Pete Larson Addresses the Positive Future of Minimalist Shoes
Below is a excerpt from Pete Larson’s blog, The Run Blogger, where he addresses the future of minimalist shoes. For those who aren’t familiar with Pete, check out his blog at www.runblogger.com, where he personally reviews running shoes and has hundreds of posts discussing running, running form, and running shoes. Here he is responding to Simon Bartolds negative answers to questions from an interview in SGB Weekly regarding where he sees minimalist shoes in the sport of running. Simon is an international research consultant for ASICS, who has yet to release a product that can truly be categorized as a minimalist shoe. ASICS, is the only remaining mainstream shoe manufacturer to not introduce a minimalist shoe.
The reality is that minimalism and zero drop are far from dead – one need only look at the number of zero drop offerings coming out in early 2013 from top 7 brands like Mizuno (Be, Levitas, Cursoris), Brooks (PureDrift), and Saucony (Virrata) to see that zero drop is alive and well (not to mention that New Balance has a large suite of minimal offerings, Nike has the Free line, and adidas just released their own “adipure” natural running line a few months ago – of the big 7, seems that Asics is the only one not joining the minimal party, though they are testing the waters with the Gel-Lyte). Even small and niche companies are getting into the market with minimal spectrum offerings – Altra has developed a strong following and has a suite of new zero drop shoes coming in the next year, and Merrell continues to add zero drop models to their stable of offerings (would they be doing that if their sales had totally tanked?).
Minimalism is not dying, it’s evolving. We are learning through self experimentation – for example, I still like to run in a barefoot-style shoe from time to time, but I prefer a bit of cushion for most of my runs, many of which are in zero drop shoes. We are seeing the pendulum swing back a bit away from extreme minimalism, but more low and zero drop cushioned offerings are on the way. Minimalism may be dead for Asics, but then they never set foot in that market to begin with – it’s hard to evolve a product that you never made a go at.
Pete’s entire article can be seen here : http://www.runblogger.com/2012/12/the-future-of-minimalist-running-shoes.html?m=1