Best Zero Drop Running Shoes in 2024

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Before we dive into the best zero-drop running shoes, let’s myth-bust the most common misconception about this kind of footwear: zero-drop doesn’t automatically mean it’s a “barefoot shoe.”

While some zero-drop shoes are minimalist, they also come in maximalist versions and everything in between. You’ll also find some shoes have a wide, foot-shaped toebox (like Altras) and others have a more traditional toebox (like New Balance). There’s no right or wrong version – it mainly comes down to personal preference.

We particularly like (and recommend) the Altra Escalante 3. It’s comfortable and supportive, with a flexible sole and a wide base that adds stability.

But it’s not the only great zero-drop running shoe out there, so check out the full list before deciding!

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Altra Escalante 3

 

  • Excellent balance
  • Highly durable
  • Lightweight
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Topo ST-4

 

  • Great breathability
  • Highly flexible
  • Affordable
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Merrell Trail Glove 7

 

  • Barefoot 2 construction
  • Vibram Ecostep Recycle outsole
  • 14 mm FloatPro Foam midsole
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Best Overall

1. Altra Escalante 3

This might be the perfect starter zero-drop shoe. It’s got a good combo of softness and energy return – plus it’s flexible and lightweight.

What We Like

Like all Altras, the Escalante has a zero-drop platform but features a decent bit of cushioning in the midsole. EGO foam provides shock absorption while still giving you some ground feel with a little spring.

The balance between lightness, springiness, and comfort makes it versatile enough to handle easy runs, long runs, speedwork, and casual wear. Plus, the sock-like upper hugs your foot and feels comfortable throughout your workout.

You’ll also find Altra’s famous FootShape toe box, giving your toes plenty of room to spread out, grip the footbed when you run, and stay free from chafing. It’s paired with a wide platform from heel to forefoot, making for a stable ride.

FootPod technology and Innerflex grooves on the outsole help it to maintain a bit of natural flexibility, so it moves with you whatever kind of run you’re doing. This helps to encourage a natural running stride, so you can maintain your form with balanced cushioning.

There’s also a thick layer of rubber on the outsole, which adds an extra layer of shock absorption, keeps you steady on rough, uneven ground, and makes the shoe super long-lasting.

Why We Like It

The Altra Escalante is the ideal first zero-drop shoe or a great addition to your quiver of shoes. It’s a neutral shoe that offers enough versatility for all types of running or walking thanks to a great combination of soft comfort and bounce.

What to Consider

Version 3 of the Escalante is heavier than the previous version. This isn’t hugely significant, but those who enjoyed how light the older model felt might be disappointed.

What’s New

The Escalante’s upper was slightly tweaked for better breathability, and the tongue received more padding to add more comfort. This version also has an extra eyelet, which works nicely with the thicker tongue for getting a good lockdown.

PROS:

  • Supportive, sock-like upper molds to you foot and the wide, rounded toe box gives your toes plenty of wiggle room
  • Altra Ego foam is firmer but offers an excellent balance between ground feel and protection while remaining responsive
  • Wider platform in the heel and in the forefoot provides inherent stability
  • Signature FootPod outsole lets the shoe flex with your natural mechanics, which encourages a natural running motion

CONS:

  • Slightly heavier than the last year’s model
 

Top Value

2. Topo ST-4

The Topo ST-4 features zero-drop and minimalist cushioning. If you can handle a more barefoot feel, it’s one of the best value-for-money shoes on the market.

What We Like

Along with the zero-drop platform on this shoe, you’ll get just 16 mm of foam under your feet. It’s a great choice for runners who particularly like the minimalist style. Even the upper is light and simple, with thin overlays that improve lockdown without adding bulk.

One of the best features of this shoe, courtesy of the thin cushion, is its weight—a men’s size 9 weighs just 7.2 oz, and a women’s size 7 comes in at just over 6 oz.

This lightweight build makes these shoes great for getting some speed! While you’ll get quite a bit of ground feel, there is a nice energy return in the foam. It makes the shoe surprisingly versatile for things like cross-training.

There’s also a performance Ortholite insole, which adds some comfort and has antimicrobial properties to prevent odor-causing bacteria from developing.

The midsole has been updated, so when you put your foot in this shoe, your heel sinks into the sole, giving you a solid, stable feeling on each step despite the shoes being so light.

Another feature that makes it feel quite stable is the wide toe box, which gives your toes space to breathe and move. The outsole is well-covered with tough rubber, so you can keep your footing on most surfaces.

