I’m glad you asked!
Minimalist Shoes are shoes that are shaped like feet, and allow your feet to function as closely to the way they were designed as possible. You may be asking yourself, isn’t this what all shoes do? Unfortunately, no. Modern shoes are NOT shaped like feet, and limit much of the natural movement feet were biologically designed to undertake. Ever wondered why children freak out when you put their shoes on, and initially can hardly take a step in them? Now you know why…
This is so important that I have a whole page and many videos dedicated to the topic here, but this post will serve as a brief overview.
First up, what should you look for in a Minimalist Shoe? In order to fit this category, a shoe has to pass what I call a SHUT Check, which is of course an acronym.
This video breaks down everything you need to know:
Next, an important note on nomenclature. Many companies use the term “Barefoot Shoes,” which drives me absolutely crazy. It’s unclear, confusing, and down right inaccurate. I get that they are trying to say the shoes mimic being barefoot, but anything you wear on your foot will ALWAYS fall short of the actual barefoot experience (which I might add, is worth exploring, but that’s for another post.) That’s why I much prefer the term Minimalist. I dive a little deeper into the importance of clear communication surround footwear in this video:
Lastly, these are my top three minimalist shoe/sandal companies. Note: Because I love them so much, I chose to become an affiliate so I get a small percentage for anything purchased through the following links. If you choose not to use these links, all of these companies are easily findable on Google.
– Xero Shoes