I have a small foot, narrow heel and just need a minimalist shoe that is good for very long walks and some jump roping and maybe brief running -- mostly a lightweight flexible shoe. I loved the Brooks Defyance because it fit perfectly on my small feet and did not tip me over too much so I could still do some qigong moves etc without losing balance. They have discontinued this shoe and the new model sucks unless one is getting it just for running. I need almost flexibility and lightweight -- but not a lot of stability. I don't pronate so do not want stiff stability stuff in my shoes. Ideas paleowomen out there??? I would get 2 pairs of shoes but budget won't allow it.
For that kind of thing, I'd look into vivo barefoots or the merrill barefoot (they have one that's more of a mary jane or one that's more of a sneaker, but both are minimalist). I have the merrill barefoot pace glove and I like it a lot, but it's not quite as thin as the VFFs. I use it for running, though...
I wear the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 6oz of happiness. They do make specific running shoes, literally just came out with a new one about a month ago, that is getting great reviews. I do CrossFit in them so they multi-task quite easily from lifting to jump rope to running.
Love them to pieces!
Try a pair of Chuck Taylor's (take out the removable insole) - just like the old Keds we used to live in as kids. Also, Nike has - or had - a similar women's shoe that might fit your narrow feet better.
I have the Merrill barefoot mary jane and like it lots. I also like Soft Star shoes. The Merrill's are/look more fitness oriented, but the Soft Stars are less constructed and are more minimalist.
Most minimalist shoes have a wider toe box that feels room at first. This is there so your toes can splay properly. It takes time to get used to but it'll happen.
The new New Balance Minimus has a vibram sole, looks normal, priced standard, doesn't fall apart like some other barefoot shoes and is awesome. I think only the Trail has the vibram sole, by the way.
Try the Feiyue martial arts shoe. $15:
They ARE Chinese though, probably made by very undercompensated workers.
I use a mix of actual barefootedness, inov8s, and the most minimal xc flats I can find. Also always make sure dress shoes are as flexible and low profile as possible.
For your specific situation I would recommend one of the narrower models of innov8s with the level of cushioning you feel is appropriate for the application.
I love my Puma Mostro ripstop. They are light as a feather, feel like a comfy sock, and the elastic they have instead of laces hug them to your foot like no other shoe. My husband wears inov8, and they don't wear well well in my opinion. They look/feel like a much cheaper shoe to me. He vas Vibrams too, but doesn't lift or crossfit in them much. Narrow feet are sometimes hard to make work with Vibrams I hear.
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