There are different features that make up a “minimal shoe” and one of those is sole flexibility. Below is a video of how I test this flexibility, but if you want to skip the video:
- I test the yield by twisting the long-axis of the shoe
- I test its flexibility by bringing the front to the back of the shoe.
The second part of the video covers WHY I’m looking for a flexible sole. In short, there are a lot of levers in the feet that never get a chance to move because stiff soles block out the movement that would be created as my foot walks over something bumpy or textured.
This all being said, a popular question is “but what about when I’m standing or walking all day on hard surfaces like linoleum or concrete?” In this case I’d be looking for a sole that was both flexible and force-absorptive. As an example of what meets both these criteria is pair of Crocs (nobody said this was going to be pretty). In addition to their material, their standing-force dampening is likely why so many on-foot professions in hospitals are often wearing them.
The takeaway here is, for each situation there will be features of “minimal shoes” that work for you and ones that don’t. This is why I encourage you to learn about your feet and shoes so you can figure out how to assess each situation (including the exercises you might require) for yourself.
“Just wear minimal shoes all the time” isn’t very nuanced advice, which is why I wrote these for you: