Three Misconceptions About Minimalist Footwear

Minimalist shoes are designed with little or no drop from heel to toe, like the zero-drop Bare-X made by Inov-8. Photo: Inov-8 www.inov-8.com

Minimalist Shoes Make You More Efficient

Footwear companies love to tell you that minimalist shoes will make you more efficient, but this isn’t backed up by any research.

What the scientific studies do suggest is that the weight of the shoe matters when it comes to efficiency. The heavier the shoe, the less efficient you become. Therefore, when compared to traditional running shoes, minimal shoes allow you to run much more efficiently because they are lighter. Yet, when comparing a minimal shoe to a traditional racing flat or even a lightweight trainer with a 10mm heel-to-toe drop, they are the same. In itself, therefore, a minimal shoe doesn’t make you more efficient.

What footwear can do is allow you to better feel your mechanics and make the changes to your form that eventually enable you to run more efficiently and with fewer injuries.

Shoes are just one piece of the equation. Posture, hip extension, muscle strength, muscle activation, proprioception, and more all contribute to running with better mechanics. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking a specific shoe will cure all your problems. Remember to look at your form and mechanics with a holistic view and work to improve every piece in the puzzle.

RELATED: Shoe Guy: 5 Questions With Tony Post

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