Barefoot running now has a considerable following all over the world, with specially designed ‘barefoot’ shoes flooding the market and offering the closest feel to running without shoes at all. For runners looking to make the transition into barefoot running, or for those who simply don’t like too much coming in between their feet and the ground, minimalist shoes offer a fair compromise. Such shoes essentially let your foot function as freely as possible and respond to your natural form, while at the same time providing adequate cushioning and protection against injuries.
New Balance Minimus 10v2
The Minimus presents an extremely close barefoot experience with a natural 4mm toe-to-heel drop, along with a light mesh upper, a no-sew forefoot construction that minimizes seam friction and a Vibram outsole. The result is a light, quick-on-your-feet run with maximum outer surface contact and directional traction. There’s also a really cool glow-in-the-dark feature to keep you visible and safe on night or early morning runs.
Asics Gel-Lyte33 3
The Asics Gel-Lyte series is known for providing natural running comfort, and this version comes with a FluidAxis sole that has anatomically correct grooves to align to the joints of your foot, along with a nearly Seamless Upper and Solyte® Midsole to maximize performance while minimizing weight. The lightweight F.A.S.T.™ Heel construction comfortably hugs the foot while use of seamless materials reduces the potential for irritation caused by traditional stitches.
Saucony Kinvara 5
Saucony’s original minimal running shoe is light cushioned and flexible with a low offset design and quick response. The open-mesh upper is a breathable lightweight fabric, while the Memory Foam Heel Pods provide a comfortable and secure fit. Re-designed collar construction creates a plush feel around foot/ankle and the iBR and midfoot outsole pods offer smoother transition, ensuring an injury-free natural running experience.
Altra Superior 2.0
This one is for the trail runners. The Altra Superior 2.0 boasts of a FootShape toe box that lets your toes relax and spread out in trail conditions while the fully cushioned Zero Drop™ platform helps maintain proper form across long distances. TrailClaw™ outsole technology features canted lugs for ultimate grip and there’s even a StoneGuard™ rock protection plate that can be removed when on less demanding terrain.