Not sure exactly what is different about inov-8's shoes, don't really read the marketing stuff but there is a real difference. My knees and back normally give me trouble if I spend all day on my feet. In inov-8s I end up with no aches in the knees and back. They aren't a padded shoe so it's not like they are just softer then other shoes. Other minimalist shoes tend to leave my back, knees, and feet hurting. I'm thinking inov-8 has a podiatrist helping design their stuff but don't know if that's true. Just know I love these and all inov-8 shoes. Word of warning when you first try on inov-8 shoes they feel akward. Give them a chance and spend a couple days running around before you give up on them.