What also differs between natural running and running shoes is the "drop" : the difference of thickness between the sole under the heel and the sole under the tiptoe. As the drop shot is often placed under the heel, shoes are sloping ; a drop of 1cm or more is often the standard on this type of shoes. Obviously, by construction, we dont't have any drop on our own feet ! Drop 0 are thus shoes without difference of thickness of sole. Hoka shoes, (we tested some) have a limited drop ; with their drop shot on the front of the foot. It's already better (closer to our nature) because it allows to begin running in a more natural way, while keeping good shock absorption on the sole.
Sensation of the ground : we have quite a lot of sensors under our feet, they're useful for proprioception. Thick soles cut the connection with the ground, although minimalist thin soles restore this contact with the ground, and add a dimension to running : new perceptions make running richer and more interesting.
What do we feel in minimalist running ? At the beginning, big aches in calfs after first sessions
. In fact all the drop is made by progressive lax of the muscles of the calf, which makes all the job. Achilles' tendon is also very involved and we can feel pains in Achilles' tendon. Be careful to start minimalist running gradually. Breaking of the Achilles' tendon is possible when swithing to minimalist running. Any slightest pain or unpleasant sensation should lead to stop running, go back home walking, and let rest for a few days.
After a few sessions, once we're done with big aches in calfs, minimalist running becomes magic ! You can run without any joint pain, get the feeling of flying above the ground, whatever it is. Asphalt is not a problem anymore : our natural drop shot, without putting the heel of course, is just incredible. Minimalist running is amazing ! Even people who dislike running may enjoy minimalist running
But once again, be careful to make a smooth transition ; as we're not used to running this way, our body needs to readjust itself smoothly.
We invite you to read articles about minimalist running if you decide to start. Do it gradually by following methods recommended by physiotherapists, with their support.