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The Minimalist Shoe “Tweet” challenge

Do you want to know what minimalist shoes the manufacturers are most excited about in 2012? Do you want to know in 140 Characters or less? Look no further.

If you are investigating minimalist running, you need to find a pair of shoes that you feel comfortable in and which are suited to the type of running you want to do.

Ironically, most barefoot runners will probably have more pairs of shoes littering their closet than your average runner. We will have shoes for every terrain and weather. We will have shoes that didn’t work out and others we have worn to death. We use shoes as tools, and as such we try to use the shoe that will gives us enough protection but with as much ground-feel as possible. Finding one that does everything is like looking for the Holy Grail.

There are a surprisingly large number of shoe companies that manufacture minimalist or reduced running shoes. Some companies we are all familiar with, however there are many more who are probably only known in the barefoot running community.

I asked my blogger friends to think of the minimalist shoes they have used and I asked the corresponding companies to “Tweet” about which shoes from their 2012 range they were most excited about.

I want to thank all of the companies who played along in my quirky request.

Below are their responses — in about 140 Characters.

ALTRA: “Superior function, fit, feel and fashion on a Zero Drop Foot-Shaped Gender Specific design – @AltraZeroDrop. Find Samson & Delilah this spring.”

BEDROCK SANDALS: “The Earthquake. Running Sandals hand crafted with USA military grade materials. Ancient design meets ground breaking technology. Built to run and hike.”

BROOKS: “Each of the 4 Brooks Pure Project shoes adds tech for Feel & a natural stride instead of just removing parts.”

ECCO:2012 is all about the BIOM Lite. Ultra low profile shoes that focus on your body’s natural ability to stabilize the feet.”

INVISIBLE SHOES:Winner: 2011 MGBG Grovie Award for Best Huarache – Invisible Shoes FeelTrue barefoot sandals (former Nike and Reebok designers helped make it).”

INVO-8: “Trailroc; featuring the new Tri-C compound sole that screams “grip!” and a minimal design that still offers protection and optimum wear rate. Plus, it looks great.”

JINGA: “The Jinga Original, lightweight and flexible, it allows you to move more freely, as nature intended. Available in a wide range of colours.”

KIGO: “Kigo is minimalist footwear for the barefoot lifestyle. Almost as light & flexible as no shoes at all, the eco-friendly #kigodrive is a laced shoe ideal for activity.”

LUNA:The ATS (All Terrain Sandal) makes traditional running sandals accessible and stylish to the general public. This is one step closer to the ultimate huarache.”

MERRELL: “@merrelloutside are excited about our new Road+Dash Gloves. Great for connection and ground feel while road running. Make the transition visit www.merrell.com/barefoot.”

NEW BALANCE:The NB 3090, part of the NB Minimus Ionix category, is perfect for the athlete looking for a speed and interval training shoe with the benefits of a barefoot fit & feel.”

NEWTON: “Newton Running’s 2012 performance trainers  facilitate natural form running, which means running more efficiently and faster with less impact.”

OZARK SANDAL:Ozark Sandals are extremely lightweight and durable, making them a popular choice for runners. We have custom sizing and lots of colors.”

SAUCONY: “The Kinvara 3 is our most anticipated launch of 2012. It improves on the best-selling Kinvara 2 and has a new fast, aggressive look.”

SKORA: “SKORA Base shoes are designed to allow natural running. Premium materials, adjustability, zero-drop, minimal cushioning. Run Real for life.”

SOCKWA: “The Sockwa G3 is the latest Barefoot solution.  Available in LOTS of sizes, and 5 new colors.  The G3 has an improved upper and an Uber thin sole.”

SOFTSTAR:Our laceless Moc3 running shoe is breathable, lightweight and gives excellent groundfeel. It stretches across your foot to fit like a glove!”

STEM: “Fall 2012 we will debut a Minimalist Dress Shoe for Men/Women featuring our: 1. Wide Toebox, 2. Flexible Sole, 3. Astounding Comfort.”

UNSHOES:We have several new models to be released but we’re excited about the Pah Tempe sandal with a strap over the toes rather than between them.”

VIBRAM: “Vibram introduces its lightest shoe to date, the SeeYa.  The women’s model comes in at 3.75oz and is race ready for the veteran minimalist.”

VIVOBAREFOOT: “@VIVOBAREFOOT Breatho Trail offers max proprioception, protection and grip with lightweight breathability 4 ultimate barefoot experience.”

ZEM: “ZEM’s new series is the TERRA which combines ergonomically moulded guards with ZEM’s patented moulded tech bands for stability, barefoot protection and agility in all kinds of terrain.”