Zero Drop running shoe is relatively a new trend in the footwear industry. It started to become a common topic of conversation after barefoot running became popular among athletes.
Many people opt for zero-drop running shoes to improve their exercises and maintain their health at the same time. Needless to say, the benefits of zero drop running shoes are a lot. Zero-drop shoes are intentionally designed to support the barefoot running style that is getting more appealing day by day.
The term “zero drop running shoe” is trendy among athletes, professionals, or regular runners who run every day for fun or require special health needs. However, if you are curious about what zero drop shoes look like, you can find simple, basic, and in-depth information about them in this article.
What is a Zero-Drop Running shoe?
Zero-drop running shoes can be barefoot “minimal” running shoes that have low to zero cushioning and allow the feet to sit straight and flat on a level surface of the sneaker.
Zero-drop running shoes differ from other shoes due to the fact that zero-drop shoes usually copy the natural movements of the feet, allowing the heels, soles, and arches to be at the same level. Conversely, traditional shoes come with supportive additions for heel and arch, altering the natural stride of runners.
Benefits of Zero Drop Running Shoes
Below is a list of zero heel drop running shoe benefits that you might consider if you are willing to change your running shoe:
- A zero-drop running shoe makes you place your heels and feet in a natural position, which allows you to maintain your stability and increase your running speed.
- The shoe minimizes the injuries you may experience while wearing typical shoes, such as foot pain, lower back pain, hip pain, or shin cuts.
- It eliminates knee tension and issues, unlike traditional shoes.
- Zero-drop shoes are tasked with minimizing pressure, which gets directly absorbed into the calves – an advantage that traditional shoes don’t provide.
- A Zero heel drop running shoe comes without cushioning, so it doesn’t have padding, foam, which makes them lightweight and helps the body regain its natural stride.
- The shoe is mainly composed of an upper section and a sole: The upper part is supplemented with fabrics, whereas its robustness characterizes the sole.
- Equipped with synthetic material, the soles of zero drop shoes come with a comfy rubber that allows the foot to run freely without changing its natural style.
Why is Heel Drop Important in Running Shoes?
Heel-to-toe drop, at least theoretically, helps determine the way your feet are landing on the ground with each step. Some choose the standard running shoes with a raised heel, especially when racing. It helps push you forward and provides space for more cushioning. If traditional running sneakers are popular and helpful, what does a zero-drop shoe do differently?
Reduces the Risk of Injury: sneakers with a high heel-to-toe drop motivate heel striking to a particular degree. It can play a crucial role in examining sports-related knee injuries. Raised heels also indicate that you are continuously being moved to stay in a more forward-leaning posture, which stresses your body’s natural position.
Zero-drop shoes help decrease discomfort in the lower back and waist, and also knee and foot pain. In addition, zero-drop sneakers are said to eliminate the strain from the knee area and pass it on around the calf muscles, minimizing injury risk. But, just like typical running shoes have not been proven to decrease injury with their extra support and padding, there is no clear clue between zero-drop running shoes and reduced injuries.
Offers a Natural Feel: zero-drop shoes emulate running sandals that are mainly the first running footwear made. It means that no matter what rubber is between the ground and your feet, you would experience more natural movements, as you are running much like how your ancestors ran.
Light Weight Shoe: zero-drop running shoes result from minimalist design, and it results in less material being utilized to produce each shoe. The outcome is lighter running shoes, and lighter means less fatiguing, more efficient, and faster. It is especially essential in racing, where every factor you can gain is crucial.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can Benefit the most From Wearing Zero Drop Running Shoes?
There are many fans of zero drop running shoes. These sneakers might feel comfortable for some runners and boost overall performance if underlying foot pain and/or deformities are not present. As stated above, the features of zero drop running shoes are effective to individuals who already have the right running style to start with. Generally, no research or studies have confirmed that zero drop sneakers reduce the risk of injury or boost performance.
How Do Zero-Drop Shoes Look Like?
Anyone new to the running field would probably be confused to hear the word “zero-drop” at the first time. If you wonder what it looks like, you can easily equate it with flats that you wear not to lift your heel from the barefoot position. Technically, zero here means that there is no difference between the height level of the heel and the toe; that is to say, between the heel area and the toe area. So, when you wear the zero drop shoes, you put your feet in the natural position as if you are not wearing anything.
Should I Switch to Zero-drop Sneakers? And is Switching my Running Shoes Easy?
The issue of whether zero-drop shoes are good for you or whether it prevents the common runners’ problems is still debatable. Some people support the idea of zero shoes, while others do not. Each group has logical arguments and a scientific basis. What we know is that a new product always tends to be a subject of controversy.
Everyone has a different body and running style, which affects the type of product they would feel most comfortable with. It means that what works for others isn’t always suitable for you due to physical or habitual factors. So, do your research and, if possible, consult a podiatrist you trust before taking any steps to change your shoes.
If you wore traditional running shoes with a higher heel-to-toe drop, it would take time for your body and feet to adjust to your new shoe. In addition, some pain might be experienced; therefore, don’t force your feet to adjust to their new home quickly and refrain from intensified exercises.
Related article: benefits of minimalist running shoes
Do Zero-Drop Running Shoes come in Varied Sizes?
Yes, there is a wide range of zero-drop shoes to cater to the different types of runners. Zero-drop sneakers usually come with the following width options:
- Narrow: Narrow zero-drop shoes are equipped with tiny toe boxes to cater to runners who have small foot sizes. They are not as common as models with wide toes, but they are comfortable for runners with narrow feet.
- Standard: Standard shoes are these shoes that feature common sizes that can fit most runners. They are made according to the manufacturer’s criteria.
- Wide: Wide shoes are mainly created to suit runners who have wide, flat feet. Most runners who have wide feet cannot endure the tightness of narrow shoes as wearing an ill-fitting shoe leads to many problems.
So, when you shop for a zero drop shoe, it’s essential to find something that works for you. Before hitting the store, make sure you know your exact foot size. You can measure it by standing on a piece of paper and circling around your feet with a pencil. Afterward, take this paper while you are looking for your kick. Ask an expert to ensure that your shoe is true to your foot size to avoid any inconveniences.
All in all, zero-drop running sneakers have recently come into vogue as a plethora of runners switched to this new type of sneaker to maintain a natural gait cycle and help their bodies run naturally.
Zero drop shoes seek to render a barefoot-like experience. The shoe has proved effective in assisting runners in dealing with the road without having much cushioning, strengthening the foot’s muscles, unlike traditional shoes, which sometimes weaken the muscles to make your feet get used to amplified cushioning and padding. However, the question of whether the shoe can have a leg over traditional shoes or not is still debatable among runners. If you doubt whether you should switch to zero-drop footwear or not, we recommend that you ask an expert.