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Are Running Shoes with Toes Beneficial?

Puja Lalwani
Running shoes with toes have gained a lot of popularity because of their ability to provide a quality barefoot running experience, known to be the appropriate running technique for good health. Here, we review these shoes and find out whether they are actually as good as they claim to be.
We're all aware of the benefits of running and jogging for the mind and body. But theories regarding the manner in which one should run, or the actual running technique are diverse, in number and in opinion.
While health and fitness experts suggest that it is the running shoes that make all the difference, another group is of the opposite opinion. This group suggests that running barefoot is the key to good health, and that it is this technique that makes the entire running process more beneficial for the body.
Based on this theory, several shoes that have specific toe slots have been designed and are popularly known as toe shoes or glove shoes. Here, we will discuss the advantages, reviews and prices of such shoes.


Research has shown that those who utilize specific running shoes have a footfall different from that required to experience the benefits of running. Those who utilize running shoes land heel first, whereas the barefoot running technique will always have you land toe first.
The practice of landing first on the heel is known to affect the body by adding a lot of force to it. When you land on your toes, the force is well divided between the toes and does not put as much stress on your body.
As such, using the toe first technique has been found to be the more effective one, based on a research conducted on athletes, in order to strengthen the feet, the ankles, and to tone leg muscles.
These shoes also claim to improve a runner's posture and help those who suffer from back injuries due to running. Finally, they are known to improve the overall balance of the body and may be a good choice when performing activities such as yoga.
While running barefoot may be injurious because of the variety in terrain, these running shoes with toes offer a soft sole protection while giving you the experience of running barefoot. Manufacturers claim that apart from running, these shoes may also be used for activities such as trekking, rock climbing, or a simple walk.
Specific shoes for water activities are now available, that protect the feet with a thick sole and covering, and yet allow you to have the best under water experience.
These glove shoes are meant to provide a perfect fit for the feet. They should not be larger or too small, but should in effect, fit like gloves. It is only then that they will provide maximum benefit.
In fact, when choosing running shoes with toes, keep in mind that the appropriate sizes are expressed in inches, and not the regular figure that you use to express your shoe size. However, there are conversion charts available that will help you choose the right fit for your feet.


Though the quality of materials used may vary among manufacturers, the basic function of every brand of these shoes is to provide a good barefoot running experience. Now there are certain pitfalls of these shoes that have been highlighted in its reviews.
The fact is, though running barefoot has been touted as one of the best methods to improve leg muscle strength, doing so requires you to also possess muscle strength. Because you are used to the cushioned effect available with running shoes, using these toe shoes could take some getting used to.
Further, while running in these shoes, you are likely to experience the roughness of the terrain you run on, which your soles are not prepared for. You may find rubble and other things entering your shoes which may make the entire process uncomfortable.
If you have been using running shoes all along, then you are most likely to have the heel first footfall. As such, the same will be the case with the toe shoes which, because of a thinner sole, may have a negative impact on the body and lead to a condition known as Achilles tendinitis.
It is therefore good to consult your physician before choosing running shoes with toes. Also keep in mind whether you have flat feet or very high arches. Only your physician will be able to tell you whether these may or may not be the best running shoes for flat feet, or for high arches. Do not start using these shoes without consultation.


The biggest and the best brand of running shoes with toes is Vibram, which has a whole range of such shoes for different activities. While the average price features around US $90, based on your requirement, the price of such shoes may vary.
Do not risk your health based on purported claims and benefits of such running shoes designed to give you the barefoot running experience.