How To Choose The Best Minimalist Running Shoes – Kids, Nike, Wide Feet

Minimalist Running Shoes

These days running shoes are becoming lighter in weight, and minimalist running shoes are the norm’ now and you will find them in most stores that sell sports shoes. The concept behind the minimalist shoes is to build up the muscles in the feet that have been weakened by the extra support provided in regular running shoes. You can wear them barefoot and they are designed to be very comfortable as the material is quite soft.

While the debate over the more traditional padded running shoe, and the new minimalist running shoes still rages, it is the minimalist shoes that are selling like hot cakes in the stores at the moment. There is enough evidence that they help to improve form and also reduce the risk of injury. There is no doubting their ability to allow a runner to run more freely with less resistance.

The older style running shoes would have a protective heel that was anywhere from 12mm to 16mm in height. The minimalist running shoes have zero drop between the heel and the toe of the shoe, and this helps to provide additional feel while running.

Where to Find Minimalist Running Shoes

Now minimalist running shoes are so popular you will be able to find them in most sport stores and shoes stores that sell running shoes. There is a massive range of different styles from the many manufacturers and brands that sell them. It is worth doing a bit of research before you buy just so you can find out if the shoe you are interested in has good reviews from others that own and use them.

The best place to look for your ideal minimalist running shoes is online. You will be able to view a huge range from many different manufacturers in a matter of minutes. You will likely be able to get them at a lower price when you order online too, so it is always worth checking out some of the large online stores and seeing what the latest shoes available are and the prices you can get them at.

What Type of Runners Use Minimalist Running Shoes?

Minimalist running shoes were originally designed for track runners, and they have long been the shoe of choice for any short or long distance runners on the track. But now people are using them for all different types of running such as road and cross country. The technology that has gone into making these shoes is what makes them so effective for the runner wearing them. The additional feel and less resistance does invariably help the runner to perform at a higher level.

The cost of minimalist running shoes is not that high when compared to some of the older style running shoes. Considering the amount of new technology and research that has gone into really developing these shoes, it is amazing that you can get some really good quality shoes for anywhere from $50 to $150. You will also find some that cost a bit more than this too, but you will certainly find a lot within this price bracket.

How to Choose Best Minimalist Running Shoes For Kids

What could be the best time to start acquiring healthy strong feet than during the formative years of a person’s life? A child can easily adapt to wearing kids minimalist running shoes than a grown person.

This is because kids have not yet gotten use to well-cushioned footwear which led to weak legs and feet in the long run. It is best to train a child to wear kid’s minimalist running shoes when he starts to run so that he would not have to do the transition from traditional to minimalist footwear.

Picking The Best Kids Minimalist Footwear

Whether it is for running or engaging in other active activities, children should be made to wear minimalist running shoes to start them on the barefoot concept. We have heard of the various benefits that we can reap from the minimalist concept in footwear. If we instill this concept in kids and start them early on, they would have sturdier legs and feet in the long run.

Eliminating the presence of high-heeled and well-padded shoes, which cushioned the feet so much that they will end up weak and prone to injury, is therefore a must to protect the feet of children. Hence, manufacturers have released the smaller version of minimalist shoes for adults that are in the market today. These companies are targeting the younger generation to wear kid’s minimalist running shoes to start them early on the road to greater health.

Why Instill Minimalist Running Concept in Children?

As you may have observed, children who are used to running barefooted in a relatively secure and safe environment have developed sturdier and resilient feet than those who constantly wear thick padded running shoes. Our forebears ran barefooted in the face of this Earth without any major deformities as discovered by experts through thousand years old skeletons unearthed. They were able to run swiftly even while barefooted then.

Our children today can imitate such practice while they are still young and their feet are still malleable to prevent any future deformities brought on by cramped and ill-fitting shoes. Instilling the minimalist concept and letting our children wear the specially manufactured kids minimalist running shoes will afford them the most benefits, without having to go through the difficulty of transition that most adults undergo when shifting to minimalist concept.

How to Pick The Best Minimalist Running Shoes for Kids

You should do well to remember that a child’s foot is not a smaller version of a grown up’s foot. During a child’s formative years, his foot is broadest across the toes. Before an adult foot acquired the bones of its foot, it used to be just cartilage when he was just a kid. Hence, if a kid wears ill-fitting shoes, his foot cartilage will get deform and the succeeding bones will take on the distorted shape.

Many of the foot problems experience by adults are results from inflexible and too rigid shoes they wear when they were younger. A child’s foot full mature when he reaches the age between 18 to 21. Thus, wearing the wrong footwear before this age could greatly contribute to the harm you may bestow on your foot. Hence, it is exigent to pick the best kids minimalist running shoes that allow enough space for the child to grow his feet naturally, until the cartilage mature into stronger bones.

Features to Look for The Best Minimalist Footwear for Kids

There are several manufacturers who have released their own version of kid’s minimalist running shoes in the market. Picking the right one could be tricky if you are face with several options, if you are not familiar with what you should look for in the best shoe. To help you out, here are some features that you should look for in a kids minimalist shoes.

