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Best Minimalist Running Shoes: 3 Great Options To Protect Your Feet


When done properly, minimalist running is a great way to:

  • Strengthen atrophied muscles
  • Correct running posture
  • Conserve energy by running more efficiently

If you’re ready to ditch your traditional running shoes for a cheaper, healthier, more enjoyable option, here are 3 of the best minimalist running shoes that give you the barefoot running experience while protecting your soles.

#1 – The Best On The Market: Vibram Five Fingers

Vibram was the first to widely market a minimalist running shoe. As a result, their barefoot running shoes quickly became immensely popular.

With a thin rubber bottom and individual toe holes, these shoes fit the foot like a glove.

On the down side, these barefoot shoes carry a hefty price tag of $75 and up.

On the plus side, they do last for significantly longer than traditional running shoes, since padding compaction is not an issue and Vibram uses top-quality materials.

There are lots of different styles of Vibram FiveFingers barefoot shoes to choose from. Two of the most popular for running are:

#2 – An Easy DIY: Huarache Running Sandals

Derived from the traditional sandals of the Tarahumara Indians, these running sandals can be obtained in many ways.

Traditionally, huarache sandals were constructed from a thin leather sole and leather laces.

Modern huarache sandals can be made at home with many different materials — including recycled rubber and nylon sheets, car tires, and chord.

Huarache sandals are open on top, and they only provide a thin layer along the sole of the foot for protection.

You can easily make your own huarache sandals by sizing your foot, punching a few holes, and tying the chord.

Here are some DIY instructions:

#3 – Best For Winter Running: Moccasins

Moccasins are soft leather shoes that are ideal for minimalist running in the winter.

They have a huge advantage over the Vibram FiveFingers due to their warmth.

You can even add a sock inside the moccasins for running in snow and cold weather.

Here are some popular styles of running moccasins:

Clearly, if you’re ready to take the leap into barefoot running, there are plenty of options.

One thing that’s in your favor: minimalist running shoes tend to last longer than normal running shoes (which have an expiration date of 6 months to a year for regular runners).

They also help you to experience a running style that makes you a stronger and more efficient runner over time.

More Minimalist Running Shoes