One reason why minimalist shoes are expensive is because they are incredibly popular and they look stunning. They are in demand that’s why manufacturers saw this as an opportunity to drive up the prices. Aside from that, the fantastic quality that they promised is also another reason why the prices are so high compared to an average shoe.
Have you heard of minimalist shoes? IF you haven’t, they are shoes that are designed to fit around your toes and give you the same sensation as going barefoot. Compared to your regular sneakers, these shoes are more expensive. Why?
There are a few factors why these shoes are on the higher part of the scale, and depending on the brand, you may pay as much as 100 dollars for a good pair of minimalist shoes. So, what are the factors affecting the price?
Minimalist shoes are the new “it” item that everyone wants to get their hands on. If you’re always updated with the newest trend, then these shoes are hard to miss. Because they are considered the hot new trend, they’re at their premium permitting manufacturers to boost the prices to supply the ample demand. This is just basic economics playing out.
If you’ve seen a minimalist shoe, you’ll notice that they’re much slimmer compared to a regular running shoe. This may be the case but minimalist shoes still use the same materials as running shoes. In addition, their design is more precise most of the time, and the cushioning, soles, toe box, must be so to make sure that they qualify as minimalist shoes.
Similar to running shoes, manufacturers also offer a lot of customizable features on these shoes like exterior color. All these are the reason why minimalist shoes wear a higher price tag compared to others.
Another key reason why minimalist shoes are growing on people is because of their improved performance. Take a look at the Nike Men’s Free RN minimalist running shoes, for example, they claim lasting durability with a foam and rubber outsole at the toe and the heel.
Aside from that, you should also be able to walk more freely with a round heel, which helps you to move as your feet hit the ground. The shoe then contracts and expands with each step that you take. You’ll feel as if you’re walking barefoot even though you’re wearing shoes. Furthermore, the open knit top of the shoe gives your feet more breathability and reduces overheating when you run.
Well, if you’re already excited about this shoe, that’s only one example. There are so many other minimalist shoes in the market with different looks and features. Each brand promises to give you support and durability from a shoe that is less heavy and chunky.
In a summary, minimalist shoes are the way to go if you want to take the weight off your feet and you want more freedom and comfort as you run.
Are minimalist shoes good for your feet?
Minimalist shoes are good for your feet because they have minimal interference with the natural movement of your foot. It has high flexibility, stacked height, and weight, low heel-to-toe drop, and does not have stability devices and motion control.
If something gains incredible popularity, there’s always a reason and a corresponding benefit as to why they are famous. So, with minimalist shoes, why are they popular, and what are some of the reasons why you should also try them out?
They maintain ankle flexibility
Most of the shoes that you see in the mall or online have raised heels. Whether it’s a dress shoe or a sports shoe, you see that there’s a comparable difference between the elevation of the front and the back. Because of this, the calf is put in a shortened position which is not ideal for some people.
With minimalist shoes, it does not have the conventional 10–12-millimeter heel-to-toe drop. Instead, the drop is only less than 6 millimeters. Furthermore, there are minimalist shoes that have a zero-drop, meaning the sole is flat. Your heel is not raised but in line with your toe.
They keep your feet on the ground
Normally, minimalist shoes have flexible and thin soles without that much cushioning. With this, you’ll feel as if you’re not wearing anything. With traditional shoes, you don’t feel this sensation because they would often have thick cushioning. Some would even feel as if you’re wearing a mattress on your feet.
With the thin soles of minimalist shoes, you’ll help your feet make adjustments as they come into contact with the ground.
They help you engage your toes
Many footwears nowadays are designed to have narrower toe boxes which is in reality not the actual foot shape of many. With the wide toe box offered by minimalist shoes, your toes will have enough room to move and be spaced out.
Well, having a wide-toe box may not coincide with the fashion choices of some since they will look a bit boxy. But if you prioritize having a healthy foot then, it’s not that much of a sacrifice. Oh, and there are also those minimalist shoes that have individual toe pockets that will really give your toes freedom to move.
Aside from that, minimalist shoes have less pronounced spring. If you don’t like having that feature in your shoes, you know what to get!
They make your feet stronger
Wearing minimalist shoes while taking walks helps in strengthening your feet muscles. Also, you may notice that you’ll feel less tired even if you stand on your feet for a long time. In addition, since minimalist shoes are lightweight, they help you walk efficiently and expend less energy since you’re carrying less weight.
Well, this is a bit of an obvious reason since you exercise different parts of your feet (as you walk on different surfaces of the ground) with minimalist shoes. If you’re walking on a matter, do you think you’ll work out your muscles?
Can you wear minimalist shoes every day?
