Like what seems like millions of people before me, I recently started running, read the book Born to Run and got totally enamored with the whole barefoot running movement. I bought myself the Merrell Women’s Barefoot Run Dash Glove shoes and loved them.
After doing some research I quickly realized that minimalist running sneakers were probably the perfect kid’s shoe and bought my son the Merrell Kids Barefoot Trail Glove 2. They are extremely light and super flexible. I remember looking for this type of shoe when my toddler first started to walk outdoors, and not finding many that were this flexible (you can roll them into a ball). My son’s feet tend to sweat a lot, and the mesh covered Merrell’s allow maximum air flow. He even commented on how his feet don’t get as hot anymore. He wears the sneakers with a regular pair of socks to school every day, even in the winter, with no complaint. The shoes are machine washable (air dry). If you have trouble getting your kids to wear socks, you’ll be glad to know these shoes were designed to be able to be worn barefoot. The inside seams are finished without any bumps or bulges. I have read reviews about the kids’ shoe which say it’s a great shoe for children with sensory issues because of this. For a shoe with a very slim profile the area around the toes is very roomy, allowing the toes to spread out comfortably. The children’s Trail Glove (pictured) has elastic laces and a velcro strap. Other models like the Barefoot Flux Glove shoe has laces.
While we love the Merrell’s, and they have a reputation for being one of the lightest and minimalist of the minimalist shoes available (not to mention best looking! the shoes looks great with jeans too), I do think that any of the barefoot running sneakers for kids that have similar features would work well for children.