No way! We just can’t bear it anymore. Those bulky shoes make us feel exhausted. Running on treks wearing those heavy shoes is no fun at all – This is how my feet would moan every time back would get back from my routine running.
Sounds strange? Nobody else believed me when
I said, my feet moan. But they did. At least, I could hear them, and they were
demanding comfort. Of course, for good reasons.
The biggest fear of a runner is not able
to run. That’s why I coddle my feet, anyway. Running on different types of
trails like concrete, asphalt, grass, and dirt takes a lot of effort from your
feet. Resultantly your joints and back have to adjust according to the required
This causes plenty of strain so, there come minimalist shoes or zerodroprunningshoes, as they are said to play their magic.
Hence I bought a pair of the best zero drop cushioned running shoes, and they changed my life. My feet are happier, and running feels like a feather ride. (Here is when people get envious)
This is how I saved my feet. If you are
facing the same havoc of exhaustion (You know it that’s true), step forward and
protect your feet for healthy running.
Minimalistic shoes offer firm cushioning and minortoe-heel drop, which is very efficient for runners who enjoy natural running.
I, with my research team (I love them), after
hours of research, have narrowed down a list of the best zero drop running shoes here for you. Read on to find the ideal pair for you!
zero-drop cushioned running shoe is Lone Peak 4.5 with Maxtracoutsole and multi–directionallugpattern to
ensure a high level of traction. Outsoles are very much suitable for handling
different types of trails.
Lone Peak 4.5 features a more comfortablecushioning with the improvedmidsolefoamformula. The padding is soft and lightweight to give you a bouncy feel on the ground. This ALTRA shoe gives you a smooth and pleasant ride with the right amount of responsiveness.
Lots of cushioning means lotsofprotection. The comfort of the Lone peak is appreciable.
The upper has been a little tweaked to confirm flexibility and comfort. An airmesh covers the top of the shoe for breathability. You will find the shoes pretty breathable, even in hot weather or in tough training.
Along with the air circulation, the mesh is
highly resistant to daily wear and tear. Therefore it’s deemed finely durable.
The toebox is really wide.
Your toes can effortlessly stoop. The shoe is designed to accommodaterunners’feet with perfect fitting. The
structure of the shoe is sporty as well as sleek. The lacing system is more user–friendly and simplified with micro-adjustment.
Lone Peak 4.5 is a zero–drop shoe even with 25mm stack height.
The shoe feels close to the ground and offers a barefoot feel. The shoes are
really incredible to wear.
The shoes’ combination of responsiveness and supercushioning make it versatile footwear for runners. The well–paddedmidsole, responsiveness, and comfortablecushioning make Lone Peak 4.5 to be your partner in running flawlessly.
If you are seeking a shoe that supports naturalrunning, you will love it!
Lightweight yet flexible! Xerox Shoes Prio are designed to be the best running shoes with zero drop from heel to toe with excellent performance.
Everything about Xero Shoes is natural.
There is no latex used in the
formulation. They fitquitenaturally. They let you movequitenaturally, and they make you feelnatural.
The lacingsystem makes your
heel secure. Plus, the instepstraps are just-right to grip your
They are 0mm drop and keep your feet low-to-ground for exceptional running performance. But they let you have the fullcontrol over your feet and maximizedbalance while you run.
While providing highflexibility and superperformanceXerox Shoes doesn’t cut back your
comfort and protection level. Toe-box is very wide. It lets your
toes relax and flatten normally.
The soles of these minimalistic shoes are
formulated from FeelTruerubber. Thus, give hightraction and impressivestimulation and feedback that you require to feel
the surface beneath your feet.
You can rely on your Xero Shoes Prio whether
you run on a trail, go hiking, attend an intense workout session, or wherever
else you lead your feet to. They offer a warranty of 50,000 miles for soles that work perfectly on several tracks.
One thing to be observed on a serious note is
that they tend to run a little small size. So, buying ½ size larger than
the size you wear is recommended.
The lightweight, flexible performance shoe for road running, trail running, fitness, CrossFit, hiking, and more...
