If you’re in the market for a new pair of running shoes, now is a great time to do some research, especially if you’re on a budget.
Running shoes with “zero drop” are changing the way runners look at footwear — and not always for the better.
But don’t worry! Get ready to dive into this blog post to learn what zero drop really means and how to choose your perfect pair of flats or heels without breaking the bank.
Pros of Zero Drop Running Shoes
Let’s start with the good.
1. Better Performance
Another major benefit of zero drop running is the performance boost.
It goes without saying that an injury-free runner will almost always perform better than one who is not. But the real benefit of zero drop running shoes comes from their ability to allow an athlete to land more softly when running.
Studies have shown that running in shoes with a higher heel-to-toe differential can cause runners to strike the ground with too much force, which can slow them down, tire them out more quickly, and increase their chances of getting injured.
2. Injury Prevention
The biggest and most obvious benefit of zero drop footwear is the prevention of injury.
The high drop provides a unique platform for the foot that helps absorb energy when landing. In contrast, no-drop footwear does not give your feet this extra cushioning, which can lead to frequent injuries like stress fractures.
There are also some research studies that have shown that no-drop shoes can cause plantar fasciitis, a condition where the ligaments and tendons of your foot become inflamed.
3. Stability and Stiffness
The high drop also enhances the foot’s surrounding structures to prevent excessive pronation (or rolling inward). This keeps the foot from overreacting during impact and enhances its balance while running.
4. Better Shock Absorption
The high heel of zero-drop running shoes also provides great shock absorption, which is how they are able to prevent injuries. This can be a double-edged sword because most studies have shown no negative effects at all when it comes to injury prevention.
5. Improved Running Economy
Running economy is the limiting factor for almost all runners, and even with training, there’s no way to improve it once it reaches a certain threshold. With zero drop running shoes, you have an additional means of improving your efficiency.
It’s not just about the ability to cushion the blow of the foot strike during running — zero drop technology also allows you to build up more muscular strength in your legs. This can help you create more force on each step and make you less prone to injuries.
6. Movement Comfort
One of the biggest complaints people have about running shoes is that they feel like they are squeezing too tightly and restricting movement. This can cause runners to feel uncomfortable and overpronate more than normal, which ultimately leads to injuries.
Unlike conventional running shoes, zero drop footwear allows your foot to move freely in order to maintain proper alignment throughout the stride. This is why it reduces strain on your knee joints and can make you much more comfortable during workouts or long runs.
7. Lightweight and Flexible
No-drop shoes are normally much lighter than traditional running shoes because they have fewer support features. This can be a problem for serious runners who have high performance goals and need to strengthen their legs.
Zero drop running shoes give you the best of both worlds. They offer a lightweight construction without sacrificing support, which makes them a great choice for runners looking to keep their feet light and injury-free.
Cons of Zero Drop Running Shoes
Now for the bad. Here are some things to consider before you make the leap to zero drop running footwear.
1. Not For All Running Paces
First of all, it’s important to note that not all running paces are suited for zero drop running shoes. Watching a runner’s form is vital to ensuring that they are using the proper pace — many fast runners have been spotted wearing zero drop shoes.
Because of the cushion provided by the high heel, these shoes may cause slower runners to overstride and compromise their form. The only thing worse than a slow runner is an injury-prone one!
2. Increase The Risk Of Lower Leg Injuries
Cons of zero drop running shoes are that they increase the risk of lower leg injuries. With higher cushioned heels, there is an increased risk of plantar fascia strain and Achilles tendonitis.
3. Bad And Efficient Running Form
Another con of zero drop running shoes is that it’s not good for your form. This shoe does not make you run faster but instead forces you to run with a really bad form.
These shoes makes injured heel, knee pain and even back pain because of the way to force your body to be balanced.
4. It can stretch the Achilles tendon
The extra cushioning and a higher heel may also cause your Achilles tendon to elongate, which can be a real problem for runners.
5. You need to get used to the shoes
If you’re switching from regular running shoes, you may need some time to adjust. It’s also important to realize that shoes with a heel are going to have a much different feel than your old footwear. This is a problem that you may have to solve on your own.
To Sum Up!
So, what do you think about zero drop running shoes? Are you a true believer or are you convinced by the cons?
There are so many benefits of zero drop running sneakers, but that doesn’t mean that you have to give up your old pair. If you rely on them for comfort and support, there’s no reason that should prevent you from using them for their intended purpose.
In other cases — those where your shoes simply feel better — then there is no reason not to switch. You can always replace your old shoes with a more supportive pair of zero-drop running sneakers if you want to do the best for your body.