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There are some questions regarding "minimalist shoes" on the site.

By looking at those with the tag, it seems that the term relates to shoes that have thin soles without much spring to them, and sometimes laces. I assume that's not all there is to it.

What is the definition of minimalist shoes, and what are the criteria necessary to meet the definition?

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There was actually a project done on the definition of what a minimalist shoe is and the result was

"Footwear providing minimal interference with the natural movement of the foot due to its high flexibility, low heel to toe drop, weight and stack height, and the absence of motion control and stability devices".

If you are looking for a simpler definition, this is what Wikipedia says,

Minimalist shoes are shoes intended to closely approximate barefoot running conditions.1 They have reduced cushioning, thin soles, and are of lighter weight than other running shoes, allowing for more sensory contact for the foot on the ground while simultaneously providing the feet with some protection from ground hazards and conditions (such as pebbles and dirt).

One example of minimalistic shoes would be the Vibram FiveFingers shoes which look like this.

black shoes that are made with individual toes the same way gloves have individual fingers

Image Source

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Minimalist shoes or "barefoot" shoes are shoes that provide your feet with some form of protection, but get you as close to a barefoot experience as possible.

The styles range from simple ultralight sneakers, to thin almost slipper like shoes, all the way down to stick on shoes:

Picture of assortment of minimalist shoes image source picture of man’s feet with blue plastic soles stuck to their underside image source

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