Just read a great article by Katie Arnold over on Outside Online on a topic that I feel very strongly about. The article, titled “Mini Minimalists: Are Barefoot Shoes Good for Kids?”, addresses whether minimalist/barefoot-style shoes are appropriate for kids. I particularly love this quote:
“…if we can encourage kids to run naturally, the way they already know how to, and to feel strong and grounded in their bodies and free in their feet, why wouldn’t we?”
My own kids have been in Merrell Kids Trail Gloves for most of this school year, and I rarely ever discourage them from going barefoot when they want to. I’m encouraged that additional options are starting to appear beyond the Vibrams and Merrells – New Balance recently released the Minimus KT20 for kid’s (bought a pair for my 8yo son), and Skechers has a kid’s version of the Go Run on the way (my daughter has a pre-release pair and loves them – 4mm drop, light, super-flexible, and lacks the midfoot ‘bump’ found in the adult version).
I highly encourage you to head over and give Arnold’s article a read: http://www.outsideonline.com/blog/mini-minimalists-are-barefoot-shoes-good-for-kids.html.