Are you looking for zero drop shoes?
They’re becoming more and more popular as we focus on ways to improve health.
As the amount of people who wear high heeled shoes grows to make themselves look taller, they’re also exposing themselves to various health problems such as poor posture.
Since the heel and the forefoot are not level, over time this could possibly cause temporary or even permanent body adjustments.
As more people are becoming aware of this, they’re turning to zero drop shoes.
Let’s dig into what zero drop shoes are, why they’re good for you, and some reviews giving you some good options when considering which one you want to purchase.
Also Read: The Best Zero Drop Boots
What Are Zero Drop Shoes?
A lot of people ask, “what does zero drop shoes mean?”
Zero drop shoes refer to footwear where the sole has the same height from the ball of the foot to the forefoot.
Also called minimalist shoes, or barefoot shoes, they mimic how your foot would move when barefoot.
Features of a Good Zero Drop Shoe
Below are some good features to consider, and it doesn’t mean that a good zero drop shoe must have all those. It would depend on what they want to use them for.
Zero Drop Sole
One of the top features of a zero drop shoe is the sole. Designed to keep your feet the same distance off the ground, the sole promotes a healthy posture and spinal alignment. A majority of cushioned zero drop shoes have rubber soles with flex grooves. This helps to improve the user’s balance and agility.
Wide Toe Box
Another feature of these shoes with cushioning is a wide toe box. To ensure the user is sure-footed, the wide toe box allows the toes to spread. This comes in handy when weightlifting or cross-training. A great example of zero drop wide toe box shoes is Birchbury.
The last prominent feature is the upper. When shopping, you may come across leather or synthetic materials for the upper. They may also feature a breathable mesh that allows your feet to breathe which will enhance your comfort.
What are the Benefits of Zero Drop Shoes?
There are many health benefits of zero drop shoes. One significant advantage of zero drop shoes is that they promote better posture.
Traditional shoes elevate the heel an average of 14 to 24 mm. This forces your heel to strike the ground unnaturally. An elevated heel may throw off your spinal alignment.
Zero drop shoes place the heel and forefoot flat to the ground. As such, they can correct or help you maintain a healthy posture.
Other zero drop shoe benefits include:
- Providing a more natural feel being closer to the ground (minimalist zero drop shoes).
- Super comfortable once you’re used to wearing them.
- They can be lightweight reducing the stress placed on joints.
- They can strengthen your feet.
- Reduce the risk of injuries.
Are Zero Drop Shoes Good For Plantar Fasciitis?
The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. As a connective tissue, it’s under constant pressure and stress. As such, small rips and tears occur. This results in a stabbing or burning pain.
What you need to know is that it can affect anyone. But the good news is it may be preventable when using zero drop shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Are zero drop shoes good for plantar fasciitis? Yes, they are. In a 2018 study, researchers discovered that zero drop shoes are the best treatment shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Are Zero Drop Shoes Good For Back Pain?
Shoes impact the way you experience back pain. As you already know, many of our pains and aches are traceable to posture and spine alignment. By wearing heeled shoes, you throw your posture and spine alignment out of whack. In fact, researchers proved that high heeled shoes cause low back pain.
To promote natural movement, you need zero drop shoes for back pain. They can be super comfortable, lightweight, and help promote a better posture.
Are Zero Drop Shoes Good For Morton’s Neuroma?
Yes, zero-drop shoes for Morton’s neuroma are essential in the prevention and treatment of this condition. In a 2019 study, researchers recommend the use of non-surgical intervention to treat Morton’s neuroma. One of the best non-surgical interventions is zero-drop footwear with a wide toe box.
Are Zero Drop Shoes Good For Flat Feet?
Any shoes with no heel rise are suitable for people with flat feet. Zero drop shoes for flat feet are even better when they have a wide toe box. This allows the wearer to spread his or her toes improving balance and agility.
Are Zero Drop Shoes Good For Running and Walking?
Experts recommend that running in zero drop shoes or using zero drop shoes for walking is safer and more practical.
It emulates barefoot-style walking and running. According to experts, our feet don’t have elevated heels.
As such, it’s not natural to expect people to walk or run with shoes having a raised heel. Using shoes with a raised heel for running or walking affects how your foot strikes the ground when you land.
Running zero drop shoes are perfect for athletes. They promote a forefoot or midfoot strike, which is good for balance and posture.
Popular Brands of Zero Drop Shoes
Some popular brands of zero drop shoes are:
- New Balance
- Xero Shoes
Zero Drop Shoes – Men’s
As one of the best zero drop shoes men’s, the OLUKAI Nohea Moke shoes are sleek, yet functional. Designed with an adventurous nautical life in mind, the shoes are sure-footed and ideal as barefoot wear.
