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What is the Best Definition for "Minimalist Running Shoes"?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Kevin Kirby, Sep 9, 2011.

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    Due to the lack of an adequate definition for what constitutes a "minimalist running shoe", I would like if anyone can give me a precise and specific definition of a "minimalist running shoe". In other words, what is the maximum shoe weight (size 9 mens), maximum heel height differential, maximum heel sole thickness, maximum forefoot sole thickness and any other parameters that must be met before a shoe can be considered as a "minimalist running shoe" and not be considered a "traditional running shoe"? In other words, what is the transition point in these shoe design parameters between a "minimalist running shoe" and a "traditional running shoe"?

    I would think that this question would be fairly easy to answer. However, it seems that the "minimalist shoe" tag is increasingly being used by shoe manufacturers for shoes which are much thicker-soled and higher-heeled from the thin sole-lightweight-0 mm heel height differential shoes, such as the Vibram FiveFinger, that is considered by many as the most notable of the minimalist shoes.

    Or is the term "minimalist running shoe", a term that is determined solely by the opinion of the individual, subjective in nature, and therefore unable to be mathematically quantified and scientifically studied?
  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I would define a minimalist running shoe as a shoe that very closely mimics the barefoot running action.
  3. How, then, does the layperson or podiatrist determine when a shoe "very closely mimics the barefoot running action" and when a shoe "does not very closely mimic the barefoot running action"?
  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I think a number of the so-called 'minimalist' running shoes do not meet that definition. Many of them maybe should called 'zero drop' for having no heel/forefoot differential.

    Maybe we need to rethink the running shoe terminology in a similar way we do with foot orthotic design features.... ie there are a multitude of different running shoe design features that need to be matched up to the individual runner --- 'minimalist', 'zero-drop', etc are nothing more than design features on the spectrum of options.
  5. markcucu

    markcucu Member

    Great question which we all hear daily. This is my reply as a runner and physicain treating lots of runners.

    For starters let us define how we interpret minimalism, a minimalist shoe, the risks, and the gradual progress.

    What is Minimalism?
     Free the foot to develop naturally
     Look for the least amount of shoe you can safely wear now
     Work toward reducing the amount of shoe necessary through strengthening the foot and improving your stride
     Running is a natural movement of the body, rather than an unnatural act that requires pads and braces to perform safely
     Embraces the notion that the beefier the shoe, the more a runner's natural stride is inhibited

    What is a Minimalist Shoe?
     Complements Natural Foot Function
     Heel to toe drop is very low
     Material under the foot is thin….allowing maximum ground feel
     Upper Soft and Flexible
     Light Weight and Flexible

    Effects of a Modern Running Shoe?
     Impairs your natural bounce
     Promotes heel striking
     Alters your natural lever (heel lift)
     Creates unstable base
     Causes loss of sensory input
     Causes skin atrophy
     Creates unhelpful movement memory

    What are the Risks of Minimalism?
     Foot is NOT guided into Running Stride
     Feet need to do some of the work and need to get strong
     If form is incorrect and you are not strong in the right places you may develop soreness….so listen to your body and progress gradually

    How to go Minimal?
     Take it slow at first
     Add distance gradually
     The more minimal the shoe the more adaptation it will take
     Progress through the stages of Shoes from Neutral/Transition to Minimalist to Barefoot Style
     Do some Barefoot Running &Walking!

    For early adapters who are weak in their foot and hip stabilizers a minimal shoe may be what we call a “neutral –transition shoe”, such as a Newton Isaac or Altra Intuition. For the 16yo efficient high school runner, maybe a true “barefoot sytle”.
    Now how do we define shoes? This is on our wall too and the shoes are displayed this way in the Natural Running Center Shoe section http://naturalrunningcenter.com/naturalrunningcenter-shoereviews/

    Barefoot-Style Shoe
     Your feet “feel” the ground
     Thinnest layer of protection between foot and ground
     Heel and toes are level
     Land on the midfoot/forefoot
     Lightweight

    Minimalist Running
     Some cushiony comfort
     Little to no heel-to-toe area drop
     Enhanced ground feel with feet
     Soft, flexible shoe moves with feet
     Ideal for all surfaces– road, trail, track

     Similar protection to most running shoes but without elevated heel
     Little to no heel-to-toe area drop
     Foot is in natural position
     Encourages midfoot/forefoot landing
     Ideal “starter” shoe for transitioning runners to minimalist/barefoot-style

    Mark Cucuzzella
    Professor of Family Medicine West Virginia University
  6. Mark:

    First of all, welcome to Podiatry Arena. :welcome:

    Thanks for your extended reply. I value your views on this subject. I need your opinion on a few questions since I am having difficulty getting straight answers on this subject. Could you answer the following questions for me? (Please assume that all my questions apply to a size 9 men's US size shoe.)

