What makes a shoe “minimalist”?

Many shoes are sold with the term “minimalist” or “barefoot,” but most of those don’t actually meet the criteria for a truly minimalist product.

And research from Harvard’s Dr. Irene Davis shows that these “partial” minimalist shoes could be the worst thing you could wear.

A <strong>TRULY minimalist </strong> shoe — like Xero Shoes — will typically have these features:
<ul>
<li>NO heel lift, also known as zero-drop</li>
<li>VERY flexible sole (you can roll it up into a ball)</li>
<li>A low-to-the-ground design (a 4-12mm “stack height”)</li>
<li>A foot-shaped design rather than a pointy toe</li>
<li>NO unnecessary arch support</li>
<li>A sole that’s thin enough to let you FEEL the ground (while still providing protection)</li>
</ul>

This also results in a lightweight shoe (though there are lightweight shoes that are far from minimalist).