  • Low ground profile, preferably flat – shoes should facilitate easy engaging in activities such as running, walking, jumping and climbing. To boost the lateral movement, the shoes should have zero-drop from heel to forefoot.
  • Made of malleable and smooth materials – this is to allow the foot to move naturally. Toe joints should bend easily to replicate the takeoff of the arch.
  • Upper material – it should be soft and breathable to allow the feet to be properly ventilated.
  • Mega-thin soles to allow the feet to have that intimate bonding with the ground every time the foot strikes it, which in turn facilitates the feet’s natural capacity to soap up ground forces.
  • Broad enough to box – this is to allow the natural splay of the toes. The toes stabilize the arch, which naturally supports the feet. The toes can only successfully do this when they are straight and are align with the metatarsals. They are compromised when they get boxed in due to cramped toe box, which are features found mostly in traditional shoes.
  • Less traction – although this could be beneficial to adults, traction on kid’s minimalist running shoes can produce more heat in the foot and hinder his running performance.
  • Single midsole – this protects the feet from hard and rocky surfaces such as concrete and trail while still allowing the natural debauchery of ground reactive forces.

How To Choose The Best Nike Minimalist Running Shoes

There are several designs and brands of minimalist shoes in the market today that comes in different colors and styles. The Nike minimalist running shoes is just one of the top brands that afford the wearer the natural range of motion which you can only experience when you run barefoot.  

Modern shoes which are well-cushioned are actually causing injuries to the feet by hampering its natural movement. Freeing the feet from the usually cramped shoes, constrain the feet from fully utilizing its potential.

Why Choose Nike Minimalist Shoes?

Experts discovered that running barefoot or with minimal feet covering actually strengthens the feet and legs. Furthermore, since the soles of the feet and toes are in full contact with the ground, balance and agility is also enhance.  The sensors on the soles of the feet gives signals to the brain as it touches the ground and the brain sends back the correct signal to the feet enabling it to appropriately act according to the terrain it trod on.  Nike has been known to produce high quality footwear since time immemorial. When minimalist footwear started to emerge in the market, Nike also joined the trend and produced its own Nike minimalist running shoes that can withstand the fierce competition.

Cutting Edge of Nike Over Other Brands

What Nike has that the other brands of barefoot shoes have none?

  • First of all, Nike has the track record of producing high quality products that are comfortable and chic.
  • Affordable price.
  • All the benefits of minimalist running shoes for almost all types of activities such as walking, running, trail running, workouts and even dress shoes.

Features of Nike Minimalist Shoes

Nike minimalist running shoes are popular amongst runners who like its lightweight and glove-fit design. Its flexible but durable outsoles are ultra thin but mostly made from anti-puncture material to protect the feet on rocky and rough terrain. Most of Nike’s shoes are design in such a way that enhances a natural foot strike to enable the feet and legs to grow stronger.

Having that sturdy outsole that can protect the feet from rocks and other pointed objects is important for most runners and would-be barefoot runners. Some people might be open to the idea of running almost barefooted however the thought of exposing one’s self to the merciless rough objects that can hurt the feet, dampen the spirit of these wannabes.

Nike ensures that the feet will be protected while enjoying the benefits of Nike minimalist running shoes. There are several other Nike minimalist running shoes in the market today. Finding the right one would depend on your needs and your intended use for such shoes.

Fit The Shoe: Minimalist Shoes For Wide Feet

People have different shapes of feet. There are slender yet long feet while there are also feet with wide dimensions.  The most appropriate minimalist shoes for wide feet are something that allows the toes of the feet to freely move without squeezing the muscles and tendons too tight for comfort.

Traditional shoes have a much narrower toe box, which often gives you blisters and abrasions as you wear them for longer duration. Minimalist shoes on the other hand give way to much wider toe box to allow the toes to free move in a wide range of motion, to enable the feet to have greater grip and traction on the ground.

Why Go For Minimalist Shoes For Wide Feet?

Just imagine if you have wide feet and you encase it in a shoe that have small, pointed toe box, which cramps the feet? If all your toes and bunch up together tightly to enable it to fit within the restrictive toe box, you would have difficulty feeling the ground and balance yourself.

With a wider toe box your feet will be able to breath and be able to have that grip without cramping it. With barefoot shoes for wide feet, you will be able to replicate that barefoot feel where toes are splayed and the soles are in full contact with the ground without restrictions.

Wearing this kind of footwear is just like running barefoot with the essential covering against the rough ground and potential dangers of uncontrolled environment. Opting for minimalist shoes for wide feet would also develop your muscles and ligaments the right way, promoting better health and a more natural gait. When you run with unrestricted toes and heel, you will be able to run faster and with steadier gait than when wearing traditional shoes.

What Are The Advantages of Minimalist Shoes With Wide Feet?

  1. Your toes will be able to move without restriction allowing the muscles and ligaments to move naturally, which will ultimately strengthens the feet.
  2. The pressure on the balls of your feet will also be lessen as the toes will help absorb the impact of your feet as it hits the ground, allowing the runner to develop better balance and improve agility.
  3. Shoes for wide feet will enable the wearer to stimulate his foot from heel to toes naturally, without restrictions, replicating that barefoot feel where the foot is technically free to move about, enabling its hundreds of tendons, ligaments and muscles to “breathe” in its natural state.

Minimalist shoes for wide feet are not only limited to adults. Although children have naturally slender foot, which grows to its adult form as time goes by. However, there are children with naturally wide feet and they too will benefit much if they are to wear children’s minimalist shoes such as produced by Merrell, Vibram’s, New Balance and Fila Skele.

Imelda Despres

Imelda Despres is our writer for the Baby, Health and Beauty categories. She was a nutritionist for 5 years before joining the team. When she's not researching, she enjoys weekend getaways with her family at the lake.

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