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barefoot/minimalist running and shoes

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    barefoot/minimalist running and shoes


    I'm already interested in this and have done a fair bit of online research.

    I'd love to hear from any bees who have done or who do barefoot running or who wear barefoot or minimalist shoes of any sort.

    I'm wary of my propensity to fall for hype (although the whole concept makes sense to me), and interested in any practical tips: for example, where I am, I don't think there's a stockist of a genuine barefoot/minimalist shoe where I could try them on, and it's daunting to order something like this over the internet.

    I've just got some Feiyue Shoes ( - like this), which is approaching this style. They were relatively cheap so it's less scary, and I would possibly have got an EU size larger (I got 43 for UK size Men's 9) had I been able to try them on. They're great to wear though and I do recommend them.

    It's unlikely I would run barefoot (other than on the beach), but I am genuinely interested in this style of shoe both for exercise/running and for just being alive in.

    (Not bearfoot shoes, though, they don't suit me!)

    While I don't do barefoot running I do wear/run in zero drop shoes and depending on the pair some are considered minimalist. I wear Altras and my street shoes have very little padding and can squeeze into the minimalist category. My trail shoes have a bit more padding but are still zero drop. I really like the zero drop style now that I've been using them for a long time. They do take a bit to get used to but I prefer them over shoes with a heel.


      Hi Colin I tried the style first seven years ago but it was really hard on my shins so I had to ditch it after the first 3-4 goes. I decided to give it another shot about 6 months ago and I dug up the same pair of shoes I had back then. I've been running in them daily ever since and I love it. This time around I adjusted quickly in a single run and I am now using barefoot footwear to get about, too. I am a bit lighter than I was back then so that may have played a role or my running style evolved throughout the years. I am not sure what's the reason but it really works for me now.

      So I am pro-barefoot but I can definitely say it may not work for everyone and it may not work right away. There are some cheap pairs you can buy to give it a shot before you commit to anything more expensive. There really isn't much to it, the ones I have feel like rubber socks honestly. I have super old vivobarefoot swim&run type. I just got a pair of vibrams (classic style, not the fivefingers) but I haven't tried them yet. They feel a bit more restrictive so I need to run a shorter distance first before I can see what they are like. Overall, if you can you should try it out. I love the feedback you get from the road. I had no knee problems whatsoever or shin pain or anything of a kind. It was a bit harder to run to begin with, there was no "bounce" but I got used to it in less than a week. Right now, that's all I use. So far, so good.

      These are my two cents. I hope this helps!


        I had never tried going barefoot or wearing minimalist shoes until I started going to a muay thai based workout at my local rec centre. That was eight years ago. Until then I wore the usual thick soled shoes and heavy safety boots for work, and rubber boots on the farm. Many of my generation were brought up with the idea that our feet need "support" and "protection".
        The muay thai class was held in room with a padded floor. It took me a few weeks to get used to working out barefoot, but the floor allowed for a transition time. I now work out at a different muay thai gym, with a hard floor, and I have no problem with it.
        But a weird thing happened. About two years after I started the muay thai classes, and opting for lighter and roomier footwear, I discovered something while on vacation. While walking along the deck beside a pool, I happened to look back, and saw that my footprints had arches! I'd had flat feet my entire life - my footprints always looked like rectangles with toes. Now, (and I was already over 50 by this point) my foot prints were actually foot-shaped!
        I also found that some of my old shoes no longer fit. My feet had become a bit wider and bigger around. It was a bit of a surprise, but it makes sense that you can build muscle in your feet the same as you can through the rest of your body.
        I have worn Feiyue shoes (and think they're great), and I wear trail shoes made by Xero, a company based in Colorado.
        I'd advise anyone interested in going minimal or barefoot to give yourself time for a transition, gradually building up the strength and flexibility in your feet. Go barefoot in your house or apartment, doing short walks, runs and workouts in minimalist shoes for a few months and build up the time. And be careful about proper alignment of your ankles, knees and hips.


          This is brilliant, thank you all so much!

          Thanks, Azercord! I'm definitely looking for flat, zero drop shoes.

          neilarey Thank you, Neila!

          Greybeard Thank you! It's through Xero promotion by Al Kavadlo (my favourite YouTube fitness/strong man) that I got interested in this subject. I really appreciate the tips too.

          I am somewhere along this path then. I used to wear slippers at home, but I've stopped that. I have the Feiyue shoes and they're great (it's like not wearing shoes). I bought some new trainers the other day, they're flat soled and I've taken the inner soles out to give me more room in there. I'm looking for wider shoes. I do need to keep an eye on my ankle in particular as I can overextend (I broke my leg when I was younger and I think I have a length differential). I haven't been out in the Feiyues yet - the weather is very bad here. I'd love to buy a pair of Xeros but I need to haev the money and be confident about sizing online as it's not possible to but them in a story in the UK. I'll have a look at Vibrams too, thanks Neila. The brand Azercod mentions aren't available in the UK I don't think.


            Originally posted by Colin View Post
            I used to wear slippers at home, but I've stopped that.
            I work from home and spend more time in Schladminger H├╝ttenschuhe than any other shoe, esp. in winter. They have a thick (~2mm) piece of leather for a sole and thats it. Does not get any closer to barefoot, than the real thing.
            All the best


              Hey, there! I am a barefoot/minimalist barefoot runner. I have spent most years running fully barefoot, but last year, I started wearing Vivobarefoot shoes for lifting and running. I've tried other types of zero-drop shows, but I find these to be the best. They last a long time despite the beating I give them. Also, just a friendly heads up, before you run barefoot, WALK! Walk barefoot for small distances to start and work your way up.


                Thank you, Andi64, and thank you, WHOLEPERSONAL - good advice, taken on board.


                  I tried to run barefoot some years ago, and I started to like it until I stepped on a piece of glass and injured my feet.