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The term "minimalist" or "zero-drop" shoes has been thrown around quite a bit recently, thanks to Christopher McDougal's popular book of the same name. "Born to Run1Born to Run" If you want to try swimming in the barefoot pond but aren't sure how, you've come to the right place.  

Supporters of the zero-drop philosophy extol the benefits of the minimalist footwear, including enhanced performance, improved body alignment, and fewer injuries.

Here, we'll define zero-drop and see if it's a good fit for you.

A Definition of "Zero-Drop" Shoes

When a shoe has no heel-to-toe angle, it is said to be zero-drop. Most shoes have a drop, which means the heel is higher than the toe, and we may not even realize it.

Extreme forms of footwear, such as high heels, are not zero-drop  

When wearing zero-drop shoes, your feet are in their most natural position, and you walk with the same motion you do when barefoot.

There's no denying the rise in popularity of barefoot running; for those who don't want to go barefoot but still want the benefits of natural motion, zero-drop shoes are a great compromise.

How Different Are Minimalist Shoes from Zero-Drop?

The heel-to-toe height difference of a pair of minimalist footwear is typically between 0 and 6 millimeters (mm), but it can be as high as 8 mm Most regular shoes, for instance, have a drop of 10 mm or more, making them anything but minimalist.

Conversely, zero-drop footwear necessitates a shoe with no drop at all. In conclusion, minimalist shoes include zero-drop shoes, but not all zero-drop shoes are minimalist shoes.

Similarly, the arch support and cushioning of minimalist shoes are minimal. In general, zero-drop footwear has very little to no padding.

Comparing Regular Running Shoes to Zero-Drop Shoes

The design, weight, and structure of zero-drop running shoes differ significantly from "regular" running shoes.  

  • Typical shoes have an 8-14 mm heel drop.
  • Flexibility is increased in zero-drop or minimalist shoes because the foot is closer to the ground.
  • It's a known fact that the typical pair of running shoes is going to weigh you down and reduce your speed.
  • As opposed to traditional running shoes, which are tapered at the tip and can lead to issues like bunions, the toe box in zero-drop shoes is nice and wide to accommodate the true shape of your foot. bunions

Zero-drop shoes are preferable because they maintain the foot's natural alignment. By keeping the foot in its natural, neutral position, the body will rely less on the shoe and more on the foot to carry out the gait cycle.

Traditional running shoes' elevated heels, according to proponents of zero-drop footwear, put the body in an unnatural position that leads to a variety of common running injuries.

Runners who are looking to reduce the risk of injury or simply move more freely may find that zero-drop shoes are the best option.

The advantages of wearing shoes with no heel drop include:

  • Correcting your alignment and improving your posture
  • Muscle power, not soles, should be prioritized.
  • True foot function is restored.
  • Get around easier
  • Strengthens the muscles in the lower body
  • Helps prevent injuries
  • Can lessen or get rid of discomfort in frequently used body parts like the back, knees, hips, plantar fasciitisinflammation of the plantar fascia , and more

Your posture is poor.

If you have a habit of walking with a stooped posture, like a caveman (no offense intended), zero-drop shoes may be helpful for you. Due to the zero-drop design, your spine is better aligned while you walk, making you look less like a caveman.

You seem to always be hurting yourself.

It's reasonable to assume that you try to avoid getting hurt, even during the potato sack race at the family reunion. It has been found that wearing zero-drop shoes can help prevent knee injuries because they alter the way your foot strikes the ground, especially in shoes with little to no padding.  

The sensation of bare feet pleases you.

Though it may seem less obvious, it's important to be able to experience the natural environment when you're out running, hiking, or exploring. Encouragement from friends is a great source of energy for some Lems fans as they take on their quest. Who knew

The Rise of Flat-Heeled Shoes

To help your body and feet adjust to zero-drop shoes, if we've piqued your interest, we advise starting slowly.  

The change to zero-drop is straightforward, but must be executed with care. Transitioning to zero-drop shoes can be detrimental to foot health if not done properly.

Follow these pointers to make the switch to zero-drop shoes as smooth as possible:

  • Start out by breaking in your new footwear with short bursts of wear.
  • Alternate wearing your new and old footwear daily.
  • Wear your new shoes for a few days straight at first, pausing for breaks when necessary.
  • In the event that you intend to use them while running, you should first engage in some light stretching and warmup exercises.
  • To get started, try running between 1 and 2 miles.

When you first begin switching to new shoes, you may experience some discomfort in your calf muscles, feet, and ankles. Indeed, that is typical On average, a complete transition can take four to six weeks.  

Shoes with zero drops are versatile enough to be worn for anything from jogging and cross-training to walking the dog and everyday errands.  

Getting started with a shoe like the Mesa or Trailhead , which have a drop of 4mm, and then progress to a shoe with no drop, such as the Chukka , Primal 2 , Boulder BootClumsy Footwear , Mariner or Nine2Five   

Finding footwear that conforms naturally to your foot's shape can be challenging. The pointy end of most shoes makes our toes angle inward, which is bad for our stability, strength, and general foot health.   Lems are shoes that are fashioned to conform to the wearer's foot. The body as a whole reaps numerous benefits when shoes are designed to mimic the foot's natural shape.  

Among the most common inquiries we get from customers is how the Lems Trailhead V2 differs from the Mesa.