Amazon: 10% off running shoes for Prime members - click here to view current selection.
Running Warehouse: Great prices on closeout shoes! View men's and women's selections.

Update to My Minimalist Running Shoe Guide

Saucony Kinvara 3My minimalist running shoe guide has consistently been my top performing post for over a year now. However, due to the work that went into assembling it and the explosion of minimalist shoes that have come out since I originally wrote he guide in 2010, I have not spent the time needed to update it as initially planned. Today I finally got around to doing a full update, and instead of attempting to list every shoe that could be considered even remotely minimalist, I opted to trim it down and simply provide my top recommended shoes in each of five categories (all are shoes I have run in myself):

  • Zero Drop, Minimal Cushion (aka Barefoot-Style Shoes)
  • Zero Drop, Cushioned
  • 0-6mm Drop Road Shoes
  • 0-6mm Drop Trail Shoes
  • Racing Flats

If you think of running shoes as tools, these are the five categories that I would include in my personal running toolbox. If I had to cull my running shoe collection to just five shoes, I would most likely choose one from each of these categories – they would cover all of my personal running needs.

Click here to view my updated minimalist running shoe guide.

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.


  1. Gaggio Malandrino says:

    Hi, I tried to build a complete barefoot and minimalist guide based on midsole and drop measure
    link to

  2. Cassandra says:

    I’m on my second pair of Kinvara 2s and I love them. However, I’m noticing that if I run longer than about 8 miles in them, I start to get pain and tightness in my ITB and hip/glute on my right side. This doesn’t seem to happen in any other shoes. I’ve been told I pronate slightly on the right side but not on the left so I’m wondering if maybe the Kinvara is not quite enough support for longer runs. The problem is that I’m a midfoot striker and require a very flexible shoe (otherwise, I get achilles and plantar problems). I also don’t like a ton of cushion. Can anyone recommend any shoes that are light and flexible like the Kinvara but provide some mild stability that I could use for my longer runs? I tried the Mirage and found it too stiff (to me it feels much stiffer than the Kinvara). I used to run in the Mizuno Elixir 6 and that worked well for longer runs but finding the recent version too stiff and firm.  

  3. yang xiaohan says:

    I get achilles and plantar problems

  4. Awesome, thanks for posting this. Are you spending lots of money on shoes or do the shoe companies gladly ship them to you? :)

  5. chelsea kits says:

    Thanks for sharing this. At first look, choosing one can seem frustrating. But, once you try a few pair of shoe and which type of your foot is the most important thing.

Save $$$ On Shoes Gear:
Running Warehouse: Great prices on closeout shoes! View men's and women's selections. 25% or more off clearance running shoes - click here to view current selection.

Speak Your Mind

 Notify me of followup comments via e-mail

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting