There’s no question that the minimalist running movement is picking up steam. Nearly ever week I’m able to find numerous articles throughout the United States that talks about how more and more runners are starting to make the switch to the minimalist running lifestyle.
For the avid runner, the biggest draw (from what I’ve been reading) has been the possibility that minimalist running will elevate the runner to a new level. Lot’s of runners get to a point where they hit a plateau, a point where they don’t feel like they are advancing or improving in their running. Every runner strives to go further, faster, and feel stronger or more in shape. And when someone who’s been running for a while gets to that point, they are more likely to start searching out answers or remedies to help them break through.
For many of these runners, the minimalist running shoe has been the answer.
Why? You ask…
Well, you have to go back a few years to 2009 and the bestselling book by Christopher McDougall called Born To Run. McDougall tracked down members of the reclusive Tarahumara tribe of the Copper Canyons in Mexico to find out how they could run a hundred miles at incredible speeds without suffering the routine injuries that plague runners in the U.S.
So this was a pretty revolutionary concept that implied that the majority of injuries incurred by runners in the United States, and the dreaded plateau’s that plague so many runners, could possibly be remedied by switching to a pair of minimalist running shoes. After all, there’s a reason why the members of the Tarahumara tribe are able to run so far, so quickly, without any injuries.
Now that we are nearly 3 years down the road from this book, many doctors, runners, and other groups have been able to study this phenomena to see what’s going on here, and why it’s working so well. And what the findings tell us now is that minimalist running shoes help runners get back to to a more natural style of running. And this “more natural” style of running is said to increase the muscle strength of foot and leg muscles.
Compare all of this to the traditional running shoe where the super cushioned soles are said to distort the more natural form of running and even weaken the muscles in runners feet and legs.
Which shoe is right for you? Of course, that’s a question that only you can answer. But if you follow the research and experiences so far of other runners, then the minimalist running shoe will help you take your running a whole new level.