Danny’s Top 10 Running Shoe Recommendations - Chi Running

Danny’s Top 10 Running Shoe Recommendations

Posted by Danny Dreyer on Sun Mar 21st, 2010, 5 comments

What are the best running shoes for your feet? Minimal, no-nonsense running shoes.

The running shoes listed below perform well for anyone working on their midfoot strike. They’re all minimal, flexible and light-weight. These aren’t the only shoes that are good, but they’re some of the best running shoes out there. Shoe companies are continuously designing new running shoes and releasing them monthly, so be sure to understand the requirements of a good minimal running shoe when shopping. Keep in mind that these shoes are only recommendations. Since everyone has different feet and different tastes when it comes to comfort and feel with their shoes, we leave it up to you to do the full research at your local running shoe store to see which shoes actually work best for your feet and running needs.

Adidas Adizero Rocket
Brooks Mach II Spikeless
INOV-8 Talon 212 or Rocklite 295
Mizuno Wave Ronin 2
New Balance MT100
Newton Isaacs
Nike Free 3.0
Puma Cabana Racer II
Vibram Five Fingers KSO or Trek
VivoBarefoot EVO

Remember that when transitioning to minimal running shoes, a gradual change needs to be made. Take both pairs (old and new) out on your LSD and rotate every few miles, or rotate pairs on every other run.

For more detailed information on all of the above shoes, visit Danny’s blog.


Resources to help you master the Chi Running basics:


  • minimal running shoes,
  • running shoes,
  • minimalist shoes

5 CommentsLeave a comment below

A couple of times a year I look through a recommended minimal shoe list such as this and see if any of them are finally offering a EEEE size. I haven’t found any yet, but I happened to try on a pair of Inov-8 Terrafly 303 shoes last year and found that they fit snugly, but not too tight, with either no socks or a pair of very thin socks. Those are now my trail running shoes. They aren’t advertised as wide, but sometimes it pays to try some on anyways. A couple of other Inov-8 models I tried at the same time did not fit, so even within a brand it’s worth trying multiple models.

I just returned to running after many years and was turned onto Chi running by a fellow parishioner who is quite a serious runner. He recommended I save my cross-trainers for the gym and get a more suitable running shoe. I happen to require a 4E shoe and find that NB makes the best wide shoes I been able to find for many years. I will check out the Inov you recommended and look at others. Since I’m going out West this summer (Montana, Wyoming, Colorado) is there a minimal shoe that is good for both running and trail hiking?
Thanks, John B

Hi Danny,

i’d love to see an updated list. I think there’s been a lot of changes in the minimal shoe market since you wrote this. Do you also have favorite gym cross trainers?

I gave my entire family chi walking books and dvds for christmas!

Maureen Wicks Nov 16th, 2015 10:55am

Hi Danny,
Could you please provide an updated list for 2015? I’m always in the market for trying new shoes and I like to keep 2-3 pairs on the go at all times.

Great information for what you cover, but you didn’t consider toe-box shape which is very important for finding shoes that won’t hurt your feet. It is nearly impossible for people with long toes to find appropriate athletic shoes.

What are your thoughts?

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