Hoka shoes are not zero drop, but they usually have a low drop of around 4mm. Altra shoes, on the other hand, are generally zero-drop shoes across the whole brand.
The term “zero-drop” means that the heel and forefoot are at an equal distance from the ground.
Altra gained popularity among the minimalist running crowd because of their zero-drop design, which is meant to mimic barefoot running. In contrast, Hoka gained a cult following for maximalist cushioning and super-thick midsoles.
What is the Difference between Zero Drop and Low Drop Shoes?
The main difference between zero drop and low drop shoes is the height difference between the heel and toe of the shoe.
Zero drop shoes have no height difference, meaning that the heel and toe are at the same level.
Low drop shoes, on the other hand, have a small height difference between the heel and toe, usually around 4mm.
Zero drop shoes promote a more natural running gait by keeping your foot in its natural position, while low drop shoes still provide some cushioning but with less of a heel-to-toe differential than traditional running shoes.
What is the difference in Height between the Heel and Toe of Low Drop Shoes?
Low drop shoes have a heel to toe drop of 1-4mm, meaning the difference in height between the heel and forefoot area is 1-4mm.
This is lower than high drop shoes, which have a heel to toe drop of 8+mm. The heel-toe drop is different from stack height, which is the distance between your foot and the ground.
Heel-toe drop is a comparison of the amount of cushioning beneath your heels and the amount of cushioning beneath your toes.
How do low drop shoes improve posture?
Low drop shoes improve posture by encouraging less dependency on shoe gear and more reliance on strong muscles of the feet and legs. This helps improve body posture, stride, and performance overall.
Low drop shoes keep feet in a natural position, which combined with the generally wider toe box design lets runners stretch, roll, and bend their toes more naturally.
This can lead to stronger foot muscles and fewer injuries over time. Additionally, low drop shoes support a more natural running gait, improved ankle mobility, better posture, improved balance, and better alignment.
Are there any drawbacks to wearing zero drop shoes
There are some drawbacks to wearing zero drop shoes.
Zero drop shoes put a lot of pressure on the tendons and muscles in the lower leg, which can lead to Achilles, plantar, and calf injuries if not eased in properly.
They may inhibit natural stride patterns and sometimes be heavier than other types of running shoes.
Switching to zero drop or minimalist shoes will not automatically stop heel striking and can lead to injuries if overstriding regardless of shoe type.
Please note that these drawbacks can be reduced by easing into the shoes gradually and using the proper running form.
what types of injuries can occur from wearing low drop or zero drop shoes?
Wearing low drop or zero drop shoes can lead to several types of injuries. Overpronation can lead to plantar fasciitis, bunions, tendinitis, stress fractures, calf pain, and shin splints because of the lack of support these shoes offer.
Zero drop shoes have a higher correlation to injuries that occur in the lower leg and foot. Runners with poor foot structures such as flat feet are at an increased risk of developing musculoskeletal injuries when using minimalist shoes.
Common overuse injuries associated with the transition to zero drop and minimalist shoes include stress fractures, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis. It is important to note that overstriding regardless of shoe type can lead to injuries but more quickly with these shoes.