Why Wear Zero Drop Footwear?
*Firstly, the writer of this article is not a licensed podiatrist nor a doctor or advisor of any sort. All statements are merely opinion and should not be treated as advice or fact of any kind.
If our feet really needed support, then why don’t we wear shoes at all times? Wouldn’t we be more comfortable when wearing shoes compared to just socks or barefoot? In this Writer’s experience, the answer is firmly on the side of the barefoot. This is why..
Zero Drop Footwear is designed to provide a natural, barefoot-like feel by having the heel and forefoot at the same distance from the ground, as opposed to traditional footwear where the heel is higher than the forefoot. If you choose to transition into Zero Drop Footwear, it is important that you do so slowly (especially if you’re older) and let your feet acclimate over the course of a few weeks.
Zero Drop Footwear can help promote a more natural and efficient stride. When the heel is raised, the foot is forced into a heel-strike landing, which can lead to overuse injuries and pain in the feet, knees, and back. On the other hand, Zero Drop Footwear allows for a midfoot or forefoot landing, enabling the foots natural “shocks”. It also helps you shorten and quicken your stride which is a major help when it comes to distance running. Think about it.. when you jump up and down, do you land on your heels or your forefoot? I can’t advise you to compare cause landing directly on your heels hurts!
With a more natural stride, Zero Drop Footwear can also help strengthen the muscles in the feet and lower legs. When the heel is raised, the muscles in the feet and lower legs are not being used to their full potential. However, when wearing Zero Drop Footwear, the muscles in the feet and lower legs are forced to work harder to maintain balance and stability. With a Wide Toe Base, your toes will naturally spread out and provide you with much more balance. Zero Drop Footwear will make you feet work harder, but like “working out” they’ll be stronger and better because of it! If you want a strong body, you must start from the ground up- and that means starting with the feet! With stronger and healthier feet and lower legs, you will become more resistant to injury. How can you have a healthy arch with a raised heel? Do you treat the symptom or fix the problem?
If you’re hesitant, test it out for yourself by comparing your barefoot stance to how you feel when you raise your heels on a drink coaster or notepad (typical heel drop is anywhere from 8-20mm). While comparing, keep note of the pressure on your knees and back. If you feel better without the raised heel, it stands to make sense that your should always strive for that posture. This writer has personally benefitted and has seen several other transition and reduce or eliminate any pain and discomfort in their feet, knees, and back. Traditional footwear only exacerbates the pain in these areas by putting unnecessary stress on the joints and muscles.
In conclusion, Zero Drop Footwear can provide many benefits for the health and well-being of your feet and lower legs. Transitioning to Zero Drop Footwear will make your feet sore but just remember that means they’re getting stronger! At first you’ll probably find Barefoot Shoes deplorable but once your feet become strong enough, you may find yourself opting for the increased flexibility.