- Has dual-density anatomical footbed with gel insert for enhanced comfort
- All-weather non-marking rubber outsole with razor sipping to prevent slipping
- Handcrafted by experienced craftsmen for durability
- Has a lightweight, breathable mesh upper allowing your feet to breathe
- Elastic lacing system for easy on/off use
The WHITIN Men’s Barefoot & Minimalist Shoe is vegan-friendly footwear. In fact, the makers of the shoe used 0% animal products. As such, the shoes are eco-friendly.
- Well-designed anatomical shape to enhance your comfort.
- Wide toe box lets your toes relax and spread.
- Thin, flexible soles for better feedback from the ground and proprioception.
- Removable sock liner for a more barefoot feeling.
- Zero heel to toe drop supports healthy posture.
- True rubber sole for greater protection.
Want to look confident and fearless when doing CrossFit workouts? Try Reebok’s men’s cross-trainers. Designed for avid cross-trainers, the shoes have a fabric or textile upper. Available in black/gum, they are also perfect for weight lifting, cardio workout, and rope climbing.
- Kevlar infused mesh upper provides lightweight strength and durability.
- RopePro+ with sandpaper textured kevlar improves traction.
- Tri-blend Foam Fusion technology midsole for a better strike.
- Anatomical design for secure fit and stability.
- Zero drop rubber sole for a healthy posture.
Behold, the Inov-8 Men’s F-Lite 235 V2 Cross-Trainer Shoe. Lighter and durable, it’s perfect for cross-training workouts. Built for best performance, it’s also perfect for burpees, rope climbs, and weight lighting.
- Sticky rubber outsole wraps for the ultimate grip during rope climbing.
- Rubber toe cap for added protection.
- Meta flex groove for natural flexion in the foot.
- Laces attached to the Met-cradle for a secure and customized fit.
- Powerheel offers a firm and stable platform during your heaviest workouts.
If you want men’s zero-drop shoes perfect for running, look no further than the New Balance Minimus running shoe. For more than a century, New Balance designed shoes to aid athletes to achieve their goals. Whether it’s to help athletes set new records or win medals, their shoes are a perfect blend of fashion and performance.
- Vibram outsole with flex grooves offers the durability and traction needed for rocky trails.
- Acteva Midfoot wrap ensures your foot stays in place.
- Premium performance foam provides lightweight support.
- 100% Synthetic mesh to reduce odor.
- Zero drop 4 mm sole for a healthy posture.
Top marks to the production team for using 100% soft full-grain leather for the shoe’s upper. Not only is the shoe stylish, but it’s durable too. As such, you will get the most use out of it. Whether you plan on walking, running, or rope climbs, you will love the performance of these shoes.
- Breathable mesh lining to reduce odor.
- Vibram TC5+ sole improves your balance and agility.
- Trail protect pad provides better underfoot protection.
- Has sock-like feel for maximum performance and secure fit.
- Available in black and dusty olive to enhance your style.
Next up is the Saucony Originals Men’s Bullet Sneaker. Sleek and minimal, these shoes fit very closely to your feet. Based on a track shoe, they are ideal as barefoot wear.
- Rubber sole for better traction
- Removable outsole allows for a barefoot feel
- Low profile silhouette offers a classic and authentic feel
- Nylon upper with suede overlays is stylish and comfortable
- Soft fabric lining with added cushioning enhances comfort and support
According to men’s zero-drop shoe reviews, the CLARKS Men’s Raharto Plain Oxford is worth every penny. Why? They are lightweight, stylish, and versatile. In fact, they are perfect as a casual or dress shoe.
- Lightweight EVA outsole for enhanced traction.
- Versatile leather oxford shape guarantees comfort all the way.
- Heel height of 0.78 inches offers better support and protection to your lower back and spine.
- Full-grain leather upper assures you of durability.
- Rubber sole provides better traction.
Zero Drop Shoes – Women’s
The Inov-8 Bare XF 210 V2 – Barefoot Minimalist Shoes are perfect for cross-training workouts, rope climbing, and weight lifting. As the ideal barefoot wear for women, it mimics your natural foot movement.
- Wide toe box allows your toes to spread and relax.
- Flex groove technology enhances natural flexing for standing calf raises.
- Zero drop sole is perfect for calisthenics, martial arts training and natural movement.
- Patented sticky rubber outsole plants your feet to the ground.
- Synthetic upper for added style.
Behold, the WHITIN Women’s Barefoot & Minimalist Shoe, one of the best women’s zero-drop shoes. It features a broad toe box that allows your toes to spread. This improves your balance.
- Has zero drop, non-elevated sole for a healthy posture.
- Adjustable hook and loop closure for a customized and secure fit.
- A removable insole offers underfoot protection and a more barefoot feeling.
- The thin sole provides better proprioception.
- Synthetic upper adds style to the shoes.
A favorite among those who love trail running, CrossFit workout, and hiking, these shoes are lightweight and flexible. As such, they bend, flex, and move with your natural movement. These shoes are also perfect for rope climbing, cross-fit training, hiking, and more.
