Minimalist Shoes Reviews


You should wear minimalist shoes for five main reasons:

  • Heel drops in normal shoes shorten your achilles tendon and cause you to lean forward, leading to back pain and stiffness
  • Arch-support weakens your foot’s natural arch over time
  • Heavily padded soles decrease the sensory experience on the bottoms of your feet
  • Toes become cramped inside normal shoes, weakening the strength of the foot, overall
  • Your entire body’s movement quality suffers when you wear shoes that disrupt foot quality of motion

If you’re interested in protecting or restoring the health of your overall bodily balance, minimalist shoes are an absolutely essential tool in your toolbelt. Let’s explore some great, affordable options.


1

Merrell Vapor Glove Trail Runner 3

Merrell Vapor Glove Trail 3 — Men
Women’s Vapor Glove Trail 3 — Women

These are great all-around, daily shoes. Very minimal with zero heel drop, zero arch, wide toe box, and thin sole. Excellent durability, wear-and-tear, build quality, and traction. You will feel pebbles under foot.

These will hold up pretty well for workouts and exercise — they’re made for running — but they might demonstrate weakness in lateral, side-to-side movements — but only some.

The sole is made by Vibram — and it’s rugged, top-quality.

You really can’t go wrong with this shoe. It comes in lots of colors. I bought a pair and liked it so much, I bought another pair a few days later.

I’ve worn my first pair of these for 18 months, 5 days a week, walking a lot. They’re still going strong; I’m sure I can get another 4-6 months out of them. Pretty amazing for an extremely thin sole.

PROs:

  • Super durable
  • Super light-weight
  • Quality
  • Great traction
  • Very minimal — No heel drop or arch, wide toe box, thin sole.
  • Breezy fabric — great for hot weather.

CONs:

  • Breezy — not great for cold weather.

RATING: 9.8/10

NOTE: The Vapor Gloves have run a little big in the past — for me, included.


2

“Feiyue” Martial Arts Shoes

Not sure if you’ll like minimialist shoes?

Try a cheap pair of knock-off Feiyue’s (pronounced in China “FAY-yew-EH”) — see for yourself.

In America, the brand that actually says “Feiyue” may have been a victim of the current trade war. We’ll see if they come back in the future.

I wore Feiyue shoes for 2 years straight — and loved everything about them… except for their complete lack of durability. The rubber sole is extremely weak, and will develop cracks (allowing water through) within 6 weeks of daily use.

The sole is thicker than the Merrell sole, and yet could wear completely through in about 4 months daily use — whereas the Merrell sole runs no such risk.

These do look pretty cool, though.

PROs:

  • Cheap
  • Very minimal — Wide toe box, no heel drop, no arch.

CONs:

  • Wear out very quickly
  • Sellers seem to come and go on Amazon, which questions the credibility of the sellers

RATING: 3.5/10

You should only get these shoes for the visual appeal or to test the concept of minimal footwear.

Let’s put all the pieces together — and improve.