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What you need to know about the Best Zero Drop Running Shoes

The term ‘zero drop’ is used to refer to shoes constructed with heels measuring the same heights with the rest of the sole. If you have a passion for running and it happens that you have flat feet, these are the right running shoes that you should consider buying. This is because they help with issues related to over-pronation and high arches, which often lead to several foot injuries.

Such shoes allow the feet to strike the ground in a more natural way, thereby ensuring stability when running. We have reviewed the 5 best zero drop running shoes that will make your running comfortable if you have any of these problems.

How to choose zero drop running shoes

Our criteria for choosing the best shoes is guided by the following factors which will help you choose the perfect zero drop running shoes:

  • Comfort

When it comes to running in general, comfort is key, irrespective of whether you’re a regular or irregular runner. Comfort here stretches to the design and size as well, and so these are the features that you should pay attention to when looking for zero-drop running shoes.

The good thing with this type of footwear is that they’re generally considered comfortable because they often have designs that conform to the shape of the feet. However, you still have to ensure that the shoes are breathable enough and has the right amount of cushioning.

  • Shoe-brand

As we will see in the reviews, we only have limited brands that deal with descent zero-drop running shoes. Therefore, as you go about looking for the right pair of shoes, you should narrow down to globally accepted brands like Altra, Merrel, New Balance and Brooks. The shoes from these manufacturers might be relatively pricey compared to the rest, but they’re worth every penny.

  • Outsole

To achieve zero-drop designs, a higher percentage of the inner and middle cushioning has to be removed. This leaves the foot exposed to a lot of pressure when hitting the ground during runs, and that’s where the outsole comes in.

In order to keep you comfortable and safe, most brands use rubbers soles because of their shock-absorbing properties. They’re also sturdy and durable, and will therefore keep you stable when running.

5 Best zero drop running shoes

  1. Altra Torin 4

Torin collection is the number one zero-drop shoes amongst the Altra brands. With the 4.0, you’ll experience an added Altra Quantic midsole, and with this lesser cushioning, the end product is a more responsive, fast and lightweight Torin.

This shoe brand features a strategic decoupling outsole technology that enables the bones and tendons on the foot to bend and move naturally. Throughout the run, you’ll experience flexible and smooth rides. What makes it better is the effectiveness of the lightweight mesh that will leave your feet comfortable, even if you’re spirited for extra miles.

It has a design that conforms to the shape of the foot. This in turn creates enough room for your toes to spread out and relax in a natural way. This makes it recommendable for those who frequent uphill and downhill terrains.

Pros

  • Breathable uppers

  • Usable as an everyday-shoe

  • Flexible outsole

  • It’s lightweight

  • Roomy toe-box

Cons

  • Questionable responsiveness

  1. New Balance 1260V7

This upgrade of the New Balance v6 has been on the shelves for quite some time now. It’s actually branded as the number one stability shoe brand, making it the perfect choice with a zero heel drop. Buying this shoe brand guarantees you of stability and superior cushioning.

New Balance understands that every runner needs to go extra miles as much as they can, and that’s why they designed this product with a glove-like fitting construction. So for those who are preparing for major marathons, this is the suitable item for you because you’ll be less fatigued after the race.

It features a rubber outsole. This offers you better traction and durability than the rest. If you frequent uneven terrains, you understand how much this is of importance. The sole elevates stability, thereby minimizing chances of injury.

Pros

  • Properly cushioned

  • Lightweight with perfect fit

  • Improved landing experience on the heels

Cons

  • Narrower toe-box compared to the rest

  1. Brooks Ariel 16

True to Brooks’ brands, the Ariel 16 is made with moisture wicking materials. This leaves the feet dry and comfortable especially while running for extended miles on relatively hot days. On the heel is an external heel counter that helps stabilize the heels when landing.

With this, your feet will be well secured inside the shoes, so you shouldn’t worry about them sliding or rolling. One thing I love about Brooks is that they have something for everyone and this range is no exception. They understand the needs for various runners; therefore this item comes in normal, wide and even extra-wide.

Pros

  • Features moisture wicking lining

  • Properly cushioned to curb over-pronation

  • Perfect every-day shoe

  • Available in different widths

  • Mesh-uppers with no-sew for cool, dry and irritation free feeling

Cons

  • Sizes run small

  1. Altra Escalante

In the zero drop running shoes category, this pioneer running shoe brand definitely sets the bar so high. It features a design that makes it improve stability, traction, comfort and push-off.

True to Altra brands, it also features foot pod outsole technology on its rubber soles. This maps tendons and bones on the feet for ease of bending and moving naturally, minimizing injuries.

It’s made of sleek aesthetic and equipped with a responsive Altra EGO midsole. The midsole also features grid-like grooves that let the foot flex as required. With these, you’ll achieve better running speed, enabling you to cover extra miles.

Pros

  • Suitable for running, training and racing

  • Comfortable uppers

  • Durable

  • Adequate cushioning

Cons

  • Not wide enough

  1. Merrell Vapor Glove 3

To those who prefer barefoot running style, the Vapor Glove 3 is the perfect shoe brand for you. It could be a problem to runners who are still transitioning to minimalist options, but still remains to be a great option for a zero drop shoe brand.

It features uppers made of mesh and Thermoplastic Polyurethane. To add onto comfort, it also comes with a breathable mesh lining that eliminates any chances of foot irritation, and also keeps your feet dry and in good shape after long runs.

It’s designed with a trail-protect pad. Being a minimalist shoe brand, this helps keep your feet safe from pressure from the ground, especially if you usually run for extended hours or frequent uneven terrains.

Pros

  • It’s lightweight

  • Improves running gait

  • It’s affordable

Cons

  • Not durable

Conclusion

Running in a zero-drop shoe brand requires gradual learning because as you transition from your regular elevated heels to zero-drops, your muscles and Achilles will also take time to restructure. It’s always advisable to go easy on the process as you gradually go lower on the heels when buying your runners.

However, as you master the art, these shoes will definitely be of great importance to your running lifestyle. After reviewing the 5 best zero-drop running shoes, we recommend the Altra Escalante .Away from that, you can freely sample the different products we highlighted in order to determine what’s perfect for you.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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