Minimalist Shoe 101: Can’t Tell the Players Without a Program

There are a ton of options for these types of shoes. You’ve got the Vibram Five Finger shoes. Merrell Trail Gloves, New Balance Nimbus shoes and Adidas just got into  the game as well.

Which ones are the best? Which ones are the right ones for you? These are simple questions, but the answers are anything but.

To make sure you can make the most informed decision possible, we are going to point you in the direction of one of the better places I’ve found online to find out everything you’ll need to know to give these shoes a shot.

Its a website called, and it is an incredible resource for all things minimalist footwear. Forums, reviews, blog posts anything else you could possible need to know about these shoes and how to get into them. There are reviews on about 30 pairs, so you will have a pretty big base of information to work from.

I’ve had the Merrell Trail Gloves (pictured above) for about a month, and I like them quite a bit. A pair of Vibram Bikila LS (right) Five Finger shoes just showed up today, and after my first workout in them, they are solid. Oddly enough, I have yet to workout in the Merrells.

My get ups felt better than they do in barefeet, it felt like my glutes engaged more in my swings and surprisingly enough, they seemed to activate my feet quite a bit. Particularly my arches that have been laying dormant behind orthotics since 2003.

While these shoes are great, and there is a ton of research that supports getting some, you can go wrong if you buy the wrong pair of shoes for your individual needs. For instance, I bought and returned a pair of the Inov-8’s because they made my feet evert (roll in/over pronate) and it tightened up my left hip. So buyer beware, because individual results will definitely vary.


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Never attempt any new exercises mentioned in the Fitness411 blog without a thorough evaluation from a physician, personal trainer, strength coach, athletic trainer, physical therapist or sports chiropractor.