The value of cheap sneakers

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:

  1. Durability. Cheap shoes wear out quickly.
  2. Sneaker soles usually have less grip.
  3. Cheap rubber is heavy.
  4. 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.

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