Minimalist running.

We are naturally built to run barefoot. Some hard lessons I learned about transitioning to minimalist running.

Riz Tabley
5 min readApr 6, 2024
Woman standing barefoot on rocks with water flowing past.
Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

Barefoot and minimalist running exploded onto the fitness scene when the book Born to Run was published in 2009. People threw out their running shoes and went barefoot or bought minimalist shoes and started running in them. With that transition came a lot of pain and injuries.

After running in shoes for most of your life, you can’t just transition to minimalist shoes and be on your merry way. Your feet will rebel and get injured. I learned that the hard way and wanted to share these with you so that you can have a better experience transitioning to minimalist shoes.

All my training had been barefoot. No shoes on the BJJ mats, on the karate dojo floor and I do my kettlebell training barefoot. While doing my mobility training on my ankles and feet, I realized how much the shoes crimped my feet and how much impact supports have on my movement and posture.

Before we proceed, I need to make a distinction — barefoot running is where you run barefoot and minimalist running is where you footwear with minimum support but offering protection of the feet.

I started looking into minimalist shoes and learning about movement without…