Why We Like It

The Top ST-4 is a light, no-fuss, put-on-and-go kind of shoe with great quality for its price. It’s geared more toward minimalism, but it still provides the necessary protection. A great buy for a more affordable zero-drop shoe.

What to Consider

This sole has just 16 mm of foam, which might be too little for some to run comfortably. If it’s your first time trying zero-drop shoes and you’ve never tried a minimal shoe before, you may find that these aren’t cushioned enough for you.

What’s New

The Topo St-4 has received a few updates, including a newly-designed outsole with expanded rubber coverage. For extended durability. An update to the upper leaves it more breathable and a little more lightweight.

They’ve also raised the midsole a touch, so when you slip your foot into this shoe, your heel sinks into the foam, adding inherent stability.

PROS:

  • Versatile daily trainer that can be used for various types of running or gym workouts
  • Mesh upper is lightweight and breathable, while the printed overlays provide structure that enhances the secure fit
  • Newly-designed midsole is minimalist but provides decent protection and an Ortholite footbed adds to the comfort
  • Very lightweight thanks to the minimalist design and lightweight materials, making it perfect for speedwork

CONS:

  • Minimalist sole might be too thin for some runners
 

Top Walking Zero-Drop Shoes

3. Merrell Trail Glove 7

This may be a trail running shoe, but it’s great for walking pretty much anywhere. Plus, it gives you excellent grip wherever you walk and looks awesome!

What We Like

The Merrell Trail Glove 7 is a lightweight, zero-drop shoe that makes for a great walking shoe. It’s technically a trail shoe, but its features make it an excellent choice for walkers.

The zero-drop platform uses Barefoot 2 Construction technology, which helps keep your feet in the most natural position possible while walking. This can go a long way towards relieving aches and pains, and may actually make your walking more efficient.

You’ll find 14 mm of Merrell’s FloatPro Foam underfoot. This is closer to the “barefoot” side, but true barefoot enthusiasts will find it a little chunky. However, it’s enough to absorb the lighter shock that comes with walking.

Light arch support helps to secure your foot, especially when well locked-down, as the mesh upper hugs the foot. A nice touch is the Cleansport NXT treatment, which keeps the shoes fresh no matter how much you sweat by counteracting odor-causing bacteria.

The Vibram Ecostep Recycle outsole has full rubber coverage with 2.5 mm lugs, which is great for all kinds of surfaces, dry or wet. Stay safe wherever you walk, but be aware that it may wear down faster on rough surfaces like asphalt.

Overall, this shoe is fairly minimal but that also makes it lightweight, allowing you to walk in comfort and with more efficiency.

Why We Like It

The Merrell Trail Glove 7 is a lightweight, almost-barefoot shoe that provides just the right combination of protection underfoot and comfortable padding. For walkers, the outsole offers excellent traction. This shoe is a great choice for those new to zero-drop footwear thanks to its lightness and comfort.

What to Consider

The lightweight nature of these shoes means they may not provide the support. Without a removable insole and minimal space inside, you cannot give yourself extra support, so overpronators and those with low arches might not be comfortable in these shoes.

What’s New

The Trail Glove 7 features a one-piece outsole, an update from the multi-piece one on the 6. Happy customers report that the significant arch support in the 6 has been reduced to a closer-to-barefoot style.

PROS:

  • Barefoot 2 construction is designed to keep your foot in a natural running position and make sure your joints are aligned
  • Vibram Ecostep Recycle outsole with 2.5 mm lugs provides excellent traction on both wet and dry surfaces and will keep you safe while walking
  • 14 mm FloatPro Foam midsole provides just enough protection against rough ground while still providing a light, close-to-barefoot feeling
  • Cleansport NXT-treated for natural odor control, so you can wear them in hot weather and stay cool, dry, and fresh

CONS:

  • Might not be suitable for those with low arches or who overpronate
 

Best for Heavy Runners

4. Altra Paradigm 7

The extra cushioning in this shoe makes it ideal for heavier runners. Plus, the zero-drop platform helps to distribute weight evenly and improve form.

What We Like

Don’t let the fact that this is a stability shoe fool you. The GuideRails provide subtle support and keep your foot in the right position, but they don’t kick in unless necessary. This means it works well for neutral runners as well as people who need some added stability.

The EGO Max foam in the midsole packs a good bit of shock absorption, which is excellent for heavier runners. With 30 mm underfoot, you’ll still get the benefits of a zero-drop platform but the protection of a max-cushioned shoe.

