A perfect shoe is one that should protect the skin from lacerations and cold, while minimizing the interface between the foot and the ground. The better the shoe is at replicating a bare foot situation, the greater its neurophysiological response: an essential protective mechanism in the human body.
In other words, the less the shoe interferes with the foot's natural mechanism, the more the foot will solidify and the greater it will perform to attenuate the forces of impact brought on by racing dynamics. Moreover, the majority of stability and absorption technology are redundant; they are without scientific basis and are especially ineffective in reducing the impact on the skeleton, natural pronation and the incidence of injuries! It is essential when changing your shoes that you do it very gradually in order to aid the mechanical change and the requirements on the muscles of the foot and calf to adapt progressively. Moving towards a shoe less absorbent and more delicate like a racing flat shoes or a minimalist shoes can be done just a few months.
The three main qualities of running shoes are:
- Dynamism (Do the absorbent qualities of the shoe create a loss of energy and stability?)
- Flexibility (Does the stiffness of the shoe place additional restraint on the foot’s natural motion?)
- Lightness (Do the weight and size of the shoe interfere with the proprioceptive qualities of the foot?)
Discover what The Running Clinic thinks about each shoe by comparing the (+) or (-) elements.
- 9 + : Ultra-minimalist / 7 + : Minimalist / 5 + : Semi-minimalist / 3 + : Intermediate / 3 - : Intermediate / 5 - : Semi-maximalist / 7 - : Maximalist / 9 - : Ultra-maximalist
This section presents so-called ‘minimalist’ shoes, some of which are truly minimalist and cause biomechanical behaviors that mimic barefoot running, others marketed as minimalist because of some particular qualities (highly flexible, lightweight, with a low heel-toe drop, etc.) Transitioning to one of the more reduced shoes from this section will require some time and care. In other words, the greater your change in shoe, the greater your need for progression.