    1. What is the maximum heel drop (i.e. heel height differential) in order for a running shoe to still be considered to be "minimalist"?

    2. What is the maximum shoe weight in order for a running shoe to still be considered to be "minimalist"?

    3. What is the maximum sole thickness plantar to the forefoot in order for a running shoe to still be considered to be "minimalist"?

    4. What is the maximum sole thickness plantar to the rearfoot in order for a running shoe to still be considered to be "minimalist"?

    5. What is the minimum toe box depth in order for a running shoe to still be considered to be "minimalist"?

    6. How many of the five shoe design parameters listed above need to be present in order for a shoe to still be considered to be "minimalist" and not be considered as a "transitional" or "traditional" running shoe?

    7. Which of the five shoe design parameters listed above do you consider to be the most important in creating the shoe design goals of a "minimalist running shoe"?
  7. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Yes, I’ve been thinking likewise as the term "minimalist" does seem to be used rather loosely these days since the official advent of the movement a few years ago (putting aside the fact that some runners have been training in officially deemed racing flats as opposed to the traditional/conventional training shoe for some time now). There are some shoes labelled "minimalist" or are cited within the 'barefoot' realm to "mimic barefoot running" which clearly doesn't meet the nature of the term of minimalist i.e. Newton shoes, Reebok RealFlex.

    The characteristics mentioned below are somewhat related to each other i.e. reduced heel/forefoot differential will cut down on weight; reduced midsole thickness will also cut down on weight as well as usually provide greater shoe flexibility (thus reduce inhibiting natural foot motion).

    I know size 9 is the shoe industry benchmark but I can only go by personal experience i.e. size 11 or 10.5. I suppose one can do a Google search of the minimalist shoes they have in mind & acquire the stats/specs for these shoes (might do this one day myself). I have found that the minimalist shoes I have weigh around 4 - 7oz. I feel probably 8oz would be the upper limit for minimalist running shoes. The traditional training shoe does tend to be around 10 - 14oz & this would vary between the deemed structure of shoe i.e. a "Neutral" shoe should normally weigh less than a "Control" shoe.

    There seems to be a common 4mm heel/forefoot differential in many deemed "minimalist" running shoes going by my experience (i.e. Nike Free 3.0, N.B MT10). I don't know why 4mm has been so popular... is it a transition reason? I know 4mm is not much but I personally feel the criteria for minimalist shoes should be a standard 0mm - keep it simple - just 0mm - as is the foot.

    - New Balance MT110. In fact New Balance has brought out a shoe with a 0mm drop... NB Minimus Zero ... this site has a good write-up on minimalist shoes & the comparisons between the New Balance minimalist range.

    - Here is the Saucony range: Mirage (8.9oz, 4mm differential); Kinvara 2 (7.7oz, 4mm differential) & Hattori (4.4oz, 0mm differential). I am currently running in the Hattori as well as the Nike Free 3.0 at the moment. Hattori feels good (although the sizing is smaller than Nike).

    * Other examples of heel/forefoot differentials:
    - Newton - Sir Isaac: 7mm (measured at middle actuator lugs).
    - Nike - Free Run+: 7mm.
    - Nike - Lunaracer: 6mm.
    - Nike - Free 3.0 v2: 4mm
    - Brooks - Mach 11 XC: 4mm.
    - Vibram - Fivefingers Classic: 0mm (same across the range, however sole thickness does vary between models).

    There is actually a shoe company that specializes in "zero drop footwear" (& the "zero drop" has now been trademarked - can you believe it! :craig: ). It is called... "Altra".

    I have personally thought about a running shoe with a "negative heel" that is a shoe with a forefoot height greater than heel height. I can see this being another option in shoe structure as a means to suit those who forefoot/midfoot strike or want to use as a training tool.

