Posted: 03/03/2014 at 19:13
Surrey Runner: glad if I've helped. Warning: the more you get used to minimalist shoes the more you will find that standard running shoes feel like planks of wood strapped to your feet. For example, while trying on the Inov 8 Trailroc 235s I also tried to 245s, which have a rock plate (and 3 mm drop), and could tell in a few jog steps around the shop that I didn't want them - not flexible enough. And as for getting back into my old Mizuno Wave Riders - forget it! I -do- recommend trying actual barefoot sometimes - I started by running round a sports field with minimalist shoes on, checking there were no nasty surprises, then running a lap of the field barefoot. An added benefit of being able to run barefoot is that if you feel any tenderness of/over tendons, whether Achilles' tendon or the extensor tendons on the top of your feet, you can try running with no shoes on: if there's no tenderness barefoot then the problem is likely to be pressure from the shoes/laces rather than an actual tendon problem.
Flob: I agree - but while some of the so-called "minimalist" shoes are so far from being minimalist, then "barefoot shoes" seems to be the only naming option left! The ones I'm willing to call "barefoot shoes" in such circumstances (although you're right that "true minimalist" would be a better name) have zero drop and almost no cushioning, are flexible, allow you to spread your toes, enable you to feel the ground underfoot and encourage a "barefoot style" of running (high cadence, short stride, landing with your foot under you and forefoot or midfoot rather than heel striking, etc.) - but do provide some protection from the glass, dog poop, thorns etc. which I, for one, appreciate.