Should You Run In A Zero-Drop Shoe?

Not every runner needs to get down to a zero-drop shoe, but running in a shoe with firm cushioning and a minimal heel-toe drop of about 3-5mm clearly reduces the torque and impact forces on the body while also enhancing a runner’s stability. Photo: inov-8

Running gait analyst and running injury expert Jay Dicharry shares his top tips. 

Q.

Should it by my goal to eventually run in a zero-drop shoe with a flat profile if I’ve been running for years in a shoe with a 12mm heel-toe drop?

A.

It depends on the person and what they want out of running and what works for them. Not every runner needs to get down to a zero-drop shoe, but running in a shoe with firm cushioning and a minimal heel-toe drop of about 3-5mm clearly reduces the torque and impact forces on the body while also enhancing a runner’s stability.

RELATED: Spring 2014 Shoe Buyer’s Guide

For some people, a shoe with a 4mm heel-toe drop like the Saucony Kinvara or Brooks Pure Flow will be the end point. For other people, they might find that a zero-drop Altra Instinct or Merrell Road Glove works best for them and the Kinvara might be a useful shoe to use along the way. But it’s important to know that a runner needs to work on strength and form drills to get into a shoe with a lower drop, otherwise they could be risking prolonged soreness or injury.

RELATED: The Key To Successful Minimalist Running

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About The Author:

Jay Dicharry, a physical therapist at Rebound Physical Therapy and director of the REP Biomechanics Lab in Bend, Ore., is a renowned expert in running gait analysis and overuse sports injuries. He is also the author of the recently published “Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed and Injury Prevention” (Skyhorse Publishing, 2012).

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