Thoughts on Minimalist Footwear

We've been on the minimalist footwear bandwagon long before there was even a bandwagon to ride. It all started with our love of trail running, minimalism in general, and the book Born to Run. We started with Vibram Fivefingers, which we still use for weight lifting, camping and water hikes, but we have since moved on to other zero-drop brands for running as well as everyday wear. 

Image credit:Β http://www.lemsshoes.com/

Image credit: http://www.lemsshoes.com/

I also need to put this caveat out there, transitioning to minimal shoes is just that...a transition. The mistake a lot of people make is going straight from wearing traditional shoes with a thick sole or heel to jumping right into wearing minimal or straight drop shoes, or even worse, running in them! While my husband and I both run in minimal shoes, it takes quite a while for your feet to adjust and build the necessary muscles needed for support. All this to say, if you want to make the transition to a more minimal, natural shoe, take it slow to prevent injury (this awesome scientist has a lot to say about it and other mind blowing things if you want to read additional information. We may or may not be considering building a floor-level breakfast table).

In the beginning, the selection of minimal shoes was well, minimal (pun intended) and now includes some that are even fashionable, especially for men. Since several companies have cropped up, the selection is much better.

Here are a few we like:
Soft Star Shoes
Lems  Shoes
      + The Boulder Boot and Mariner are two of my favorites.
Merrell Barefoot Line
Vivobarefoot
Minnetonka (look for flat, flexible soles)

The topic of minimal footwear is especially important now because we want our son's feet to be allowed to develop naturally, which can be challenging if we place him in constricting or confining shoes. Thus far in his young little life, he has just been barefoot. But when the day comes, we plan to put him in minimal shoes (that are also completely adorable)! 

The other important aspect is to not wear shoes when you are inside, which is what we do. If you are like us and spend a lot of time at home, this is a great way to help with the transition. We try to implement a no shoes in the house policy anyway just from an OCD cleanliness standpoint. Also,  during the warmer months, we spend a lot of time barefoot on the porch and even (gasp!) in the grass.

One last piece of advice, there are minimal shoes out there that are not for everyone, so be sure to vet the companies and pick one that fits your lifestyle and needs. If fact, for all you runners out there, I would not recommend doing a lot of miles on pavement on concrete period, minimal shoe or not. The load and strain that places on your joints is __ at best. 

As far as fashion is concerned, I still love a great pair of heels, but save them for special occasions. My feet are so much happier! So here's to fashion and function and happier, healthier feet.