It’s ideal to wear minimalist shoes every day. In fact, the more and the longer you wear them, the better. Regularly wearing minimalist shoes will help you train your sense of balance and your coordination.
Wearing minimalist shoes every day is an excellent way of keeping your feet healthy. But, how do you really wear them? Do you wear socks or should you wear them without one? How do you transition from your usual sneakers to wearing minimalist shoes?
People who are willing to try these shoes know that there will be a getting used to period when you start wearing minimalist shoes. So, here’s a general guideline that you can follow when you’re doing the switch.
Start with a slow, progressive approach
While it can be exciting to transition from your normal shoes, being overzealous even though it’s your first time wearing minimalist shoes and pose some problems.
So, consider wearing your fresh-from-the-box minimalist shoes for a short period at first. Start with 30 minutes a day and then gradually increase your wear-time by 30 minutes each day so your body and feet can adapt to the changes slowly.
There may be some significant difference between the transition period of regular people and those who are runners, walkers, or those who are used to going barefoot. If you plan to never go back to wearing regular shoes after spending some time with minimalist shoes make sure that you check your lower leg and feet for any indication of fatigue and strain.
You should know when to stop and give your feet some rest. Let them adapt to the changes slowly so you won’t end up injuring yourself.
Keep a stepwise manner
Many people benefit from this manner of transitioning because they gradually go from built-up conventional shoes to a transitional type of shoes to the real minimalist shoes. There are two main things to consider when you do the stepwise method, your Achilles tendon and the sole of your foot.
The sole of your feet is extremely sensitive however, wearing thick sole shoes over time the soles of your feet may not fully adapt to the ground. You may find wearing a thin-soled shoe uncomfortable.
The best way to adjust these is by wearing a thick-soled shoe and progressing to a thin-soled shoe over some time. Remember to still wear a healthy thick-soled shoe. In particular look for something that has a flat platform, a wide toe box, a flexible sole, and lightweight.
After wearing elevated heeled shoes for years, the Achilles tendon shortens and it can go back to normal again once you abandon your conventional shoes and let your feet rest. Switching from a shoe without heel elevation can put some strain on your Achilles tendon. If you overdo it, it may cause pain and damage to your body.
So, again, start slow until it gets used to the changes and adapts.
Give some time for adjustments to occur
The deformities that you have on your toes and feet do not happen overnight. It takes years to develop. So, when it comes to rehabilitating those, you should not be surprised that it will also take some years.
Some people who started transitioning from normal shoes to minimalist shoes tend to rush themselves and overexert their feet and muscles. They don’t allocate some time for the soles to rest, adjust, strengthen, and adapt. When you switch to minimalist shoes, you’ll be working your lower muscles and feet in a unique and new way.
At first, you’ll feel sore and fatigue for quite some time. But after, you’ll gain strength and other excellent adaptations will take place. You just need to exercise a lot of patience and let your body naturally adapt to the transition.
Address the changes in the gait
It’s normal if you notice some changes in gait after substituting conventional shoes for minimalist shoes. When you’re wearing normal shoes, your heel touches the surface first. With minimalist shoes, it’s the toes the come into contact with the ground first. Because of this, there’s a very diverse gait pattern that has big effects throughout the body.
The gait changes are natural especially when you’re changing from thick-heeled shoes to a thin flat sole. However, some people experience a lag in gait changes because they still continue to pound or slap the pavement or heel strike after shirting.
If you continue to heel strike with minimalist shoes, you’ll most likely feel some discomfort in your heel since they don’t have the same cushioning a regular shoe has. You can use a heel cap to ease some of the discomforts while you transition.
Another helpful method is being wary about the part of your feet that hits the ground first. Be aware of your body movement and avoid distractions while you walk or run during your conversion period. A little sacrifice will benefit you greatly in the future.
If needed use some heel cup and metatarsal pad
If your feet really cannot adjust at first, you can use a metatarsal pad and heel cup to restore proper tendon and muscle balance in your lower foot. Metatarsal pads also do a good job of repositioning your forefoot fat pad back to a place that protects and cradles your metatarsal head (a common pain point for many people who have foot problems).
Aside from that, if you use your metatarsal pad appropriately, they can help correct your transverse foot arch. This will alleviate pinch pressure off the sensitive parts that go through the ball of your feet, together with blood vessels and nerves.
Heel cups are another useful tool that can ease point tenderness in the heel that occurs often as you adopt wearing minimalist shoes. The point tenderness can either happen in the early stage of transition or the latter. This occurrence is rare for minimalist shoe wearers but it can cause you some discomfort.
A simple heel cap is all you need to address this uneasiness and help you endure the transition.