Safely Transitioning To A Minimalist Running Shoe

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Jan. 4, 2013
  • Updated Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:46 AM UTC

Progressing Your Mileage

It should go without saying that you need to cautiously progress the amount of running you do when switching to minimalist running shoes. Begin with some short 20 to 30-second accelerations in your minimalist shoes after an easy run in traditional trainers. Once you’re comfortable in your new kicks, progress to 3 to 5 minutes of minimalist running every other day and slowly add 3-5 minutes each week, focusing on landing softly with an efficient midfoot strike.

When transitioning to less of a shoe, begin your run in your chosen minimalist model and after your allotted time is up for the day, switch to your regular training shoes. This will help transfer some of the feel and landing patterns to your stride when you return to traditional shoes.

Most importantly, listen to your body and be patient. I can’t stress this enough. Changing movement patterns takes time. If you feel a part of your lower leg or foot become excessively sore, back off from your minimalist shoes for a day or two, or take an extra day of rest. If you progress slowly and remain patient throughout the transition process, you’ll be running without worry in minimalist shoes before you know it.

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FILED UNDER: Barefoot Running / Training TAGS: / / / /

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

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