Foot-first design. Wide toe boxes let your toes spread and relax. Zero-drop, non-elevated sole for proper posture
Low-to-the-ground for balance and agility. The flexible sole lets your feet bend and move naturally.
FeelTrue sole gives you great traction, protection, and the stimulation and feedback your feet and brain want.
IMPORTANT SIZING NOTE: As of August 20, 2019 the Prio was resized to fit "true to size." We recommend ordering your typical shoe size. Of course, if this isn't correct, you can exchange it for the right size.
Escalante 2 is a spry shoe, designed to give a comfortablelanding. They are like walkingbarefootinshoes and feel the ground. The shape of the sole and the whole shoe is identical.
This uniqueshape allows your feet more stability for uphill climbs and downhill descents.
Outsoles feature FootPod technology that
provides a natural motion and excellentresponsiveness. The dense
rubber of the outsole gives outstanding traction on rough trails
and does not let you slip on slippery surfaces.
Midsoles are responsible for your feet comfort and better performance. So, they are springy and soft, providing you softness, support, and speed.
There are grid-like structures in midsoles that allow your feet to bend easily. ALTRA Escalante is light but has an extraordinaryperformance.
The cushioning has been kept adeptly balanced.
Your forefoot and heel lie at the same distance from the ground. Hence, encourage
a low-impact on your route thoroughly.
The upper of the Escalante is engineered-knit with more perforations for better breathability. It’s not only suitable
for warmer temperatures, but it also offers excellent performance in colder
The toebox is wide, roomy, and has enough space for your toes. However, the shoes fit perfectly.
The style of the ALTRA Escalante is unique. Ampleroom at the toe-box and naturalfootshape are the secret factors behind its durability. A long-lasting PU insole is also added to increase the life of the shoes.
The 25 mm stack height at the sole
unit does not limit flexibility. With the zero-drop, improved
padding, and somehow better ventilation are the key characteristics that
really make your feet happy.
ALTRA Escalante gives space for your toes and doesn’t squish while walking or running. These shoes are so supportive and don’t cause any kind of pain.
If you are a racer, then it’s speedy. If you are a daily trainer, then it’s soft enough. Believe us. It’s a go-to shoe for many. You will also be hooked up to Escalante, but of course, after you give it a try.
ALTRA TIMPs are designed to disappear on your feet. This update of ALTRA has got very better, and the improvedfeatures won’t disappoint you. These barefootrunningshoes are just right for neutral runners.
performance of TIMP on terrain is very light, and they give you a floatingride. Additional 4-Point GaiterTrap gives you the confidence to run
on dirt, debris, and rocks.
It has a Rubber outsole with MaxTrac
technology that sticks to the ground well and is also very durable.
The outsole helps stabilize landing and provides matchlesstraction and grip.
The midsoles of the TIMPs are softer, comfortable, and flexible. It’s safe to wear and can match the
shape of the wearer’s foot. It’s
long-lasting and does not wear down quickly.
The meshupper allows
sufficient airflow and helps to keep your feet dry. The lacing system wraps
your feet securely and locks your midfoot and hindfoot so well that you
no longer need to worry about re-lacing over and over again.
TIMP boasts a great sense of cushioning adequately soft and flexible. These shoes feature great breathability and excellentdrainage. The lightweightmesh and moderate amount of padding keep it extra light and fairly comfortable.
With the lock technology, feet get massive support for motion at rough courses.
Vibram is a
trusted name for manufacturinginnovativeperformance products. They offer high–quality, highperformance,
and reliable products and persuade you to experience the world.
Vibram V-Run is the ultimate shoe for running enthusiasts. It deploys outsole with absolute lightweight, provides a maximal hardness for high temperature, and extreme softness allows extensive ground contact.
XS Run technology provides sufficienttraction and excellent grip on smooth surfaces
The midsole of the shoes offers enough protection and does not limit a runner’s connection to the running surface.
There is Mont Compound rubber material covering 2mm of the insoles with Anti–MicrobialDrilexSockliner. However, the midsole area comprises of 4mm rubber material.