    The following two characteristics are related to each other (i.e. heel & forefoot "sole thickness") - particularly when one is looking for a 0mm heel/forefoot differential i.e. heel thickness will be the same as the forefoot thickness. Hence I feel midsole thickness should probably be dependent on the terrain the shoe is designed for i.e. a bit thicker for trails as opposed to the road i.e. 20mm thickness for a trail shoe & a range of around 5 - 15mm for smoother surfaces.

    Hence, probably the upper limit for "minimalist" midsole thickness should be 20mm.

    See above...

    I think the above characteristics/parameters cover it fairly well. However, there's quite a large difference in the above character traits in the "traditional running shoe" realm based on the structure of the shoe i.e. Neutral, Support/Guidance & Control i.e. the Neutral Brooks Glycerin is lighter & more flexible than the Brooks Beast; yet both shoes have a heel/forefoot differential greater than 4mm, have midsole thickness greater than 20mm & weigh more than 8oz.

    I think shoe flexibility could be another parameter but like I said earlier - this would normally be acquired in the shoe if the above characteristics are followed i.e. midsole EVA thickness kept to 20mm max - with probably "flex grooves" added at the PMA region of sole.

    - Another parameter could be toe box width – to accommodate metatarsal/phalangeal splay.

    - Could "cushioning" be a parameter? However, this also would be limited by the above stated specs for minimalist footwear i.e. 20mm max midsole height.

    Yes, I heard the "minimalist shoe" realm has acquired a large enough following/recognition for it to be financially viable for running shoe companies to sit up, take notice & design their own.

    I personally feel there should be boundaries placed on the category of "minimalist footwear"... our guide should be the obvious - the natural human foot (let's consider/analyse what we can see before us with a remarkably designed structure). Minimalist shoes should serve as a means for protection without intentions to control, alter or inhibit the individual's natural foot motion via the likes of "medial midsole posts", "roll bars' etc...

    I suppose the next thing to consider is who can run in this type of footwear as well as the transition period for its use & subsequently what percentage of their training can be done in the minimalist shoe without some individuals meeting their injury threshold too soon. Some basic guidelines have & should be continually endorsed when this topic is discussed i.e. gradual adaptation, transition rates etc... This said, the answer lies within the individual... that is it will vary between individuals based on shoe experience/history, running mechanics, running form, muscle/tendon integrity/strength, fitness etc...
  8. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    Minimalist running shoe is surely a marketing term designed to pull in those poor saps who want to run barefoot but at least have the sense to know that the foot needs a little protection whilst performing an activity for which it has not (for most of us) adapted.

    As such is the term really worthy of debate?
  9. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Kevin, in the other thread where I started this discussion, I listed the shape of the last that the shoe is built on as one of the most important defining characteristics of a minimal shoe, at least in differentiating it from a racing flat. How would you propose measurement of the last for comparison? Since shoe lasts are protected as highly proprietary by the shoe companies, how would you propose even obtaining that information for comparison?

    The last includes the entire shape of the foot, not just the height of the toe box.

  10. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    The term "minimalist running shoe" is nothing more than a language short cut that implies that a shoe possesses a certain set of characteristics. The term also implies that the shoe may be classified in certain sub categories such as a "barefoot shoe", "toe shoe", "light weight performance shoe" or "racing flat".

    The minimalist term was never intended as a label for a precise and finite set of design parameters.

    If one was to go about the task of assigning a precise and finite set of design parameters to the label minimalist, they would need to also assign a precise and finite set of design parameters to the traditional shoe. Within the traditional shoe, a delineation of precise and finite design parameters would need to be established within it's sub categories. Some of those sub categories are "motion control shoes", "stability shoes", "neutral shoes", "cushioned shoes", "high mileage shoes", "entry level shoes". A set of precise and finite design parameters would also need to be established for the "running shoe". Are low cut "hiking shoes" included? "tonining shoes"? "walking shoes"? "sandals"? What about the classification of "trail shoe" and "road shoe" that extend across the "minimalist shoe" and "traditional shoe" and the subcategories within those classifications. If a shoe possesses the characteristics of multiple classifications, do we create a new classification, the "Hybrid shoe"?

