The minimalist running shoes transition from well build running shoes that allow the feet to function normally, and to avoid heel-striking which we get when we are using a running shoes. To make sure that you get the best out of minimalist running, a proper form is required. You should look at yourself and make sure you address the impact on your stride.
Make sure you check out our Better Understanding of Pronation: Finding The Right Running Shoes For You to understand more about your running form and stride.
Today, we will check out the best minimalist running shoes in 2015, and see the pros and cons in them. Make sure you check them out and see if they can help you transition into minimalist running.
Types of Minimalist Shoes
Barefoot Running Shoes
Barefoot shoes offers the closest feel to truly feel barefoot. The soles provides a bare minimum protection from hazards on the ground. Many of barefoot shoes have no cushion in the heel or a very thin layer between your foot and the ground.
There are shoes that offers zero drop from heel to toe, traditional running shoes does offer 10-12mm drop from the heel. People with high arches have the shortest break-in with fewest problems, though heavily pronating runners may struggle to the lack of support.
Minimalist Running Shoes
Traditional running shoes, is another way most runners transition into barefoot running. They feature lightweight construction, little to no arch support and heel drop to 4-8mm. Some minimalist shoes may offer stability to help the over-pronating runner transition to barefoot running motion.
Best Minimalist Running Shoes
Merrell Bare Access Trail
If you’re a distance runner or new on the path to barefoot running, the Bare Access 3 zero drop running shoes give you a barefoot feel by letting your feet land flat, while offering more toe to heel cushioning. The easy-wash breathable mesh upper hugs your feet and keeps them cool and fresh. Reflective details keep you seen on the streets.
Pros: small amount of comfort and protection for long trail days, breathable material, durable
Cons: not suited for sleek roads, tends to be slippery
Merrell Allout Fuse
The Merrel Allout Fuse is very responsive and flexible, these minimalist running shoes will let you go out on the trail. It’s features will help you for the best run you’ll have, in terms of responsiveness and control. The Uni-Fly impact absorption will handle the soft landings and firm takeoff. The multi-directional M-Select GRIP traction for animal-like agility over any terrain.
Pros: the AllOut Fuse’s run is firm but still remains soft enough for short jogs, good shoes for short to medium road runs
Cons: Not perfectly flat, has a slight rise from the heel to toe
Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO
The Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO has a great balance between comfy and security, the heel uses KMD and the thin and yet flexible sole of EL-X. The Vibram EL-X are really great running shoe and gym shoe (be careful with dropping weights though)
Pros: KSO are the most versatile shoes from Vibram to date, great design and not slippery on wet terrain
Cons: Run with less movement, buy one size larger
Merrell Road Glove
The Merrell Road Glove has its design from it’s sibling Trail Glove. This minimalist shoe has zero drop can be used for casual wear, it’s so comfortable for walking and standing on hard surfaces. This is also great for your go-to shoes on different road work.
Pros: Merrell Road Glove is versatile, offers a better traction and will keep your foot dry
Cons: Has a wider heel cushion, stiff upper
Merrell Bare Access 3
If you’re onto distance running, or new to barefoot running the Merrell Bare Access 3 is the one for you. Offers zero drop running shoes that will give you a barefoot feel, and still offers toe to heel cushioning. Breathable mesh upper that hugs your feet while keeping them cool and fresh.
Pros: Very versatile running shoe and comfortable, the shoe actually hugs your foot and it’s lightweight
Cons: Collar is a bit harsh on runners feet, has a bit of high arch to some runners
Mizuno Wave Universe
Mizuno Wave Universe is one of the best and lightest running shoes to date, and it offers great comfort. The Universe is a great minimalist shoe to provide strength training and your to-go shoes when you fell like running.
Pros: Very light, offers great comfort while running
Cons: Not durable and won’t last long
New Balance Minimus Trail
The New Balance Minimus Trail will help you improve your trail running performance, this shoe offers a natural running technique and great traction that you need on a high mileage runs. The Minimus Trail offers protection, and has a 4mm heel to toe drop. This is a great shoe alternative between trail and road.
Pros: The shoes offers breathable material, very responsive and can be used on trail running because it dries quickly
Cons: Not designed for slippery steep slopes, very thin material, not good if you’re looking for a more cushioned protective shoe
Inov-8 X-Talon 200
Inov-8 X-Talon 200 is a new breed of running shoes, the special neutral shoe is created to benefit those runners who want to up their performance in more challenging races and tracks. They designed the shoe that is meant for off-road and trail running, though many runners use it for all-around running shoes.
Pros: Lightweight running shoes, waterproof – great for trail running, can be used as go-to shoes when you can’t decide what to use
Cons: Low drop of 3mm causes discomfort to some runners
Inov-8 X-Talon 212
Inov-8 X-Talon 212 is a running shoe that makes sure you are comfortable while running, it also offers a great fit, cushioning and stability support. Some runners calls this as a perfect running shoe to use when having to face challenging terrains.
Pros: Offers great comfort, and will last long because of the durability of the shoe
Cons: Slippery when the terrain is wet, be careful using this on the trail
Merrell Trail Glove
The Merrell Trail Glove will help you achieve a different level in trail running, with very natural feel, traction and over-all performance. The very low heel to toe drop, will give you a good feel on your runs. If you are serious on your minimalist running, you should add this to your collection.
Pros: Offers good fit with wide front, better traction for trail running, and breathable material to keep your foot dry
Cons: Wear this shoe with socks, to avoid your feet being scraped of by the materials inside the shoe
When choosing a minimalist running shoes, always make sure you do the proper adjustments to your running. It’s a different world to run in a minimalist shoe, and it takes a lot of time to getting used to, but the rewards will be great. What’s your favorite from the list? Let us know in the comments below!