- Has a wide toe box for better balance and agility.
- Zero drop, non-elevated sole for proper posture.
- Lightweight, flexible FeelTrue sole gives you protection and excellent traction.
- Adjustable instep strap offers a secure fit while keeping your movement free.
- Made with non-animal products, they are vegan-friendly and eco-friendly.
If you love cross-training workout, then you will surely improve your performance with these shoes. The original F-lite 325 zero drop shoe is one of the most versatile training shoes. Launched in 2014, it’s been recognized as the best workout shoe. The V2 is a better version of the original. Here is why.
- High-density Power heel technology delivers maximum stability
- Zero drop synthetic sole ensures a healthy posture
- AdapterFit Met-Cradle offers an ultra-secure fit and adapts to your natural movement
- Welded overlay construction helps you maintain flexibility and fitness
- Meta flex technology allows for optimal flexibility
Inov-8 is one of the best footwear brands in the world. Launched in 2003 by Wayne Edy, the company has been designing shoes that are fast, lightweight, and always innovative. As an agile brand, Inov-8 incorporates patent-pending graphene technology in all its sports shoes.
One of its best footwear is the Inov-8 Women’s Bare-XF 210 V2 Sneaker.
- Meta flex technology allows for the natural flexing of the foot.
- The adapter web cradle lacing system ensures a customized and secure fit.
- 3 mm sticky rubber outsole offers minimal disjunction between your foot and the ground.
- Italian blown rubber toe bumper provides protection.
- Rop-tech assures you of durability and traction.
Another favorite pair of shoes for athletes – Topo Athletic Halsa Shoe, has everything to enhance the user’s agility, balance, and comfort. In fact, we recommend these shoes to serious athletes. Why?
- Stable, the lightweight zero-drop platform promotes a healthy posture.
- The secure midfoot strap allows for proper foot strike.
- The abrasion-resistant mesh ensures durability and flexibility.
- The printed upper pattern helps to reduce weight and reduce seams.
- Roomy toe box allows your toes to relax and spread comfortably.
If you love barefoot wear with zero drop non-elevated sole, you should consider buying these shoes. Perfect for the gym, they complement your routine while promoting proper posture. Not only that. They promote better form during your sets in the weight room.
- Adjustable hook and loop closure for a secure fit.
- Zero drop, non-elevated sole enhances your balance and posture.
- Removable sock liner offers a more barefoot feeling.
- Wide toe box allows your toes to spread naturally.
- The thin sole offers better proprioception.
Randy Merrell, the founder of Merrell, began designing and making handmade custom boots for outdoor enthusiasts. That was three decades ago. Today, the company has taken innovation to new heights. In fact, the company employs a no-compromise approach, a concept introduced by Merrell himself.
If you are looking for zero drop shoes that are comfortable, versatile, and durable, we recommend the Merrell Women’s Glove 4 Trail Runner.
- 100% textile and synthetic upper is stylish and durable.
- Breathable mesh lining prevents odor.
- Zero drop 4mm sole promotes good posture.
- Trail protect pad offers underfoot protection.
- Vibram outsole assures you of durability.
The Best Men’s Zero Drop Shoes
|1||OLUKAI Men's Nohea Moku - No Tie Shoes||OLUKAI|
|2||WHITIN Men's Barefoot & Minimalist Shoe - Zero Drop Sole w/ Wide Toe Box||WHITIN|
|3||Reebok Men's CROSSFIT Nano 6.0 - Cross Trainer||Reebok|
|4||Inov-8 Men's F-Lite 235 V2 - Cross-Trainer Shoe||Inov-8|
|5||New Balance Men's 10v1 Minimus - Running Shoe||New Balance|
|6||Merrell Men's Vapor Glove 3 Luna - Leather Sneaker||Merrell|
|7||Saucony Men's Originals - Bullet Sneaker||Saucony|
The Best Women’s Zero Drop Shoes
|1||Inov-8 Women's Bare XF 210 V2 - Barefoot Minimalist Shoes||Inov-8|
|2||WHITIN Women's Trail Runner - Barefoot & Minimalist Shoe||WHITIN|
|3||Xero Women's Prio - Road Running Shoe||Xero|
|4||Inov-8 Women's F-Lite 235 V2 - Cross-Trainer Shoe||Inov-8|
|5||Inov-8 Women's Bare-XF 210 V2 - Sneaker||Inov-8|
|6||Topo Women's Athletic - Halsa Shoe||Topo|
|7||WHITIN Women's Minimalist - Barefoot Shoes||WHITIN|
|8||Merrell Women's Glove 4 - Trail Runner||Merrell|
Which do You Think are the Best Zero Drop Shoes?
There are a lot of options for zero drop shoes. Everything from casual wear, trail running, CrossFit, and formal wear.
Do you have a pair of zero drop shoes? Do you wear zero drop for all your footwear despite the activity or just specific activities?
Which is your favorite?
Let us know in the comments.