Barefoot or minimalist shoes are shoes that allow the foot to work in a natural, unrestricted fashion. They allow the foot to be as close to barefoot as possible while providing the protection from environmental conditions as necessary.
The following are characteristics typically found in a minimalist shoe:
- A flat, neutral sole. By flat we mean that the heel is the same elevation as the forefoot (or close to it). By neutral we mean that it has no arch support or any other mechanisms to alter the gait.
- A thin flexible sole. The sole is designed to provide the amount of protection as is required by the environment while maintaining as much flexibility and ground feel as possible.
- A unrestrictive upper. When barefoot, our toes splay and our feet expand as part of our natural gait. The fabric of a barefoot shoe allows the foot to spread/splay/expand in an unrestrictive fashion.
Why Barefoot/Minimalist Shoes?
Read more about why barefoot is best.