    In the shoe industry today, with all of the manufacturers and models of shoes, they essentially form a continuum along each of a somewhat open ended set of design parameters. The open ended set of continuum stretch past what might be defined as a running shoe and within the running shoe classification, the set of continuum run across the many sub categories and sub sub categories. To arbitrarily draw lines along the many continuum in order to classify shoes according to some label is pointless.

    Even if you could make yourself feel good about where those lines were placed, what would you mathematically quantify or scientifically study? I do know that trying to isolate a singe characteristic in a multi-variant model is no small task. How could you possibly do it with a shoe that possess multiple design characteristics each of which influence the performance of the other characteristics and potentially the performance of the subject wearing the shoes?

    '*** Edited by Mod *****

    In the 1970's there were a handful of shoe manufacturers making a handful of shoe models. At the time they easily classified the small number of shoe models on the market into a few simple categories, the "racing flat" and "training shoe". In time, they even got fancy and added the sub categories of "board lasted", "slip lasted", "straight lasted" and "curve lasted". With the few models of shoes, one could easily assign the few classifications to the shoes and be done with it.

    Now that it is 40 years later, the concept of classification can only be used to help guide the consumer in the general direction of a specific type of shoe to aid them in their buying decision. You simply can not fit the classification scheme the shoe industry of the 1970's used into today's market. You can also not assume that what was defined as a racing flat in 1972 would fit in the same definition of a racing flat in 2011. You can also not fit the minimal shoe concept of 2011 into the racing flat concept of 1972.

    In terms of mathematical quantification and scientific study, shoes must be looked at along multiple continuum not in classifications. For those compelled to undertake scientific study, they will need to define a finite set of parameters along finite points on multiple continuum. Trying to conduct a scientific study on a classification of shoes would not lead to consistent and repeatable results.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2011
  11. Athol Thomson

    Athol Thomson Active Member

    I agree that the combo of increased milage and lack of rest will eventually cause injury regardless of footwear. The problem is finding the mileage threshold each patient can attain before injury occurs.

    It is so subject specific.

    With such subject-specific responses to running shoes is it possible that certain shoes change the mileage threshold achievable for different patients? No matter what level they are at. (to ambiguous?)

    I'm off for my last few beers for a month or two.

    Baby number Two due in 2 weeks.

    Take it easy Simon,
  12. *** Edit by mod ****

    . That point being that certain shoes are better to run in than other shoes. For example, how far or how quickly would one be able to run in a pair of stilettos with a four inch heel compared to the same individual running in a purpose designed pair of running shoes? Why should there potentially be a difference in performance between the two designs of footwear which an individual is running in? Taking these extreme examples is not random, it should provide a good starting point to thinking about this.

    Question: would a person running in stilettos with a 4" heel height differential adopt a heel strike gait?

    So is it the heel-height differential or the stiffness of the heel which is significant or both?

    Really though, bed now.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2011
  13. Orthican

    Orthican Active Member

    I am just shooting this out and will possibly feel some wrath here,
    however, in my humble opinion a minimalist shoe would be one that can be classified as protective only and have no effect on the movement of the foot on the ground under body load during any accelerative effort of the body over that shoe. In other words, kinetically inert. There must be no kinematically measurable difference from shod to non shod condition.
  14. Orthi:

    How, then, does the layperson or podiatrist determine when a shoe is "protective only and have no effect on the movement of the foot on the ground under body load during any accelerative effort of the body over that shoe"?
  15. Orthican

    Orthican Active Member

    I think quite quickly you have understood my point. There is no way in any simple means. The running shoe wearing layperson will drink the perverbial koolaide delivered unto them by thier respective running shoe manufacturing favourite, and in short order espouse the benefits of same.

    And I'm sure you would prefer this proven in the gait lab. (and myself as well) For if one decides this to be the case (a shoe that acts like a foot) and has minimal impact on same, then this should be a shoe of some flexibility. And by the way what dictates "minimalist" where another is not? Who draws that line and where is it?
    In my mind it must allow no dampening of initial tissue loading as this would in turn effect initial loading rotational forces about the talocrural, resultant from a dampening or increase dependant on soling material of frictional resistance at the intial loading phase, a dampening of foot load during second rocker, and have an effect on triplanar kinetics that would in my opinion be measurably verified in most gait labs. In other words the foot as a whole will act differently and merasurably so in the "minimalist" shoe vs. unshod. To me it is almost a given. My asssumptions allow me to go as far as to say that this is why they call it "minimalist" and not "ghost". I am quite sure the money behind such shoes would not allow too much in the way of overreaching statements. The lawyers will let them know how far they can go.

