Lately, due to the launch of our Mei minimalist shoes, we have received numerous questions about our products and we have realized that many people are not clear about what minimalist shoes are. So we have decided to write a small article to try to clarify the most common doubts.
At Pies Sucios we are clear about the advantages of going barefoot, since our foot is a complex system with two well-defined functions:
- Support the body (obviously), for which it must be healthy, strong and fit.
- Collect information about the ground we step on (feel it) and transmit that information to the rest of the locomotor system so that it acts accordingly (posture, muscle tension, coordination, proprioception...).
By enclosing the foot in a rigid, heavy and thick shoe, we are preventing the foot from performing these functions. The foot muscles atrophy because they cannot move and the ground information they receive is distorted by heels and cushioning.
Minimalist shoes are a type of footwear designed to interfere as little as possible with the movement and sensitivity of the foot, which means that the foot feels and behaves as if it were barefoot. These shoes provide a more natural experience and allow your feet to move more freely.
Some key aspects of minimalist footwear are:
- Thin sole: The soles of minimalist shoes are usually very thin, allowing the foot to have greater touch and feel of the ground and greater mobility.
- Light weight: These shoes are typically lightweight, which helps reduce interference with the natural mechanics of walking and running.
- Minimum 'drop': The 'drop' refers to the difference in height between the heel and the front of the foot. Minimalist shoes have a minimal drop or, better yet, are completely flat, which encourages a natural stride: it prevents us from stomping with our heels when stepping. A shoe without 'drop' is said to be 'drop 0'.
- Wide Toe Room: Minimalist shoes typically have a wider toebox that allows the toes to spread out and move more naturally.
- Little cushioning: Unlike traditional sports shoes, minimalist footwear (whether shoes, sneakers or sandals) usually has little or no cushioning. This means the foot can feel the terrain better and promotes more efficient running technique. Sensing the terrain is very important to trigger all the natural reflexes of our locomotor set, reflexes programmed by our genetics to produce an optimal movement pattern.
Minimalist footwear, whether in everyday life or sports, helps strengthen the muscles in the feet and legs, improves posture, and can prevent shoe-related injuries by encouraging a more natural way of walking and running.
However, it is important to mention that not everyone adapts well to minimalist shoes, and the transition from traditional footwear to a minimalist one must be done gradually to avoid injuries due to overexertion of muscles and tendons that have been used for years in a different way due to standard footwear.
The popularity of minimalist shoes has led to a variety of designs on the market, from minimalist sandals to sneakers with minimalist features, to more formal, everyday footwear . Choosing a pair of minimalist shoes will depend on personal preferences and the specific activities in which you want to use them.