My old H&M sneakers have a similar last to the Vivobarefoot Neos.
When I started reading about barefoot running on the web I ran in a few different pairs of very cheap sneakers from the supermarket or H&M. I have always preferred shoes that are flat and not too tight, so it turned out I had a lot of “minimal running shoes” in my closet. I would advice anyone wanting to try minimal running to run a bit in normal sneakers before buying minimal running shoes. Preferably they should be “lowtops” (with a low heel cap), and a bit wider than Chuck Taylors (just for reference).
Four reasons to buy real minimal running shoes later on:
- Durability. Cheap shoes wear out quickly.
- Sneaker soles usually have less grip.
- Cheap rubber is heavy.
- Cheap shoes usually breathe very little.
In other words all the things that make running shoes different from other shoes: Durability, traction, weight, breathability. What cheap sneakers do well, on the other hand, is NOT supporting your foot too much, and NOT having a padded heel. In terms of biomechanics they are far better than ordinary running shoes, if you want to run natural-style, that is.
My old sneaker easily passes the ball-test.