Sole Man: 12 Things We Learned About Minimalism

Numerous runners have said running in minimalist shoes has helped them become stronger, more efficient runners. But it's not the answer for everyone. Photo:

Minimalism Isn’t The Answer For Many People

Here’s the deal: Most people aren’t as fit or dynamically strong from their abs to the tips of their toes as they could be. Heck, I’m certainly not. But in order to run in minimalist shoes regularly, you’re much better off if you’re a lean, mean running machine with the foot, leg and core strength to maintain good form for the duration of your run — whether that’s a 2-mile loop around your neighborhood or your next half-marathon or even a long trail run.

That’s not to say that minimalism isn’t the answer for a lot of runners, either on a full-time basis or as a part-time training tool. Not all runners were created equal, so everyone’s experience in minimalist shoes is different. For some, it takes extra time and commitment before the true benefits can be realized. We can all benefit from doing more form drills and dynamic strength exercises like the pedestal routine, but how many of us actually do those things on a regular basis? The truth is most recreational runners go out and run and don’t want to think about it too much. Most aren’t training to get faster or event training at all. Most are just out running and really love cushioned shoes because they feel good. And that’s great if that’s what running is for you. The challenge arose when many of those same runners thought they needed to be in sparsely cushioned minimal shoes and suddenly made a wholesale switch to shoes with less than 10mm of rubber and foam between their feet and the concrete.

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