By Dana Dean
St. Louis (KSDK) -- It seems one of the biggest back-to-school trends is minimalist footwear. But are those strange-looking barefoot running shoes good for your feet?
They are meant for running, but kids are starting to notice this funky footwear, making it a hot back-to-school trend.
One child said, "I think it's sorta cool that you can feel your toes in them."
Another said, "It's like you're in your barefeet but you are actually in shoes."
And another also commented, "I've seen a bunch of kids wearing them recently."
We know that kids like them, but we also checked with the Director of Athletic Training Education Program at Saint Louis University to see if he approves. He says barefoot running shoes were designed for people to spend more time on the balls of their feet rather than their heels. He also says a length stretching of the calf occurs with this product, which increases flexibility of your foot and may prevent injuries. However, he says there is a transitional phase to be aware of.
Tony Breitbach, Director of Athletic Training Education Program at SLU, said, "Can't go out there and start running barefoot on the concrete or wearing a shoe like this for your entire workout. Because what will happen is the stresses are being transmitted differently throughout your body. Usually when you're making the transition to this type of shoe, generally they recommend that you ramp it up."
The American Podiatric Medical Association is not taking a position on barefoot running shoes at this time. In a statement, they said, "Currently, inconclusive scientific research has been conducted regarding the benefits and/or risks of barefoot running."