Home fitness fun Maximalist vs. Minimalist: Which Running Shoe Are You?

Maximalist vs. Minimalist: Which Running Shoe Are You?

by Nellie

Happy Friday all!

maximalist vs. minimalist

I’ve been *officially* running for a year now but I am learning everyday that there is still so much to learn! Running is a science. We have already addressed the importance of picking the perfect running shoe. However, there is another layer to choosing the perfect running shoe: deciding whether or not you prefer a minimalist vs. Maximalist type of shoe.

I recruited Sean the shoe expert from the Shoebuy Event that I attended last month, because I was just impressed and highly interested in the science behind shoes he was sharing. He had so much great info in his brain so I am so excited to have his expertise here on the blog!

Minimalist vs. Maximalist Running Shoes – the benefits of each and how to choose

a.       The difference between minimalist and maximalist running shoes has everything to do with the stack height, also known as the height of the mid-sole. Designed to mimic running barefoot, minimalists range from having no midsole at all, such as Merrell’s Pace Glove, to low profile, low-drop midsoles, like those found in New Balance’s Minimus collection. Maximalists are the opposite of these, and feature a big, thick mid-sole with lots of cushioning. These styles still offer a lower heel to toe drop and often a natural foot shape (i.e., wider, more accommodating forefoot that mimics the shape of your foot).

Maximalists descended from ultra-running –longer than marathon distance, often over variable terrain – where foot protection is very important. For many runners, minimalist shoes are not practical, especially when you’re running on pavement. A minimalist shoe will offer a greater touch – you’re closer to the ground and you may feel more stable—and are best for biomechanically efficient runners, which is a fancy way of saying runners whose feet work very well. Maximalists are for those looking for more cushioning and protection, likely more high-mileage runners.

Sean’s Picks:

                     i.      Maximalist: http://www.shoebuy.com/altra-footwear-paradigm/699536 OR http://www.shoebuy.com/asics-33-m-running-shoe/742345

                   ii.      Minimalist: http://www.shoebuy.com/merrell-vapor-glove-2/730846 OR http://www.shoebuy.com/new-balance-zero-v2/671472

Benefits of buying running shoes online

a.       Regular runners likely already know what shoes or style of shoes work for them, and often times already have a specific style or brand in mind when setting out for a new pair. For runners that are ready to replace their favorite, go-to shoe that they already know and love, online shopping allows them to shop a broader variety of colors and versions (for example, a winterized version of your favorite shoe) than you might find through a specialty or sporting goods store.

Shopping online is your best bet for securing the color you prefer, and it might be the only way to find an extended size or width. Plus, when you’re online shopping, you can look at multiple views of the style to get a true sense of how the shoe will look, and you can read through customer reviews and product information provided by the retailer to really get a sense of the features and fit as well.

[Tweet “Which type of #running shoe are you? Minimalist vs. Maximalist explained by @ShoeBuy expert! #runchat”]

So which one are you? Minimalist? Maximalist? Somewhere in between? How was your fitness and wellness week?

You may also like

9 comments

Janine Huldie July 31, 2015 - 6:01 am

I am not going to lie when I say that I honestly didn’t know the difference but can’t thank you enough for the bit of education here today on this 😉

Reply
Kita July 31, 2015 - 9:16 am

I don’t know which one I would be but I like comfortable shoes. I have wide feet so I am funny about all of my shoes. I lost two pounds this week yay.

Reply
Jen July 31, 2015 - 10:17 am

Minimalist! Started with Vibram FiveFingers years ago and now wear the Merrell Dash Glove. I’ve tried going with more cushioning but it just doesn’t work for me. And 5 years, 4 full marathon and 18 half marathons later, I think I have evidence to back that up;). And I DO run almost exclusively on pavement and average 20 – 30 miles a week when I’m training.

Reply
Carly July 31, 2015 - 10:46 am

I lean towards maximalist for running (and OMG those Hokas were amazing when I was carrying over 35 extra pounds pregnant!). I love a minimalist shoe for lifting weights. And I couldn’t agree more about shopping online once you know what works for you!

Reply
Tamara July 31, 2015 - 8:51 pm

I wouldn’t even know, honestly. It’s cool stuff, though!
I had a decent enough fitness/nutrition week, but ice cream tonight. Of course.

Reply
Leslie August 1, 2015 - 9:31 am

Thanks for clearing up the differences between these two shoe types. I’m probably on the end of maximalist because I’m running on pavement and treadmills a lot. Also, I have a high arch, and need the extra support there.

Reply
Dr. J August 2, 2015 - 3:38 pm

I have years and many miles of experience with running (over 100,000 miles). I ran with regular Asics on asphalt for longer than anything else. I was lucky because good form which I have, and midfoot (or forefoot) striking which was natural for me are two of the most important things regardless of the shoe you are wearing. I’ll run barefoot on grass, but otherwise now I run on softer surfaces (level off road) with Hoka shoes. They are very light, some models under nine ounces.

Reply
ASICS GEL-Noosa Tri 10 Review + $50 ShoeBuy Giveaway! - Brooklyn Active Mama August 7, 2015 - 8:33 am

[…] that ShoeBuy Expert Sean shared. I even asked him to drop some knowledge on the blog about Minimalist vs. Maximalist running […]

Reply
Kyle September 30, 2015 - 12:35 pm

I don’t think there needs to be a this or that. Different shoes work for different types of runs. I like minimal shoes for my short and easy runs and more cushioned shoes for my harder workouts and races 🙂

Shoes are tools, and you’d never use the same tool for different tasks.

Reply

Leave a Comment