    While I know from observing pronators running in them and wondering why one would subject themselves to such things that it has "fad" written all over it, I do allow myself the reason to wonder if one might with good mechanics benefit from such persuits? I am as they say torn. While my walking wounded clients are the obvious in who should refrain from doing this it begs the question of where one should draw the line regarding who should go barefoot and who should not. But then is that not an individual choice as well? All we can do is give advice and information and good logic.
  16. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    I'm sure there are many shoes available which exert no measurable kinematic difference from an un-shod condition (even certain road running shoes in some individuals).

    However it is an impossibility for a shoe (of any kind) to be 'kinetically inert' in my opinion.
  17. Orthican

    Orthican Active Member

    And in mine. We are of the same opinion. Different worlds though without doubt. :empathy: I know where I am in the hierarchy of things. But some of us (like myself and a lot of my friends) like to know more than what might be considered standard for the industry....(as I open myself up to scrutiny) and want to know more from my mistakes than my successes.
  18. Hi Kevin - maybe one way of looking at it would be to discuss the shoe in terms of Stiffness.

    ie a minimalist shoe will have less effects (or less changes result from )on the persons individual joint and or Leg stiffness ( kleg) than a running shoe built post 1980.

    ie a " control" shoe will have x effect on stiffness at individual joints and Kleg while a cushioning shoe will have y effect on an individual, by using this type of approach we may be able to better determine what positive or negative effects a shoe may have on an individual.

    Say we look at 1st MTPJ joint stiffness we have shoe which help the body, for a greater windlass mechanism effect and other which do the opposite - REDICTORS OF A RESPONSE TO WINDLASS MECHANISM ENHANCING
    Craig Payne, Gerard Zammitt, Daniel Patience

    While using this approach maybe somewhat limited to the lay person - may have benefits to practitioners.
  19. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Putting aside spikes for track training, x-country flats or spikes for x-country training - it need not matter how many miles you run in training in regard to a particular shoe choice. I take it you are asking this question from an overuse/injury perspective? The key is developing the required strength & fitness in training via gradual adaptation to then run the desired miles (whether that be 50, 100 or 150km per week) to achieve the intended goals. Building the training load gradually as well as incorporating the likes of drills (i.e. plyometric work) in the program will condition the body (primarily the lower limb) to withstand the stress running generates. This coupled with running with efficient form/technique for the individual will also help reduce the degree of adverse/excess stress loads (i.e. eccentric) that can generate in one individual as opposed to another.

    For example, I may run 150km this week in my Nike Free 3.0 & Saucony Hattori (minimalist shoes) with no residual aches, whilst another may run 50km in their i.e. Asics Kayano & be stiff & sore by Saturday. Shoes should serve as protection (foremost) as well as help provide some degree of cushioning (degree depending on surface i.e. trail/grass as opposed to road/concrete & its affect on leg spring/'stiffness'). However, one should vary the training surface they run on which helps in this regard. I have run back to back 160 - 180km a week for 4 months (with every 5th week 1/2 distance for recov.) in the one pair of Nike Free 3.0 during base training. This included hill reps, 1 & 2 km reps, fartlek, tempo runs & long runs – all in the same shoe... with no injury. It probably would have been wiser to have two pairs of shoes rotating but this was what I did; hence my experience is based on training periods of this nature... & incorporating this experience with the Podiatry related theory I’ve learned. Once again (as I stated in my first post), the answer (& responsibility) lies in the individual (biomechanics, running form, strength, fitness, training history, shoe history)... & not in the type of shoe deemed appropriate with regard to the mileage load.

    Now, being a Podiatrist may help one grasp some aspects of the above; however, I know Podiatrists who would not have a clue what the above means or feels like - they have no experience in running - would not know what it feels like to run high mileage, how the legs feel over the last 30min. of a 45 km long run, how the feel of different types of footwear (i.e. “minimalist”) have on feel/sensation (for want of better terms) & running form. They may not have even put their foot inside a “minimalist shoe” & ran a respectable distance. This is a fact - period!

