How to Transition to Minimalist Running Shoes

Minimalist running shoes have created a renaissance in running and trail running shoes. More and more runners are crossing over to these types of shoes because of the immense benefits that they present. If you have not already, you should consider making the move to minimalist running shoes. Here’s how to transition to minimalist running shoes.

Transitioning to Barefoot Running

Try Running Barefoot

Since minimalist shoes serve to mimic barefoot running, start off by doing some barefoot running but beware of stones, thorns, etc. You will notice a change in your running style. You are less likely to land heel first and more likely to run with a forefoot strike – same as running with inov-8 shoes. It is a good way to prime your feet for minimalist wear.

Understand Your Feet

Take your shoes off and study the shape of your feet. Take cognisance of the way your feet moves and how they respond to different surfaces. Run on surfaces of varying textures.

Start Slow

When you make the switch to minimalist running shoes don’t expect to be able to pound out the same mileage that you do in normal running shoes at first. As minimalist shoes are a different animal, you need to get used to running in them. Be patient and start off by running slowly, as you get accustomed to them you can work on upping the intensity.

Incorporate More Running Drills

Throw in more running drills in your minimalist running shoes. This will help with the strengthening of the muscles that are necessary for running. They are also going to help you reinforce great running form.

Start Off by Running on a Hard Surface

When you first make the switch to minimalist footwear, it is important for you to run on hard surfaces. Softer surfaces are not ideal because they make it harder to detect if you are heel striking. Harder surfaces are going to almost force you to land correctly (with a forefoot stike).

Avoid Hills for the First Month

For the first month or so, try your best to run on flats or level ground. Avoid the inclines or hill since running uphill puts an increased amount of stress on your Achilles tendons. Conversely, running downhill is going to impact more on the plantar fascia,

Listen to your Body

It is possible that you may initially experience discomfort because you are running in a new type of shoe. If the aches and pains persist, give yourself adequate time to rest. It’s pointless to continue running and aggravate the aches.


Running with minimalist shoes are certainly the way to go. They can catalyse your quest to become a better runner. And for the best minimalist running shoes, be sure to check out the inov-8 range.


Do you run in minimalist shoes? If so, what has your experience been like?

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