4 types of minimalist running shoes

4 types of minimalist running shoes

One of the most intriguing recent fitness and fashion trends has been the emergence of the “minimalist” running (MR) shoe. These MR shoes reject the padding and weight of traditional running shoes for a light shape that closely conforms to your natural foot. Here’s a quick look at how a few popular brands stack up. 

  • The Vibram FiveFingers line, which weighs in at just 5.7 ounces and contains a pocket for each toe, is perhaps the best-known minimalist shoe, with athletes and couch potatoes alike selecting it as a "fave" for daily use.
  • UK shoemaker Inov-8 released the controversial Evoskin, which resembles a silicone foot-glove. Many were wowed. Others claimed the silicone became slippery, even potentially unsafe due to perspiration during a typical workout.
  • The Onitsuka Tiger's Tai Chi model is sometimes described as a "reduced running" (RR) shoe, or cross between a traditional and minimalist shoes, offering support, but reduced padding.
  • The Merrell Trail Glove has gained popularity for its combination of glove-like fit and light support.


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