When it comes to shoes, I’m very particular because I’m a minimalist shoe guy. Minimalist shoes are also known as barefoot shoes because they mimic what it would be like to not be wearing shoes while actually wearing shoes. These types of shoes have numerous health benefits but are limited in selection compared to common shoes found in traditional shoe stores. The good news is that these shoes are starting to become more popular and more businesses are starting to manufacture them.
I have been using minimalist shoes for a few years now and I won’t go back to regular shoes. I have tried many different styles and brands. Before I started wearing barefoot shoes, I had mild back pain when sleeping and early in the morning. After switching away from traditional shoes, the pain went away. It took years, but the shape of my feet changed to a more natural state.
What to look for in your shoes:
- 0-degree drop – From the heel to the toe, your shoes should be flat.
- wide toe box – You want your toes to be able to splay out. Wearing toe socks helps spread out your toes more naturally.
- thin soles – Stay away from too much cushion, you want to be able to feel the ground more.
Benefits to minimalist shoes:
- Better posture, possibly relieving back pain.
- Barefoot shoes cause your feet to use more muscles than traditional shoes, they increase your balance and strength so that you stay sharp on your toes.
- The sensory effects from thin soles help your brain process the way your foot strikes the ground, encouraging correct walking/running form.
- Overall healthy feet because they mimic what nature intended.
Two of my favorite shoe companies are Altra and Vivo Barefoot. I love Altras for their extra-wide toe boxes on some of their shoes, and Vivo for their unique designs. The only thing Altras lack are a shoe with thinner soles. The downside to Vivos are their hefty price tag, so I recommend buying them on clearance to save money. Other popular brands include Merrell, Vibram, Lems, and Xero. Do you wear barefoot shoes? What are some of your favorite shoes or brands?