6 Shoes That Mimic Barefoot Running

A new movement is afoot, and it's gaining traction: pared-down shoes that mimic the feeling of running, walking and training barefoot. Learn why less really is more.

You'll Take a Load Off

Level soles encourage a forefoot strike, which reduces impact on your joints. (In standard sneaks, you're more likely to land on your heels.)

You'll Burn More Calories

Without the typical support, tiny foot muscles are suddenly called into action, increasing your sizzle with every step.

You'll Be Fleet-Footed

Because you're in closer contact with the ground, it's easier to grip, so you feel more agile.


The 76 sensor pads on the Reebok RealFlex ($90) give its sole extra flexibility, helping you push off your toes when you run.

Groove On

Zig and zag. It's no drag in the Nike Free TR ($85), a cross-trainer with flexible grooved soles.

Funky Town

Sticky-soled Vibram FiveFingers Jaya ($85) separates toes, aiding balance during any activity.

Run Free

The New Balance NB Minimus ($100) has no interior stitching, so you can slip in sans socks.

Make Tracks

A protective rubber bumper on the Merrell Barefoot Pace Glove ($100) lets you prevail on rocky trails.

Smart Start

Super small cushions in the Asics GEL-Blur33 ($85) ease your segue to the minimalist trend.

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