A zero-drop platform also helps to encourage a more naturally-aligned foot, which can do wonders for evenly distributing weight and reducing foot fatigue and hot spots that heavier runners might experience.

The engineered mesh upper is plush and comfortable, and we like the wide-toe box. Altra is famous for its FootShape toe box, which allows your toes to breathe and wiggle.

What we really like is that the midfoot and heel are snug, and you can get a great lockdown on your feet, which adds to the stability of the shoe despite the wide forefoot.

Underneath, a full-length carbon rubber outsole provides some good traction on several different surfaces, as well as adding a touch more shock absorption, which heavier runners will appreciate.

Why We Like It

Between the zero-drop platform distributing weight more equally, a moderate-to-max 30 mm of foam underfoot, and the handy GuideRails, this shoe is a brilliant choice for heavier runners making the transition to zero-drop.

What to Consider

Some runners have reported that the shoe runs a little warm, which may be something to consider if you live in a hot place and don’t like sweaty feet.

What’s New

The Altra Paradigm 7 received updates to the upper to make it more breathable and has a touch more plushness to the ankle collar and the tongue. The foam is lighter, and the GuideRails have been tweaked to be more subtle.

PROS:

  • GuideRails provide extra stability and support but aren’t intrusive, so this shoe can be worn by neutral runners and overpronators
  • 30 mm of EGO Max foam underfoot provides excellent shock absorption and makes this a well-cushioned zero-drop shoe
  • Full-length carbon rubber outsole provides slightly more shock absorption and keeps you stable on your feet
  • Lacing system provides a great lockdown despite a spacious toe box and your foot has plenty of space to flex

CONS:

  • The shoe runs a little warm, according to reports
 

Widest Toe Box Zero-Drop Shoes

5. Altra Torin 7

Runners, walkers, hikers, and CrossFitters who need extra space in the toe box will appreciate the Torin’s roominess. Plus, it has everything you need to be comfortable.

What We Like

The Torin 7’s updates make it a more comfortable shoe than the previous version, so you can look forward to feeling great with these on your feet.

It’s particularly comfy for those who prefer a wide-toe box, featuring Altra’s typical FootShape toe box without sacrificing fit throughout the rest of the shoe, thanks to a redesigned heel that’s nicely structured but soft and comfortable.

In the midsole, there’s a zero-drop platform with 30 mm of EGO MAX foam under both the heel and the forefoot. There’s plenty of shock absorption no matter what surface you’re on, and it strikes a good balance between minimalist and maximalist.

The natural foot position afforded by the lack of a heel drop makes this shoe versatile enough for running, walking, or even doing a gym workout. It also reduces pressure significantly on the forefoot, easing up things like metatarsalgia symptoms.

The outsole features Altra’s unique rubber pattern, designed to move with the foot and increase flexibility. Plus, great rubber coverage means you’ll be safe on multiple surfaces.

Why We Like It

The Altra Torin 7 has plenty of space in the forefoot for those needing extra room for their toes. Despite this, the rest of the shoe fits like a glove, which prevents the fit from feeling sloppy.

What to Consider

Some wearers have reported that the volume in the toe box gets quite low near the front. The good news is that you can remove the insole and replace it with a thinner one, but it might be an inconvenience or annoyance for some.

What’s New

The Torin 7 has received minor updates to make it more comfortable and improve the fit. Two extra millimeters have been added to the stack height, giving it a softer, more shock-absorbing ride.

In addition, the upper has been slightly tweaked and now features a thicker tongue and a revamped heel cup. Plus, it’s lighter than the previous version by ½ to 1 ounce.

PROS:

  • Versatile enough to be used for running, walking, or doing gym workouts while keeping the feet in a neutrally-aligned position
  • Spacious FootShape toe box allows room for your forefoot but the fit remains sleek and hug-like throughout the midfoot and heel
  • Zero-drop platform features 30 mm of EGO MAX cushioning for a balanced ride that’s the perfect mix of softness and energy return
  • The outsole pattern maps the bones and ligaments of the foot, for easier flexing and natural movement

CONS:

  • The toe box may be a little low-volume
 

Best Zero Drop Shoes for Trails and Hiking

6. Altra Lone Peak 7

If you plan on hitting the trails or hiking in zero-drop shoes, you can’t beat the Lone Peak 7. It’s got everything you need to stay comfortable and safe.

What We Like

Altra’s most popular trail shoe, the Lone Peak, is perfect for trail runners or hikers who want space in the forefoot and a zero-drop platform. The balanced platform helps to keep your feet properly aligned, which improves your form across uneven ground.

