Do you know why many hikers look for the best minimalist hiking shoes nowadays? Surging in popularity, minimalist hiking shoes have become quite the rage nowadays for their comfort and design. This is even more so to avid outdoorsmen and women who know precisely how certain shoe types can directly impact their musculoskeletal system.
With current discovery on how too much cushioning and arch support can be counterproductive for hiking wear and slow healing of injuries, the surge of minimal footwear that stimulates natural movement and higher flexibility without sacrificing stability and support have ushered minimalist footwear in its finest.
Because of the popularity, a high number of brands also begin offering their own design of minimalist hiking footwear making one confused on what to pick. When it comes to the best, however, one brand had always been at the forefront of a natural fit, natural motion, and natural feel– Xero Shoes. Here are the top picks for men and women.
Best Minimalist Hiking Shoes For Men
Lifting up from their uber-popular bare-naked running footwear, the Xero Shoes TerraFlex is a current favorite in the hiking, backpacking, trail-running and other outdoor sports arena. Think of absolute lightweights, strong grip, and traction– all encased in a design that promotes natural movement. Like other Xero Shoe designs, the TerraFlex comes with a wide toe box allowing toes to spread and relax and flexible casing to allow one’s footsies to move freely and naturally.
Its non-elevated zero-drop heel is known to promote proper posture and stance to ensure balance, agility, and firmness in gait. But what makes Xero Shoes unique from the rest is its patented FeelTrue soles which guarantees protection, ground feedback and stimulation for the feet and the mind– and in TerraFlex this means– 4mm lugged sole for astounding trail grip, 3mm layer BareFoam sole, huarache sandal lacing system for heel security, and adjustable instep straps for midfoot stability.
Lightweight at 9.8ounces, it also guarantees durability and up to 5,000miles sole warranty. How’s that for astounding performance? For accurate fit, add 1/2 size larger. Check the size chart now.
Another excellent choice for minimalist hiking for men is the Men’s Barefoot-Inspired Minimalist Hiking and Running Sandal.
Still maintaining barefoot and comfortable elegance trademark of Xero Shoes, the Men’s Barefoot-Inspired Minimalist Hiking and Running Sandal guarantees maximum comfort, fit, grip and traction, and natural feel and movement when out and about. Unlike hiking boots that don’t allow feet to bend, flex or move naturally when on a hike, this one is designed for your daily day hikes and for casual wear. While the TerraFlex is best for long hikes and trail runs, the barefoot Sandal is designed for less obtrusive hikes requiring more comfort and style. It features– Zero-drop non-elevated heel for natural posture. Non-marking sole. Z-style webbing holds securely, yet slides on and off in seconds. Each Sandal, by the way, is all made of vegan-friendly materials. Colors come in black, brown and multi blue selection. For sizing, check the instruction given here
Best Minimalist Hiking Shoes For Women
When on a hike, a woman’s needs are slightly different than a man’s and this makes the Xero Shoes TerraFlex perfect. In stylish citron, lilac, nautical blue, and black colors, the Prio provides the same level of grip and traction, comfort and lightweight feel, and protection as other best minimalist hiking shoes in the XeroShoes line. At 6 ounces (for size 7 – women), it can be worn for hiking, trail runs, walking, or in a gym for workout sessions.
It may even be worn while out malling with friends or during casual Fridays at the office. Maintaining trademark features of XeroShoes– wide toe box, flexible design, non-elevated zero-drop heel, FeelTrue sole, huarache-inspired lacing system, and 5000-mile sole warranty, this one truly epitomizes what women want in their hiking footwear. When getting correct size, do choose 1/2 larger size. Check size chart here.
A Word To The Wise Hiker
Without a doubt, these XeroShoes are the best minimalist hiking shoes in the market today. If you are used to bulky hiking footwear though, it is wiser to transition slowly to a minimalist design before hitting new trails at full speed. Try wearing them on your daily rounds in natural terrain and elevation. Walk around the block or do the treadmill donning them. By the time you hit more strenuous grounds, these XeroShoes will melt with your feet as if they’re one. Have fun!