Sometimes the Higher Drop is Better than Zero Drop Shoes
As an experienced fitness enthusiast who’s been running for a decade, I want to talk about why high-drop running shoes might be great for people who tend to land on their heels when they run, like me.
These shoes have a higher heel compared to the rest of the sole, which can provide extra cushioning and support for the knees, calves, and feet. Some people think high-drop shoes aren’t as good, but they actually have their own advantages. Let’s explore why higher-drop shoes might be better for certain runners. High-drop running shoes are designed for people who consistently land on their heels when they run, offering extra protection and reducing fatigue. While some people argue that they can make your natural running stride feel different, using the right form can make a big difference and create a unique running experience.
Shoes like the Skechers Go Run Ride 9 facilitate a different way of landing, which can be beneficial for heel-strikers like me. These shoes don’t just provide cushioning – they also offer important support for uphill training, help combat foot fatigue, and make it easier for people who land on the front of their feet to run more efficiently. However, if you’re thinking about switching to a higher-drop shoe, it’s important to do it gradually to avoid potential injuries and allow your body to adjust.
In my analysis of high-drop running shoes, I, Samarjit, encourage runners to find the drop that works best for them through experimentation and listening to their bodies.
For heel strikers a high-drop shoe is the best choice, they offer the cushion and support they need to protect their knee, calves and feet.
- High-drop running shoes benefit heel strikers, offering essential cushioning for knee, calves, and foot protection.
- Despite misconceptions, high drop shoes surpass low drop counterparts in specific scenarios, providing advantages for runners.
- High-drop design caters to chronic heel-strikers, emphasizing protection and fatigue reduction.
- Benefits include enhanced support for uphill training, prevention of feet fatigue, and efficient strides for forefoot landers.
- Drawbacks involve potential pressure on the forefoot and issues for individuals with low arches, emphasizing individual preferences.
- Impact absorption, improved running form, and mechanics stand out as notable advantages of high drop shoes.
But do not choose high heel drop shoes if you are just standing all day, you are better off with a flat shoe.
Let’s take a look at these benefits and see why these shoes are good for runners.
What are high-drop running shoes?
High-drop running shoes are shoes that have a heel that is higher than the rest of the shoe. They are designed to provide more protection for chronic heel-strikers and save on fatigue.
The high drop can make it more difficult for a runner to have a natural stride, but this can be countered by using proper form.
Many shoe makers and doctors now promote mid foot strike, the shoes like skechers go run ride 9 helps you do it. It is really a new experience for someone like me who is a heel striker.
Old habits die hard but I am changing with the mid foot strike style.
Common heel drop measurements:
- Zero drop (0mm),
- Low drop (1-4mm),
- Mid drop (5-8mm), and
- High drop (8+ mm) shoes.
What are the benefits of high-drop running shoes?
One of the benefits of high drop running shoes is that they have more padding in the heel. This is beneficial for chronic heel-strikers as it provides more protection for their heels. Additionally, this extra padding can also provide a level of comfort and stability for runners.
High drop running shoes offer more support, which is especially beneficial when doing up hill training.
In addition, high drop running shoes might help to prevent feet fatigue. This might make runner like athletes easier to maintain their intensity level for a longer period of time.
They provide good efficiency and stride for runners who land on their forefoot and rock forward off of their toes. Additionally, the shoes help to create a more stable platform for the foot, which is beneficial for runners who experience excessive pronation or supination.
For a long time, it was common to have a 12 mm drop in shoes, but now a 8 mm drop is more common. This is because there is evidence that shows that a too high angle may cause strain on the body when you run.
This design feature might provide better protection for your feet and calves from injuries. Additionally, high drop shoes often have more cushioning in the heel to protect you from impact forces when you run.
Are there any drawbacks to high drop shoes?
There are a few drawbacks to high drop shoes. One such drawback is that they can place a lot of pressure on the forefoot, which can be problematic for some feet conditions. It might cause you some discomfort and pain as well.
Additionally, people with low arches may find that high drop shoes do not provide enough support, and can lead to discomfort or injuries.
On the other hand, high drop shoes can have some drawbacks. For one, they can push your knees forward and hips back, which can lead to knee and hip injuries.
Additionally, they can affect your spine as well, which may lead to back pain.
But these might only happen when you are standing up a lot.
How do high drop shoes help with impact?
There are a variety of benefits that high drop shoes can offer runners. One of the most notable is that they help absorb more impact when landing. This is especially beneficial for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy (stiff Achilles), calf injuries, and other similar conditions.
Additionally, high heel drop might help improve your running form and mechanics.
How do you choose the right high drop shoe?
When choosing a new running shoe, the drop is an important consideration. The drop is the measurement in millimeters from the heel of the shoe to the toe.
Generally 8mm drops are considered normal nowadays.
A higher drop shoe will have a more pronounced heel and will be better suited for runners who want more support and stability.
If you want to try different heels then It is important to gradually transition when switching between shoes as it allows the body to get used to the new shoe.
When going from a low drop shoe to a high drop shoe or the other, it is best to increase the heel-toe differential over time so that the body can adjust. This will help minimize potential injuries and maximize performance.
When looking for a high drop running shoe, it is important to choose the right one.
A shoe with too much of a drop can cause injuries if transitioned to too quickly.
For runners who are used to shoes with a lower drop, it is best to find a shoe with a gradual increase in the heel-to-toe differential. This will help reduce the risk of injury and allow your body to slowly adapt to the new shoes.
Which heel drop do I need?
There is no such thing as an ideal heel drop, because what might be perfect for one person might not be great for another.
You will always find that most shoes have 8mm to 12mm of heel drop.
There is no one perfect heel drop and people have different preferences. A greater heel drop is more popular than a lower heel drop because it provides more stability and support which is important for off-road activities.
Most people hit the ground with their heel first. If you are someone who strikes heavily with your heel, you’ll want a high heel-toe drop.
But it’s important to remember that what works best for you might be completely different than what works best for someone else.
So experiment until you find the right height!
Should the amount of drop be based on distance?
There is a lot of debate surrounding what the right drop should be for running shoes. Some people believe that you should have a different drop based on how far you are running, but there is no evidence to support this claim.
The amount of drop that matches your natural stride is what is important- so if you have a high drop, it doesn’t mean you can’t run long distances, and vice versa.
12 mm vs. 8 mm Heel Drop
There are a number of benefits to using high drop running shoes. A 12 mm heel-toe drop is best for runners who land heel first. A 8 mm heel-toe drop is best for runners who land on the middle or front of the foot.
Scientists now recommend doing a midfoot strike.
What are minimalist and zero-drop shoes?
Zero drop shoes and minimalist shoes are both types of shoes that have a lower profile than traditional running shoes.
They both have a lower drop, meaning the heel is closer to the ground than in a traditional running shoe. However, zero drop shoes have heavy cushioning, while minimalist shoes may still have some degree of elevation.
Zero drop shoes are considered to be minimalist shoes that provide no cushion at all.
How do zero drop shoes differ from regular running shoes?
Zero drop shoes have no heel drop but often there is a thick cushion of EVA foam sole. This allows for more movement and a more natural running experience with some protection.
If there is no or minimal cushion then zero drop shoes will not feel like regular running shoes at all.
With minimal cushion, a zero drop shoe will feel quite natural for the runner.