With 25 mm of EGO foam in the midsole, it’s not too soft but features enough cushioning for comfort. A rock plate embedded in the midsole offers great protection against potential hazards on the ground, and between the plate and the foam, there’s a good amount of shock absorption.

We appreciate the comfort of the upper on the Lone Peak 7. It features a stitchless upper with no-sew overlays that structure the shoe while maintaining a high level of comfort.

A lack of seams means there are fewer points of weakness on the shoe, which goes a long way towards boosting durability, especially on trails.

Newly designed MaxTrac rubber is thickly layered across the outsole, featuring 5 mm lugs that grip aggressively to the terrain, allowing you to run technical and flat trails easily and confidently.

Why We Like It

The Lone Peak 7 offers everything a trail runner or day hiker needs to hit the trails. A zero-drop shoe like this one may improve form, reduce the chance of injury on rough ground, and even help you build muscle in your lower legs!

What to Consider

This version of the shoe is slightly heavier than the previous version. This isn’t it if you’re looking for a lightweight trail shoe.

What’s New

The Lone Peak 7 feels quite similar to the 6, with the main updates being made on the upper and outsole. The upper has been streamlined, and lugs have been added to the outsole. It’s also a bit heavier than the previous version.

PROS:

  • “Stitchless” upper features no-sew TPU overlays which keep it stable and make the upper more durable
  • 25 mm stack height feels stable on rocky ground and a rock plate offers enough protection against the ground while still feeling comfortable
  • Balanced Cushioning constructed of EGO foam in the midsole provides both joint alignment and shock absorption
  • New MaxTrac rubber compound and 5 mm lugs on the outsole gives you excellent grip on technical trails, wet or dry

CONS:

  • The shoe is slightly heavy
 

Top Minimalist Zero-Drop Shoe

7. Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III

Switching to a zero-drop shoe for a total barefoot feeling? We recommend the Vivobarefoot—it’s as minimalist as you can get and does a great job of keeping your feet, your form, and the feeling as natural as possible.

What We Like

This is a true barefoot shoe. With just 4 mm of Active Sole under your feet and a removable insole, you’ll get some serious ground feel—as close as you can be to barefoot while still having a layer of protection.

Its super lightweight design makes it a great choice for various activities. It’s an excellent choice for things like plyometrics, a reliable and stable shoe for weightlifting, and a light and speedy shoe for running.

A wide platform and zero-drop base add an inherent stability to this shoe. In addition to that, a full rubber outsole grips easily to gym floors as well as outdoors, allowing you to move confidently and safely.

Why We Like It

It’s sleek, light, and minimalist. If barefoot running is what you’re after, the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is a great choice and will support your barefoot running goals while encouraging natural form.

What to Consider

The lack of shock-absorbing cushioning in these shoes may make them less suitable for long runs. For long runs, we recommend choosing something with more cushioning or making sure you are fully adapted to barefoot running before heading out.

They also don’t come in half sizes, which could make sizing difficult, especially for a shoe that’s got a snug fit, like this one.

What’s New

The latest version of this shoe is made with recycled materials.

PROS:

  • Versatile enough to use safely and comfortably for a range of different activities, like running, walking, plyometrics, and weight lifting
  • Active Sole of just 4 mm thick, providing you with excellent ground feel and just enough protection against the ground
  • Removable sole allows you to get even more of a ground feel in the gym, in the box, or when walking
  • Lightweight, minimalist feeling that doesn’t fatigue your feet no matter what activity you’re doing

CONS:

  • Not suitable for long runs
  • No half-sizes, so sizing may be tricky
 

Best Stability Zero-Drop Shoes

8. Altra Provision 7

Are you an overpronator? You can still wear zero-drop shoes—we recommend the Altra Provision for its stability and support.

What We Like

The Provision 7, like a few other Altras we’ve mentioned here, has a stack height of 30 mm. This provides a good bit of shock absorption and comfort.

However, what the Provision does differently is that it features GuideRail technology—more dense foam on the medial side of the shoe to stop your arch from collapsing and causing injury.

Unlike many stability shoes, it isn’t stiff or intrusive. This is thanks to Innerflex technology, small grooves carved into the midsole that helps it to flex with your foot, allowing you to move through a full range of motion easily.

Other great features include Altra’s traditional FootShape toe box and superb rubber on the outsole, giving you absolute confidence no matter where you take this shoe.