    Then, there are members of the community who are not Podiatrist, yet who certainly do understand what I've discussed. They, through experience understand the elements noted in the above paragraph; hence whose opinions I consider worthy on this topic. Experience that the running & running shoe ignorant Podiatrist may benefit from learning from. The issue of "minimalist running shoes" has obvious practical elements as well as the theoretical (biomechanical) elements. Head knowledge/theory will get you part way - practical experience I consider more applicable to this shoe discussion thus to ridicule/bully a non-Podiatrist for his views is plainly unprofessional & reveals insecurity & academic snobbery...

    ... which leads to another important issue regarding the welfare of Podiatry Arena... & possibly even the profession on the whole!
  20. I've Edited all the Personal attacks and discussions from the thread I hope.

    I love a good digress but please keep it fun and none-personal.

    If you are unhappy with the Edits PM the Boss.

    Have a nice day
  21. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    *** Edit by Mod ***

    - Cool video of an American Podiatrist making her "invisible shoes"...

    I'm sure we can obtain at least a couple of "definitions" for "minimalist running shoes" from the above video. Well at least she is applying the practical aspect.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  22. No. You were on the ball, it was the amateur runners without any background in medicine that were being objected to. Censorship doesn't become you, Mike.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkptz2YfZik Several of the "deleted" posts had been "thanked" by other members.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy What gives? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MFn8Ogd8Oo Don't say it... "When the opening line of every song that I heard, talked about some fella having trouble with his girl...."
  23. So... your definition of a minimalist shoe is..... Contribute. Rather than popping up and saying "I'd contribute if it wasn't for.. Elvis- thank you very much. Brand new cadillac". "I'm here to learn". Does that preclude the need to contribute?

    Centre stage and on the mike, I give you Perthpod and her definition of the minimalist running shoe:

    The stage is all yours, since some of us are just about singing our swan songs.
  24. Third time of asking:
    What is your definition of a minimalist running shoe? You wanted the thread back on topic, here we are back on topic, now you have nothing to add to the topic?:confused:
  25. Simon:

    Podiatry Arena needs to be a bit more civil so everyone can enjoy it. I believe that you and I both sometimes contribute to others wanting to read the postings here on Podiatry Arena, but we also contribute, at times, to making Podiatry Arena a less pleasant experience for many others who aren't unfortunate enough to have our personality traits.

    As far as your deleted "Thanks" goes (because of Mike trying to take some of the workload off of Craig), I will be sure to add 2-3 "Thanks" to a few of your postings, when you don't really deserve it.;):drinks
  26. Enough.
    "A common danger tends to concord. Communism is the exploitation of the strong by the weak. In Communism, inequality comes from placing mediocrity on a level with excellence. "
    Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
  27. Perthpod

    Perthpod Active Member

    Does anyone know when the term minimalist was first used to describe footwear?
  28. Perthpod

    Perthpod Active Member

  29. Perthpod

    Perthpod Active Member

    Dana, have you tried the saucony hattoris? For people that have seen them...How many miles do people think these will last? I guess that's the danger with some minimalist materials such as EVA. Mine have only done about 200 km running so can't really comment, they still seem as new though after that. I find them to be an entirely different experience to the Nike free 1&2. For me, wearing the hattoris and vibram 5 fingers requires a lot more soleus (especially) and gastroc stretching. I guess this is the zero drop coming in.
    So from my fairly uneducated, inexperienced perspective... these shoes are all deemed to be in the minimalist category but should not be treated as one and the same. It will depend entirely on the athletes needs as to which suits them without causing harm.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
  30. **** edit by mod ****

    Just for you Dana: "Minimalist shoe" is a term invented by marketing types and running zealots

    **** edit by mod ***

    Like I said, enough. The lunatics have taken over the asylum.
  31. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    I haven't tried those yet because as you point out, I'm concerned about the durability. While I do have a pair of Nike Free 3.0's, I don't expect them to last that long. I have been happy with the New Balance Minimus, New Balance 101's, Merrell Trail Glove and the several models of VFF that I have. They all have one thing in common, a durable out sole made by Vibram. Since there is a minimal to no mid sole to break down and the uppers can last a long time, the failure point with respect to durability is the outer sole. Therefore, I prefer minimal shoes that have a fairly rugged out sole to allow me to log big distances in them.

