Which Types of Running Shoes are Right for You? Barefoot Runners or More Sole the Better?

hoka one one photo

Types of running shoes have gone from skinny to fat. Barefoot runners, your time in the sun seems to have passed. The newest types of running shoes are called “maximal cushioning” and according to The Washington Post, “The shoes look like modern, colorful versions of your grandmother’s orthopedic footwear.”

Hoka One One is the leader of the fat-soled running gear trend but other brands including New Balance, Brooks, Vasque, and Altra have also come out with their own versions. The shoes first started to be manufactured in 2010 but they’ve recently become popular amongst marathoners and the like.

“Runners get hurt just as much as they ever did, and take just as much time off to recover… One could make the argument that [in the past 30 years] we really haven’t moved the ball down the road at all,” Jim Van Dine, the company’s president said to The Washington Post.

Barefoot running shoes caught some slack last year when some of their claims were called into question. In fact, the trendsetting barefoot running shoe, Vibram had to pay $3.75 million in refunds to customers for making claims that they couldn’t back up.

According to the Boston Globe, “Vibram says it didn’t do anything wrong, but that it settled to nip the suit in the bud rather than watch it drag on and grow more expensive. Take that as you may; at the end of the day, Vibram is paying up and stripping mention of those health benefits from its advertising, at least for now.”

But either way, barefoot running shoes seemed to have deflated a bit, replaced by soles so big it would seem difficult to lift your foot. But they do look comfortable.

Jon Teipen, Brooks senior product line manager, said to The Washington Post, “the reality is that most people weren’t going to try to run barefoot… The majority of the market still likes cushion, still likes support, still likes a more substantial shoe. But the industry wasn’t talking to them.”

What types of running shoes work best for you?

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Image: Martin Criminale