Must Have Barefoot Shoes for Indoor Training or Outdoors

Barefoot Shoes, minimalist shoes as they are sometimes called, are defined as shoes that closely mimic the experience of running barefoot. But they still protect from the weather and harsh terrain. Some key elements that separate barefoot shoes with other running shoes are:

- Heel-to-toe drop: These shoes have a zero drop.

- Stack height: The sole in this shoe is as thin as possible.

- Toe box: They have nice and wide allowing space to splay and recoil.

- Lightweight and flexible: Barefoot shoes keep the foot connected to the ground, hence they are light and flexible.

- No Ankle Twist: There is no padding, no arch or ankle support unlike other running shoes.

Going barefoot is becoming increasingly popular, particularly due to its health benefits, as it offers everything that feet need to be healthy.

- Strong muscles, healthy feet: Barefoot shoes mirror the shape and the natural curve of the feet, allowing them to move as nature intended. Barefoot Shoes not only strengthen all the muscles in the foot, but they also help the foot develop in the correct way to prevent deformities.

- Barefoot shoes help you to go pain-free: Athletes, particularly runners, prefer barefoot shoes, to make their runs healthier. Wearing barefoot shoes can help you to learn how to walk correctly and can help you to avoid possible knee injuries. Going barefoot also has a positive effect on the small of the back as it engages all foot muscles. Long-term use of barefoot shoes can help your back pain disappear as it encourages good body-posture.

- Barefoot brings you joy: It may sound crazy but going barefoot can take the stress and tension away, bringing back the joys of everyday life. Walking barefoot gives you a feeling of freedom and absolute joy. Research has proven going barefoot lowers the blood pressure, overall tension in the body and the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Hence going barefoot is an amazing way to regain with your long lost energy and good mood wherever you go.

- A whole-body reboot: There are many acupressure points on the feet connecting to different parts of the body. By stimulating these points, one can revitalize various body organs. With barefoot shoes, the ground keeps massaging and activating all of the acupressure points on your feet.

- Better balance: Trying to keep your balance as you traverse between rocks, grass and road can be harder than it looks. Luckily our feet are designed to pass sensory information to the brain about what’s underneath us. And the padding, heels and cushioning from the traditional shoes can all interfere with this perception, but the minimal sole of a barefoot shoe allows you to feel the ground and respond to move more skilfully across it.

  • You land more gently: The constant argument against barefoot running is the shock going through your feet. It is said to cause injury over time. But, as per the specialists, barefoot shoes help reduce the impact.

-Why you should wear Barefoot Shoes? click here to know....

How to run with barefoot shoes

Many runners incorporate barefoot or minimalist running into their training. This can be a great way to reap some of the benefits of barefoot running without giving up your traditional running shoes.

Though the transition could be difficult for some, the key is to start gradually:

A. Acclimate your feet

- Practice walking barefoot or in your new minimalist shoes before you attempt to run.

-Gently stretch your calf and arch muscles.

-Build up the toughness on the soles of your feet.

- Try running a short distance on a soft surface such as wet sand, grass or rubberized track.

B. Practice your running mechanics

- Practice landing on your mid-foot versus your heel.

- Try using short strides and a quick cadence with your mid-foot strike.

- Avoid letting the soles of your feet slap against the ground.

C. Gradually increase distance

- Start slowly and don't do too much too soon.

- Try and not increase your weekly by more than 10 percent each week.

D. Use carefully

- Be especially careful with easing into longer miles in zero-drop shoes.

- Listen to your body. If you feel any pain, stop.

If you plan to switch to barefoot shoes and looking out for a good pair, check out the Top 4 Vibram Barefoot Shoes available:

1. Vibram Fivefingers V-Trail 2.0 Men's Barefoot Shoes (Ivy / Black): In these barefoot shoes, the upper of the V-Trail 2.0 is polyester with extra resistant polyester fabric sections for a secure fit. Also, there is an extra lamination around the toe sections and a Speed Lace fast lacing system. It is perfect for outdoor pursuits, running on trails and during obstacle races. This model is designed for moving on unpredictable surfaces in the great outdoors.

2. Vibram Fivefingers V-Run Women's Barefoot Shoes (Teal / Navy): This one a particular favourite of Barefoot junkies, as it allows you to feel your run. The lightweight structure made up of Polyester Lycra Stretch Mesh + Polyester Microfiber as the upper material is easy to wash and air dry. It is designed to compliment and flex with the natural movements of your feet, which can allow your brain to make better and quicker decisions.

3. Vibram Fivefingers V-Run Men's Barefoot Shoes (Black / Yellow): Vibrams primary design function for the V-Run is for all types of running and in particular road running and gym/treadmill. They are good for Medium to Long Distance Mixed Terrain Running. You can still choose them if you are a new runner or use it while travelling.

4. Vibram Fivefingers KSO EVO Men's Barefoot Shoes (Black): This barefoot shoes offer 4.7 mm sole thickness, with a polyester mesh material, fast lacing and can easily be machine washed and air-dried. Try them out to start your barefoot journey, they are best for Short to Mid Distance Running, Gym Work and Functional Fitness Training, after Sport and general foot physio and in case you would like to travel lightweight they are easily packable.