Why We Like It

The Altra Provision 7 offers all the best of Altra’s features plus a stability feature that effectively supports the overpronating foot—the best combination of comfort and security.

What to Consider

These shoes may feel too heavy and bulky for speedwork. We recommend reserving them for easy runs instead.

What’s New

Not much has changed from the 6 to the 7. The heel cup has been redesigned for a more secure fit and the shoe weighs a touch less. Everything else remains the same.

PROS:

  • GuideRail technology helps to support the foot and prevent it from rolling over as you run or walk, reducing the chances of injury
  • Innerflex technology helps the shoe to flex with you as you do your activity so your range of motion is never limited
  • 30 mm of foam in a balanced cushioning base for a neutral, aligned foot position that improves form and reduces injury
  • Generous layer of rubber on the outsole provides sticky, grippy traction on the road, both wet and dry, to keep you safe

CONS:

  • Not a lot of energy return
 

Best Lightweight Zero-Drop Shoes

9. Merrell Vapor Glove 4

If you want to feel like you’re wearing absolutely nothing on your feet, you’ll love these ultra-lightweight shoes.

What We Like

Weighing just 5.4 ounces per shoe, this shoe is one of the lightest ones you’ll find on the market. This is minimalism at its very best—the shoe has no frills whatsoever. And despite being so minimal, it’s versatile enough to be suitable for a few different activities.

A zero-drop platform made up of just 6.5 mm of cushioning features 2 mm lugs underfoot. The sole is the thinnest we’ve ever seen, so expect strong ground feel underfoot on every run. Your lower legs and feet will definitely gain strength running in these!

But it’s not just good for barefoot running. Hit the gym without dirtying your feet, take a walk, or simply visit a friend in these. Whatever you do in them, you can expect to feel light and breezy.

Although it’s extremely minimalist, the wide toe box and hugging heel cup make the shoe surprisingly stable for such a light, minimal design.

Another thing we’re impressed about is the impressive durability of this shoe. Abrasion-resistant mesh and a sizable toe bumper keep your feet well-protected.

Plus, the sticky Vibram soles grip almost any surface with ease, so you can take these almost anywhere and stay safe and stable on your feet.

Why We Like It

These shoes are the lightest you can find, so if the barefoot feeling is what you’re after, these shoes give it to you. Plus, they provide many protective features that help your feet stay safe despite their minimalist nature.

What to Consider

If you’re running often on different surfaces, the paper-thin outsole on this shoe might wear away rather quickly. Keep this in mind if you’re planning to buy, but it’s likely to be the same for any shoe with such a thin outsole.

PROS:

  • Weighs just over 5 ounces per shoe, providing as close to a barefoot feeling as possible while still providing benefits
  • Wide toe box and snug heel cup make this shoe very stable despite being so minimalist
  • Abrasion-resistant Cordura mesh and substantial toe bumper add protection to your feet despite the shoe being minimalist
  • Vibram soles deliver solid grip so you can rest assured you’ll be safe on numerous different surfaces

CONS:

  • The outsole may wear away fast on outdoor surfaces
 

Top Zero-Drop Shoes for CrossFit

10. Inov-8 Bare XF 210 V3

These shoes offer everything you need for lifting, plyometrics, and short runs. Minimalist, good-looking, and non-fatiguing.

What We Like

This shoe is light and feels like a second skin, although TPU overlays and a light toe protector add some structure to the upper.

It’s extremely minimalist, featuring just 1.5 mm of rubber on the outsole and no midsole foam. There is a 3 mm Power Footbed in the shoe, which adds a bit of passing but can be removed if you don’t like the extra cushion.

With just 4.5 mm at the most under your feet, you can feel the ground under your feet. A decent toe box allows you to use your toes for grip as well, depending on what you’re doing.

The “lugless” outsole is adorned with grooves, providing flexibility throughout the sole that allows your feet to move naturally through their range of motion without being restricted.

These features make them excellent for various exercises, like box jumps, deadlifts and squats, and short runs. Plus, they’re so light that they won’t weigh you down, whatever you’re doing.

Why We Like It

These shoes are flexible enough to allow your feet to move through their natural range of motion in CrossFit, whether box jumping, running, or lifting heavy. The zero-drop platform keeps your feet neutral, reducing the chance of foot and ankle injuries in the box.

What to Consider

This shoe has the smallest toe box on this list. If you need extra space in the toe box, this shoe might be uncomfortable.

