Minimalist shoes have been a popular topic for the last few years. If you’re a runner, you will have heard about it. Perhaps, you may have contemplated using them or are using them. These shoes are created to simulate barefoot running. Therefore, they generally have little or no stability in the heel and midfoot. Also, they generally have very good flexibility behind the toes. There is evidence that using these types of shoes improves the strength of the feet over time.
It is important to remember the ‘over time’. Your muscles need time to develop strength. Also, if you have been using shoes with heels, your Achilles tendon may have been shortened. If this is the case, minimalist shoes will put you in greater risk of further injury as many of these are zero drop shoes.
If you are a forefoot or midfoot runner and you’d like to try these types of shoes, we encourage you to progress slowly to minimize your chances of injury. It is important to educate yourself on the merits of this running technique as well as practice these techniques before you go all-in. As they lack the stability in the back part of the foot, they are not recommended for everyday wear around the home, normal walking or running with a heel strike.