Sole Man: 12 Things We Learned About Minimalism

  • By Brian Metzler
  • Published Aug. 29, 2013
  • Updated Sep. 2, 2013 at 6:44 PM UTC
If nothing else, the minimalist revolution provided a much-needed fresh outlook on shoe design. Photo: Brian Metzler

Minimalism Changed How We Think About Running Shoes

Thanks in part to the minimalist trend, running shoes have gotten a lot lighter across the board in recent years. A few years ago, everyday trainers typically tipped the scales in the 10- to 13-ounce range (for a men’s size 9). But new manufacturing techniques, new materials and the “less is more” ethos gained from the minimalist revolution has resulted in many everyday trainers weighing in between 6.5 and 10 ounces

Plastic support shanks and thick sewn-on upper overlays have been replaced by naturally flexing shoes with seamless airy mesh uppers “welded” together with lightweight TPU support bands. Plus, most shoes are lower to the ground and have less of a slope from heel to toe. While there are still some heavy, overbuilt shoes with flashy features that offer little or no performance value, most contemporary running shoes are built with running performance and natural foot motion as two of the primary design criteria.

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FILED UNDER: Shoes and Gear / Sole Man / Staff Blog TAGS: / / / / / / /

Brian Metzler

Brian Metzler

Brian Metzler is the editor-in-chief of Competitor magazine. He has raced every distance from 50 yards to 100 miles and run in more than 700 pairs of running shoes in the past 25 years. You can reach him at

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