What’s New

The upper has been redesigned to be more breathable. Also, the stack height is notably lower in this new version, and the outsole rubber is less sticky.

PROS:

  • Rope-Tec TPU-wrap provides extra structure and protection, as well as making rope-climbing easier
  • 3 mm Power Footbed adds a touch of cushioning and comfort to the shoes, and can be removed if you prefer
  • 1.5 mm outsole makes this one of the most minimalist shoes you can find and gives you a true barefoot feeling
  • Unique outsole design features grooves that enhance the flexibility of the sole, making it versatile and not restricting the feet

CONS:

  • The toe box has been reported to be a little tight for some
 

Buyer’s Guide – Zero Drop Shoes

Planning to shop around for the best zero-drop running shoes to suit your needs? Here’s what you should be looking for in good zero-drop footwear.

Cushioning

It’s wise to decide upfront if you want minimalist, maximalist, or in-between cushioning. Zero-drop running shoes come in all types, just like any other shoes—the right level of cushioning for you will probably be based on your previous footwear.

Keep in mind that you should double-check that the cushioning features decent arch support. Zero-drop doesn’t mean the shoe lacks support in the footbed, but it’s still a good idea to ensure your foot is properly supported in the shoes you like.

Weight

The more cushioning a shoe has, the heavier it’s likely to be. If you’re after a light, fast shoe, be aware that it usually comes with less padding underfoot, whereas if you want a more cushioned shoe, it may be heavier than you’d like.

Flexibility

Regardless of the amount of cushioning, the sole should be flexible enough to not restrict your natural foot movement during walking, running, or whatever activity you’re doing while wearing the shoes.

However, there should not be so much flex that your foot is unstable as you move. The ideal shoe should strike the perfect balance between firm stability and flexible movement.

Durability

Whether you’re opting for a minimalist shoe or a max-cushioned one, research durability. It’s not always about the size of the midsole, but more about the quality of the materials and the natural wear of the shoe.

The outsole is bound to wear down as you run, but it should last between 300 and 600 miles before needing to be replaced. Also, the cushioning should not flatten too easily, whether it’s a thin layer or a chunky one.

Traction

The traction you need depends on the kind of shoe you want—a road running shoe, trail running shoe, or something else. If you’re planning on hitting rougher ground, you need more aggressive tread on the outsole, to grip loose ground and help you keep your footing.

Keep in mind that just because a shoe is labeled as a “road” shoe or a “trail” shoe, it doesn’t mean the traction is automatically the right thing for you. Even within categories, outsoles can vary widely, so make sure the shoe you like has the traction you need.

FAQs

What Are Zero-Drop Shoes?

Zero-drop is relatively new terminology for shoes that are of equal height, from heel to toe. In fact, it’s a word that was first introduced by Altra, a brand that makes several appearances in this guide.

Most shoes are designed to have a higher heel than all other areas. Altra wanted to construct a shoe that broke away from this norm. And in developing zero-drop shoes, they succeeded in doing exactly that.

Why Wear Zero-Drop Shoes?

Our feet are naturally level when we aren’t wearing any footwear. The ball of our foot is of equal height as our heel. By investing in a pair of zero drop shoes, you are allowing your foot to return to its natural state.

As a result, this makes your movement much more natural. Your feet are straighter, as they are supposed to be. But why would you want to do this?

Well, traditional shoes use artificial supports that do a lot of the work for us. We’re often unaware of it, but our feet are losing out on important strengthening due to this.

The longer you wear zero drop shoes, the stronger your feet will become. This will help you have more natural stability and less foot fatigue.

Instead of relying on a shoe to give us support, our feet will provide it for us. We will then become less susceptible to injury.

How to Transition to Zero-Drop?

Because we have become so accustomed to letting shoes do most of the work, it can take several months before we’re ready to regularly wear zero drops. In some cases, this transition can take years.

Remember, the goal here is to strengthen your feet to where you don’t need artificial support and stability. It’s best to start out running in a pair that has a lower heel than your current running shoes. Alternate between the two until you are comfortable just using the new pair.

You can continually buy shoes with lower heels until you’re ready for zero drops. This might be the safest route, but it’s admittedly the most expensive.

If you are looking to transition with just a single pair of zero drop shoes, you should check out this article. It has a wealth of knowledge and experience that will serve you well in your endeavors.

Whichever route you ultimately decide on, it’s vital to your health that you don’t rush it. Just to give you an idea how risky it is, veteran runners who thought they could speed up the process ended up injured for months.

Take your time. In this instance, it isn’t a race.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.