The upper is made of 100% Polyester stretch
mesh. It’s also perforated to increase breathability. It
allows the flex to put shoes on and off. The other benefit is it’s wear–resistant.
These shoes are the lightest of Vibram and maintain minimal
The style of the shoe holds an individual
toe-pocket that appears to be very distinctive. Finally, the adjustable
pull tab and closure cord offer a supplementary sense of protection against
the challenges on perilous trails.
Like many other minimalistic shoes, Vibram
V-Run offers a zero-drop. This means that the runner will be entirely
in touch with the surface with perfectbalance and stability.
ALTRA is a premiumrunningshoecompany. This edition of ALTRA is stimulated by extreme foot fatigue. Therefore, Paradigm 4.5 is designed
to cope with long time running needs.
Its upper is engineered knit. This
upper with the combination of integrated StabiliPods and medial Guide Rail endeavors greatcomfort.
4.5 is ideal for weak and exhausted feet. There is a perfect plushcushioning to support your tired feet. The inner side of the shoe feels
The midsoles are reasonably durable as
the material is of high-quality that offsets the daily wear and tear. Borders
of the soles have maximum cushioning with a stack height of 30mm. Moreover,
the shoes are highly flexible and responsive.
have a tradition of keeping a natural wide toe box. This natural room
for spreading toes supports your feet’ posture. The shoes also offer a
little airflow through its upper.
It fits comfortably and snugly, just like
socks do. Most runners find Paradigm 4.5 to be durable. Its remarkableouterrubbersole withstands the wear and tear and
protects the inner cushioning. So, the shoes not only come to be durable but
Plush soft cushioning, sock-like fit, and perfectshape that completely fits the foot anatomy contribute to providing support.
Heels and toes are at equal distance from the ground, which means ALTRA Paradigm 4.5 is a zero-drop running shoe. And, most probably the best-cushioned zero-drop running shoe out there.
The shoes boast more natural, injury-free, and agile gait. They are highlyeffective and protective for speeding and sprinting.
Vibram Rubber sole offers incredibletraction on many surfaces, gripping
roads and walking on the gravel. Insoles are hyper–responsive and
give you fullcontrol over the motion.
The upper is made of airmesh and confirms that your feet can breathe easily while they are on their way to
run. Overall, the breathability of the shoe is as excellent as expected.
Laces help to adjust nicely and close tightly.
There’s plenty of room in the toe box for the toes to splay. When it comes to weight, Merrel Bare Access is
really verylight. Still, let this lightweight not scare you
about the protection or durability. It’s light in weight but comes with supercomfort and can run many miles with you.
The 0mm drop from heel-to-toe with low-profile design delivers more groundfeel. This pair of shoes strike the level of reliability in terms of thinness, flexibility, and durability even though it’s a lightweight shoe.
Access 4 is a solidrunningsneaker that will provide flexibility, cushioning, comfort, and relativelymoregroundfeel. They are hyper–responsive. So are an excellent
choice for rough and challenging terrain for a naturalistic yet comfortable
When switching from traditional running shoes
to zero-drop running shoes, you might be a little nervous about “what
factors to consider?” Because when it comes to your passion for running,
there must be no compromise. And after all, you are investing your money, then
why should your feet suffer?
We know that you have miles and miles to run.
Just to save you from energy being drained away while researching for the
bestminimalistic shoe. We jotted down some essential factors you
can effortlessly consider before you buy. Here we go with the list:
The first and foremost factor to consider is “Breathability.” You must care how well your feet will be able to breathe while wearing a specific shoe.
Breathability mostly depends on the material employed at the upper of your shoe.
It’s essential to let the air ventilate thoroughly so that your feet remain cool and dry. Otherwise, no- breathability can cause excessive sweating, and as a result, your feet are going to stink.
Minimalistic shoes have very little cushioning. When the shoes lose cushioning, they are less protective. Though traditional footwear presents a high level of protection.
For selecting a barefoot shoe, the point here is to go for a minimalistic shoe, yet has enoughcushioning to protect your feet.
Running is no longer a breeze if the shoe you are wearing is stiff. Flexibility is vital because it supports your feet for a rangeofmotion.