  32. Orthican

    Orthican Active Member

    oooh I see now. Thankyou for clarifying that Simon. I thought perhaps it was me.

    "What is the best definition for "Minimalist Running shoes"....

    To be as succinct as possible (the best definitions are) how about "functionally protective and mechanically benign" ??
  33. Orthican:

    You are not the problem here since you seem quite polite and are seeking knowledge like most of the rest of us. However, it would be helpful if you could provide us your real name, and what type of practice you have since many of us won't take the time to respond to people who remain anonymous on this forum.
  34. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    I have a pair of the Saucony Hattoris. Only had them for 2 weeks thus can’t comment on the sole wear side of things but they do feel good for a shoe of such minimalist qualities on hard surfaces. I also wear the Nike Free 3.0 V.2 which I have to say (along with the now discontinued Free 4.0) is the longest wearing shoe I’ve had. The only issue I’ve had at this stage is the Saucony Hattoris is ½ size smaller than the Nike (I brought the Hattoris over the internet thus didn’t try before buy), hence I have to wear them with no socks which did create a couple of blisters (thus buy ½ size larger to your Nike size).

    Based on size 10.5 shoe:

    - Saucony Hattori = 4.5oz or 128g.
    - Nike Free 3.0 = 6.9oz or 198g.

    For those not familiar with the two shoes...


    If you are wearing the Nike Free & the Hattoris then I say you have credible experience to voice an opinion on this “minimalist running shoe” thread. Keep up the running. Like I said before, body conditioning is also a factor here as well.

    From my experience Dana, I have found the Nike Free 3.0 very durable. I replaced my last pair of Free 3.0 because the part that connected the upper of the shoe to the midsole split but the sole was still good. Having said this shoe sole wear would be dependent on the mechanics of the runner wearing them i.e. biomechanics & running form. I personally don’t keep a close track of shoe mileage but these shoes did quite a lot...


    Great stuff Dana!
  35. I am too tired and Grumpy to keep editing Posts

    Stop with the personal insults - banter and fun stuff I like personal attacks must stop from all sides.
  36. Perthpod

    Perthpod Active Member

    Thanks for all of that Matthew. I for one feel a bit better about ever posting again. Felt very put off pod arena this morning. Bullying is so unnecessary. It's so easy to make nasty comments about people's personalities that it's just below most people. Sure people have bad days, but maybe they should take it out on the running track.. not hard working professionals trying to get some extra learning in ;) Peace fellow Aussie
  37. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Well Mike, I'm sorry... but address the cause of the problem. I thought this issue was resolved last night. I have only addressed the inappropriate attacks on other forum members - that's it. As suggested, the moderation team need to personally (& in private) address the perpetrator.

    Thanks for your efforts.
  38. And here's whats left of my Nike free trail shoes which I used to run in around 5 years ago until they started giving me DMICS.

    Attached Files:

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  39. Perthpod

    Perthpod Active Member

    Do you find the Frees 3.0 have less of a heel to toe drop or does it just appear that way? I wear an OTC insole in the Nike frees and Spenco in the vffs. I have also cut the vffs in various places, eg lat hallux and lat heel top seam so just goes to show people require different mods even in minimal shoes. The Hattoris are a lot smaller, it's a shame you got them online. I feel these need no mods as offer great proprioception. I feel that I need the insoles in the Frees to correct the path of the foot due to a lack of proprioception and the angle of the shoe. Whilst feeling over pronated in an insoleless Free, I do not get this feeling in a Hattori or VFF. That does not fit with our taught biomechanics models very well at all, unless the Frees do have a lat. wedge. Or does it? So...every runner is different and it makes more sense to thoroughly question them in their footwear experience before immediately applying biomechanical rules to what you are seeing. In my experience as a slightly pronated runner it feels great to be able to use your own muscles to realign your lower limb than a bulky shoe and device. In more pathological problems this may not be so. Can't wait for more evidence to come about on minimal shoes. In answering the orig. question I feel the'minimalist shoes should probably be under a certain weight and be zero drop and flexible, with a sole that reflects needs based on terrain. So where does this leave the Nike frees? and then where do we draw the line between 'minimal' and 'barefoot' running shoes?
  40. Perthpod

    Perthpod Active Member

    They're pretty fancewah, do they still make a trail shoe? How did you find them?

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