Running in "minimalist" shoes (Read 512 times)

ROD in Miami

    I read Born To Run in hardcover pretty much as soon as it came out and thoroughly enjoyed it just as a great well-written running story.  But I had no idea when I read it that it would prompt the huge, and kind of hypee, fad in "barefoot-style" or "minimalist" running shoes.  (I was frankly surprised later when the fad emerged because I recall that the only "gringo" who insisted on running quasi-barefoot was kind of ridiculed in the story.)


    One good thing about over-hyped fads though is that they often leave behind them, once everyone calms down, good lasting changes of a less radical degree.


    For myself, although I have absolutely zero interest in ever running so much as ten-yards barefoot, I must admit that in the midst of all this I've tried some of the minimalist offerings and I now find that I enjoy running in shoes that are much lower to the ground, less cushioned, and just simpler than I did for my first few decades of running (yes, I'm that geriatric).


    So my question: How many of you have had your running shoe preferences significantly shifted in that direction over the last few years?


      I run in shoes.



      Born to Run guy is dead.


        I run barefoot and started doing so before the book came out. I did so to save money. Besides, when I started there weren't minimalist shoes and there were only two people on the internet who advocated running barefoot - KenBob and Rick.


          I have an arsenal of shoes that include Merrell Road Gloves, New Balance MT10s, Hokas and shoes in-between. I believe each of these shoes serve a purpose and give my body a slightly different workout, although I have a forefoot strike regardless of footwear. For example, Hokas are great for long, hilly runs, while the Road Gloves are great for shorter recovery or general aerobic runs.


          A few years ago, I started running in traditional shoes. More recently, I have found great benefits in minimal shoes. I strongly prefer a zero or minimal drop shoe, and most likely won't consider a shoe with a drop of more than 4mm. I love the feel of the minimal shoes. However, the Hokas, which have a 4mm drop, are great for long runs and are much easier on my body, especially on the downhills.

          Marathon: 2:48:49 (Boston 2014) - Half: 1:22:11 (Berkeley 2013)

          2x sub-24 100 mile finisher

          Next: Big Sur Marathon - Blog: http://jbfinn.blogspot.com/

            I have no idea how to answer the poll. I picked "A".

            Runners run.

            Princess Cancer Pants

              I fall between A and B.  I wear shoes that are somewhat more minimal than what I wore 5 years ago, but not hugely so (I went from wearing very mild stability performance trainers to Nike Free Runs).  I mostly wear minimal shoes because my peroneal tendons get pissed if I'm in a shoe that is at all stiff from heel-to-toe.  I've never read BTR or any Chi running stuff.

              '17 Goals:

              • Chemo

              • Chemo-Radiation

              • Surgery

              • Return to kicking my own ass by 2018


              She was not strong. She was valiant. Radiant. Brave and broken. The beauty she discovered in the aftermath was unparalleled to anything she had known before, because it had come at such a cost.

              ~ Unknown


                I've gone from running in 'stability' shoes to running in 'neutral' shoes.  But they both have lots of cushioning and a steep drop from heel to toe.



                Running is stupid


                  I went from running most of my miles in racing flats five years ago to running in New Balance Minimus shoes now.

                    I run in a lot of different types of shoes now - minimalist, zero-drop, flats, xc spikeless, trainers, trail shoes.  The only commonality is that they are all neutral and fairly lightweight (the heaviest shoe I have right now is about 9.5 ounces).  For years I ran EVERYTHING in ASICS DS Trainers which I, now, cannot bear to even run a step in those bricks.  Started exploring other shoes when I started racing and training a lot more than I used to.  


                      I run in running shoes, because I really don't like the feel of barefoot, but I do opt for a lower heal drop.  Saucony Kinvaras are my shoe of choice.

                        Born to Run got me to try running again after a 14 or 15 year gap. Bought VFF's, eased into it, changed my gait, quickened my cadence, and started tracking my miles here. I've retired the VFF's, and now have a bunch of shoes with 0 to 4 mm offset.

                        old woman w/hobby

                          For the most part I have been running in 4mm drop shoes for the past 2 years.

                          Previous to that it was Pegasus and ASICS Gel Pulse.


                          mta:  I didn't read 'Born To Run' though I tried to.  I couldn't get through it.

                                  Found it a boring read.



                          Just run.

                            I haven't read the book. I wasn't really running 5 years ago. I don't know what "more minimalist" would mean really. Is that like a little pregnant?



                            Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
                            We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

                              I am between B & C.  I train in "traditional" shoes, Vibrams, and very little barefoot.  I will wear the minimalist shoes for a race, but will not consider barefoot in a race until I become too ancient to have a chance to PR or win an AG award.

                              And in the end...

                                I believe in changing up shoes regularly.  I think that running in a specific shoe for a long period of time will cause weaknesses in whatever areas are supported.  To me, it's better to switch up shoes regularly.  That said, I race in the lightest shoe I can get away with.  Currently, that's the Mizuno Universe at 3.8oz.


                                Fuck it. I'm gonna PR this fall. Let's do this.