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Being that we are so interested in fresh smelling shoes, we make a point of keeping our eye on footwear trends. We have noticed that minimalist shoes are pretty hot right now. They seem to be getting a lot of love from fashionistas and average consumers alike. So what’s the deal?

First, let us talk about what minimalist shoes are. They are lightweight and flexible shoes with a minimum amount of cushioning and support. They tend to have a wider toe box, though that particular feature isn’t absolutely necessary. Minimal adornments are generally part of the package as well.

The idea behind minimalist shoes is to allow your feet to behave as they naturally would if you were going barefoot – or at least as close to natural as possible. As for whether that’s healthy, the jury is still out. Below are some of the reasons people have cited for wearing minimalist shoes.

Better Feel for the Ground

Thin soles with minimal cushioning make it easier for your feet to feel the ground. That appeals to some people. For example, imagine wearing minimalist shoes on your doctor’s advice to help correct a flat foot condition. Being able to feel the ground with each step makes it easier to change the way you walk, essentially training your arches.

Lower Heel-to-Toe Drop

Minimalist shoes also offer a lower heel-to-toe drop. This can mean several things to people who appreciate the feature. First, you do not have to put so much effort into picking up your feet to avoid dragging your heels. Second, the lower drop makes for a more natural and efficient gait.

Greater Ankle Flexibility

Adding heels to shoes puts more stress on the ankles. The higher the heels, the greater the stress. Minimalist shoes put very little stress on the ankles. They remain more flexible and, as a result, less prone to injury.

Increased Toe Flexibility

The ankles are not the only body part that can experience stress with some types of shoes. The toes can as well. Some types of shoes offer a narrow toe box as a matter of style. The narrower that box, the more pressure on the toes.

Minimalist shoes usually have either wide-toe boxes or actual toe compartments similar to the fingers on a pair of gloves. This maximizes their flexibility and actually engages them as you walk. This is supposedly good for balance.

Minimalist Shoes and Shoe Odors

A lot of people appreciate minimalist shoes because they think they are more comfortable and better for their feet. Unfortunately, though, even minimalist shoes are not immune from funky shoe odors. They can end up stinking just as much as any other pair of shoes.

The good news is that they can be treated with a high-quality shoe deodorizing spray. A product like ShoeFresh is ideal. You spray it on and let it do its thing. If applied correctly, it should keep your shoes from stinking for up to three months.

The Same Tips Apply

If you are inclined to try minimalist shoes, let us remind you that the same tips for avoiding funky orders apply. For starters, wear socks if your feet are prone to perspiring. Socks absorb perspiration so that your shoes don’t.

Second, dry wet shoes as soon as you can. The quicker they dry out, the less likely they will start to smell.

Finally, if you have any physical condition that contributes to shoe odors, see your doctor for treatment suggestions. As far as we know, there are a number of common treatments that can solve most foot problems.