Benefits of Running in Minimalist Shoes

  • Minimalist shoes encourage a low-impact gait: A lower heel-to-toe drop naturally encourages you to land more on your midfoot or forefoot rather than your heel. Minimalist shoes won’t automatically alter your gait, but they can be a good teaching tool if you want to learn how to run with a midfoot or forefoot strike. (No study has definitively proven that heel striking causes more injuries than forefoot or midfoot striking, but heel striking is generally considered a higher-impact stride.)
  • Minimalist shoes help you feel the ground: Minimalist shoes’ thin cushioning improves your connection to the terrain beneath your feet. Being more in touch with the ground improves “proprioception,” your body’s ability to fine-tune its running mechanics.
  • Minimalist shoes are lighter: Minimalist shoes often weigh less than traditional running shoes by several ounces. This means they require slightly less muscle power in your legs to lift your feet off the ground with each stride. Over many miles, these weight savings can add up—as long as you don’t mind the trade-off of less cushioning.

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