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February 21, 2023

What are Zero Drop shoes - A Beginner's Guide

Inside this article:

You've been walking around in high heels your whole life.

If you are a woman, that may not come as a surprise to you, but as a guy, it might... It did for me.

Traditionally designed shoes position your heels ~12-16mm (just over half an inch) higher than your toes creating a downwards slope.

The distance from the bottom of the slope to the top is what is called the 'drop'.

In contrast, 'zero drop' shoes have no slope. No difference in height between the heels and toes. No 'drop'.

Instead, the entire foot sits level with ground in the most natural and stable position, just like being barefoot.

This natural position allows you to use and strengthen all 28 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments in each foot.

The old mantra of 'use them or lose them' holds true, so be warned, your feet are your foundation. If they're not strong it can lead to pain in every part of your body, especially the knees and lower back.

SIDE NOTE: Not all 'zero drop' shoes are considered to be minimalist shoes or barefoot shoes.

Zero drop is just one criteria for a barefoot shoe. The others are; lightweight, low cushioning, small stack height and a wide toe box.

All barefoot shoes are zero drop, but not all shoes with zero drop are barefoot. Check out our guide on the difference between Barefoot Shoes vs. Minimalist Shoes vs. Maximalist Shoes: What's The Difference


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