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.

              '18 Goals:

              • Recover from 2017

              • Surgery in March

              • Continue showing Cancer that it's not welcome back. Ever.

              • Rebuild to racing and big running & biking miles in 2019


              Getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to

              remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.    

                   ~ Sarah Kay


                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.

                              Keep smiling

                                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.


                                Ain't nobody's business if I do.