Around 2009 there began a craze within the running community in the direction of barefoot running. The craze was to do away with the supportive and cushioned athletic shoes as they were regarded as the main cause of much of the injuries which runners were getting. The fad was supported and encouraged by a lot of so-called gurus, websites, forums and also books and magazines. It was heavily endorsed as being the answer to many of the issues that athletes experienced. It was approximated that as much as around a quarter of all athletes dabbled with the reasoning behind barefoot or minimalist running at that time. Regardless of all the rhetoric and statements created for barefoot running, the science and research failed to back up those claims which were being made. For most of these runners that tried it, the advantages did not materialise, and so they went back to running with what they were used to be running in. Athletes at some point lost interest in it and in spite of all the media hype and the amount of promotion which was given to it, the trend started falling by end of 2014 and these days it scarcely rates a mention except in historical terms and by a tiny committed few that still do it and continue to advocate for this.
The craze did inspire lots of barefoot running shoes that is a bit of a contradiction as how can you be barefoot and still have running shoes. However, these kinds of running shoes at the time were developed to be so minimal and have little padding just like the standard running shoes. These were genuinely simply protective covering of the feet. It was presumed that when using these types of footwear that they are as close as you might get to running barefoot whilst still utilizing some kind of athletic shoes. There have been a lot of new entrants into the athletic shoes market on the back of this craze as the traditional running shoe corporations ended up fairly sluggish to react to the change in the industry. The traditional running footwear companies did react with increased minimalist shoes at that time. Since that time several of the new entrants have left the market and the selection of barefoot running shoes provided by the larger running shoe companies have been drastically reduced as the interest in these shoes have decreased to the extent that they currently make up much less than 1% of the running shoe industry.
Though there isn't any longer much interest, if any, in barefoot running shoes, there exists a legacy that the fad leaves within the industry. Runners are certainly more conscious about the different design attributes in running shoes like the magnitude of padding and the height with the padded back heel. There are some of the minimalist design features that have been incorporated into the more traditional running shoes. All the various running shoes currently on the market is now more considerable which range from the minimalist end to the more cushioned maximalist end of the range. It is obvious that this novelty leaves a legacy.