The New “Minimus” Shoe Craze – Buyer Beware!!

You like my “professional” pic of my cool New Balance minimus shoes?  I bet you like how I used my office chair as a backdrop.  Yeh i know, I am all professional and stuff!  Anyway, these are my most very best favorite shoes.  I have had the orange ones, MT20’s, for several months now and I wear them pretty much everyday to work and I workout in them: Lifting weights, sprints, plyometrics, etc.  The blue ones, MR00’s, are a brand spanking new pair I just got yesterday.  These New Balance “minimus” shoes are the best and most comfortable shoes I believe I have ever had.  And I highly recommend “minimus” shoes. 

Minimus shoes have 2 main attributes that I like: 1. They are extremely lightweight; 2. They have a minimum or no “heel drop”.  First for #1, since they are very lightweight, that means they have much less support vs. your normal tennis / running shoe.  For me I like that aspect as it feels way more “natural”.  But for many this could take some getting used to.  Next for #2, heel drop basically means how much of a “drop” there is from the heel of the shoe to the forefoot.  Most “running” / tennis shoes have at least 7mm, with many of them having 11-13mm.  With that big of a drop, it seriously promotes “heel striking” during running which is not natural and can lead to injury.  Your heel is jacked up much higher than its normal, natural state.  Its basically like wearing “high heels” like many women do, just maybe not quite that high.  And with the “minimus” type shoe, their is much less drop, bringing it closer to natural.  With minimum “heel drop” and or “zero drop” it helps to promote “natural” running with a forefoot or midfoot strike for running.  My MT20’s (the first year’s style) have a 4mm drop which is very small and close to a zero drop.  My new MR00’s have a true Zero Drop.  For me these shoes do it!  It is like wearing a second pair of socks, kinda sorta! 

BEWARE! BEWARE! BEWARE!  Buyer Beware.  I do encourage anyone to try minimus type shoes as I believe it is very good for all of us to walk around, train, run, etc with our bodies set up as close to “natural” as possible.  That being said, I also highly recommend that if you do try shoes like these be very careful about doing too much to fast in them.  If you have tennis shoes then most likely they have a big heel drop so that means your whole POSTERIOR CHAIN, particularly your achilles, soleus, and calf muscles ligaments and tendons are being worked at a shortened range of motion while walking, working out, playing, etc.  So to start full force working out and or running in these style shoes would be asking for trouble.  Start off slow, very slow.  I am not the professional in this area, so I first rrecommend you check out info on the internet for suggestions on how to TRANSITION from a normal shoe to a minimus shoe.  My general suggestion for you is to start off just with normal walking in them: walking around the house; wearing them to work (if allowed); wearing them for workouts that dont call for a lot of running or plyometric movements.  And if you are a runner, then definitely check the internet, especially corporate sites like New Balance, on how to TRANSITION.

All this being said, I highly recommend these type shoes for everyone, or at least everyone.  I believe they could potentially help many people with foot, hip, and or back problems.  If you do have any of those problems MAKE SURE AND CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR, CHIROPRACTOR, ORTHOPEDIC, AND OR THERAPIST before starting with a new pair like these.  They will likely know best as to where you should try these with any existing problems you may have. 


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