A flexible shoe would be a great favor for your feet and will decreasethepressure on your foot muscles.
Outsoles define the thickness and thinness of the shoe. It’s important to check outsoles because this is what will be in contact with the trails, wherever you are going to use the shoe.
Thin soles can be problematic on rocky paths, while thick soles can perform comparatively well. However, there are shoes with thinner outsoles but are more protective on the tough trails.
Zero-drop by no means stands for zero durability. Everyone wants a long–lastingshoe. Check the lacing system and the material the shoe is made up of.
Who would like an accidental breaking of his/her shoe, especially when your next race is due soon? Literally, no one. We all want a reliable quality product that lasts longer and has highermileage.
Most minimalistic shoes are described in
terms of “drop.” Drop is actually a gradient of the shoe
from heal–to–toe. Where the toe of the shoe is lower than
Minimalist shoes have a minimalized drop than
the other traditional shoes. Hence, provide a complete barefoot experience. This
drop range varies from 4mm to 0mm. So they are totally flat where your
heel and toes lie at the same height. The drop has a significant effect on your
Some More Factors Worth
Besides, the main things to consider there
are some other characteristics that you must analyze. They are:
When we talk about the style that doesn’t really mean to go for flashy designs, though you are free to choose the color of your own choice, the style should be supportiveforyourrunning and must suityourpersonalneeds.
Know the anatomy of your feet. Archsupport and spaceoftoe–box are too essential to consider.
If the shoe does not support your feet structure, then, unfortunately, you will
end up with excessive tiredness.
Zero-drop shoes require a certainperiod to adjust appropriately and to adapt. If you are used to wearing traditional
shoes, then definitely you must give yourself and the shoes for a perfect overallfit. Let the shoes take their time and notice the change in your
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is a zero-drop running shoe?
Zero drop running shoe has no specific angle. It has the same amount of material beneath the foot. The heels and toes are at the same distance from the ground.
It basically means there is zero measured drop from the heel cushioning to the forefoot. They are designed to promote a natural running gait and restrain heel striking.
Are zero drop running shoes good?
Certainly yes, zero-drop running shoes maintain your natural motion. If your feet move naturally, it’s very healthy for your muscles and will reduce a lot of stress-related to injuries. However, the best running shoes for overpronators are the ones that are zero drop but are not minimalist.
Who should use zero drop running shoes?
There is a majority of runners who have been successfully using zero drop shoes. Since zero-drop running shoes give your feet natural positioning, they are safe to wear for anybody, unless you’re suffering some foot-related problem like Morton’s Neuroma. Then it’s better to go with cushioned shoes.
What are the benefits of zero drop running shoes?
Wearing zero drop running shoes have a myriad of benefits. It feels more natural. The more natural you will keep your gear, the more you will enjoy running. It also reduces the chance of injuries like knee pain and ankle pain. You will be in more control of your running posture. Zero drop makes you more stable, and resultantly you deliver a brilliant performance on the trail.
How do I know, “Which heel drop is the best for me?”
When it comes to running, having the right pair of shoes with relatively right size is very important. Buying the right pair of running shoes is actually not very easy. You have to accurately study the anatomy of shoes along with the knowledge of your foot structure. You have to ponder upon several factors. The most important factor to deem is heeldrop. To correctly understand what heel drop is best for you, you should go through the runningshoeheeldropchart, where you can get guidelines for your heel drop size according to your foot type, weight, and pronation.
Running shoes are your allies in the race arena, and a perfect partnership means really a win-win situation. Isn’t it? The shoes and feet are more like life partners. After all, you have to go on many, many miles together.
The sneakers that understand your feet the best are always the right ones. Know your needs, get the right pair, and revolutionize your running experience.
Fahad is BestFashionnova's very own writer who loves to write about trendy and fashionable dresses and shoes. In his free time, Fahad goes for a walk and gym to keep himself fit.
Aside from writing on BestFashionNova, Fahad works in a well-reputed firm as a fashion designer where he is supposed to visualize ideas and produce different designs for that firm.