In order to transition into minimalist shoes safely, a careful period of adaption is required and the full process may take several months. In my opinion, there are two ways of doing this as follows
When I say slowly I really do men slowly, this means that you will begin to wear minimalist shoes for short periods of time, listening to your body and increasing things gradually. Go too quickly and you will almost certainly experience very sore calves and may risk bruising of the foot or worse still, stress fractures and other injuries. Take things one step at a time.
Some manufacturers produce transitional shoes which act as a gateway into minimalism. This means that they have a reduced heel to toe differential and a more anatomical shape when compared to a conventional shoe but have more cushioning and are not as flat as a truly minimalist shoe. Again, it’s really important that you listen to your body and take things slowly but you may find that you are able to regularly wear a transitional shoe a little more quickly than a completely minimal shoe.
It is likely that running in minimalist shoes will change the way that you run. Why not make the most this by taking a look at your technique and seeing if there are areas in which your technique could be improved at the same time.I will be posting additional articles on this subject under the Health and Fitness category.
Whilst I feel that most people will benefit from moving to a more minimalist shoe from conventional footwear, everyone is different and each person will have there particular ‘sweet spot’ – the point in the minimalist spectrum that suits them best. You can only really find this through trial and error but it is well worth the effort. It is also worth noting that this can change over time as your body and technique changes (and hopefully improves)
Whilst you are unlikely to be able to run all the time in minimalist shoes straight away, walking should be more tolerable and can be integrated more quickly.
During the transition, you are likely to experience some soreness in your calves and feet as your body adapts and changes in technique may result in other minor issues depending on the individual. If you experience more server problems or soreness you have tried to do too much too soon and you need to back off. Remember this process can take months. Discipline is important but so is common sense.
I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in this subject to take a look at the Natural Running Centre website as it features a great deal of quality information on this subject.