the following are all zero-drop running shoes. They are the next step in your transitioning to complete minimalist running shoes. They are zero-drop but some of them have a slightly narrower toe box versus a true running shoe. Some also may have more cushioning on the bottoms.
The following minimalist running shoes are termed "barefoot" due to their limited cushioning, wide toe box, and zero toe drop.
Make sure you go through a transitioning process before attempting these shoes!
Barefoot running sandals are about as barefoot as you can get without having your shoes off. There is a minimal sole between you and the ground to allow for proprioception but to protect against dangerous objects on the ground that you might...run into.
The two sandals that have stood out to me in terms of durability, user reviews, and quality are:
So there you go! All the top pics from transitioning to a slightly lower heel-toe drop, to a zero drop shoe, and then to a "barefoot-feel" running shoe and possibly sandal!
1. Don't be a brand snob.
The "best brand" is a very subjective term in the running shoes realm. This is really all about finding the most biomechanically sound, comfortable and healthy shoes for your feet.
2. Make sure you transition properly to each level of minimalist running to avoid placing too much stress on your feet from being poorly adapted.
The link above is a guide that will help you through the process so make sure to check it out.
As far as my plan of action goes:
I have been running in a pair of low heeled Adidas shoes that have a slight, slight arch.
Currently, I will be transitioning to a New Balance Minimus WR00 or a Skora. After I have made those transitions I'm hoping to move on to the Vivobarefoot Evo Pure shoes or else the Vibram Bikilia.
If you have some minimalist shoes that you love, please let me know in the comments!