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Outside Online Article on Minimalist Shoes for Kids

Merrell Barefoot Kids Pure and Trail GloveJust 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.

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. Kristoffer says:

    I love how the article ends: “Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove and Pure Glove for kids, $60. http://www.merrell.com.” Does make you more than a little wary, does it not?

    It seems like money permiate every aspect of the running/shoe industry, the science it’s supposedly based on as well as the journalism covering it. I would love to see people with a good graps of what constitutes good science systematically go through the relevant science and evaluate how much is nonsense and how much isn’t. Seing as fields and science within them that often are considered the hallmark of good science is anything but (see link below) I’m guessing that most of the “science” on which the shoe-companies use to justify their latest “thechnologies” is BS, quite frankly. I really don’t know this, I’m no expert at any of this, but that’s my gut feeling.

    Sorry for the pretty off topic rant, I just needed to get that off my chest, i guess. Oh, and I don’t disagree with the article, on the contrary I think it’s good, it’s just the way it ended seems to encapsulate everything that is wrong with this business.

    While it has nothing (directly) to do with running or running shoes I really urge you to check out this article (if you haven’t seen it already) about how common poor science is:
    Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science – The Antlantic ( link to theatlantic.com…  – the actual paper: link to plosmedicine.org… )

    PS. I appologize for typos and poor english.

    • Pete Larson says:

      I’ve read that Atlantic article, and just finished Bad Science by Ben Goldacre, both worth reading. Doing what you suggest about looking into the research is what I attempted to do in my book, and it’s true that there is not a lot of science supporting much of what is done when it comes to running shoes. But, speaking as someone who advertises running shoes, I don’t demonize the running shoe industry. Their business is to make money selling shoes. And magazines and bloggers have to pay the bills, you just have to be willing to remain objective about things. As a personal example, I recently did some consulting work for Merrell, but did not accept a consulting fee – I did it because I think the shoes they are making are moving in a very positive direction.
      Sent from my iPad

  2. Nrmrvrk says:

    My daughter (5yo) LOVES her NB Minimus shoes. Makes me happy that she loves to run in them. She likes it when we match both wearing Minimuses.

    Good article. Thanks for posting.

  3. kids footwear says:

    Choosing the right running shoe makes a world of difference in
    long-distance running, because it affects the distribution of your
    weight, the stability of each step and your overall comfort.

  4. Are these shoes really that expensive ?! I have twins though they can’t even walk yet.

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