Zero Drop Shoes
Shoes are a complicated subject with a complicated history. The modern running shoe was created by Nike many years ago and was made with a thick, cushioned heel in order to take up the force of our heel strike. The thought was that increased speed could come from an increased stride, which would put more force through the heel. Without increased cushioning, this could lead to heel overuse injuries like stress fractures.
Fast forward 50 years and now the vast majority of our foot and ankle complaints can be at least partially attributed to tight Achilles tendons caused by these shoes. Walking around in modern shoe gear, our Achilles tendon is chronically tightened by having a heel higher up than the forefoot. We also know that heel striking during running can and does increase injury incidences from the heel up to the hip because of the force along the kinetic chain. Because of this, modern shoe companies have been lowering the heel to forefoot ratio and encouraging a more natural midfoot strike pattern.
Now, I do all of my running exclusively in zero drop shoes and I recommend them to just about every patient we see. Zero drop shoes simply have no difference in height between the heel and the forefoot. This isn’t necessarily a new thing, as house slippers, sandals, and ballet flats all have a zero drop naturally, but building this into running shoes is a bit of a change. There are several brands that make zero drop shoes and, while I do have my personal preferences, they all work to stretch your Achilles tendon and turn it from a deforming force to a normal tendon.
If you have any foot problems due to running, whether it is from bunion pain, neuromas, capsulitis, or hammertoes, zero drop shoes could benefit you. Please call Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle in Avon or Frisco to further discuss whether these shoes are right for you.