One of the hottest trends in footwear these days is the zero drop shoe. Despite the funky sounding name, zero drop shoes are all the rage among athletes, fitness gurus, and anyone who wants to be somebody in the sportswear category. But what are they, exactly? Moreover, do you really have to wear zero drop shoes to achieve good foot health?
All these questions, and more, are answered across the internet in blog posts, opinion pieces, and news articles. The problem is that online information often conflicts. There are some people who swear by zero drop shoes as the only real alternative for your feet. Others say that they are not as good for your feet as you might think.
As with all things online, each of us has to take the information we find and assess it for ourselves. We all have to decide what’s best for our feet. That being said, you cannot make a fully informed decision about zero drop shoes if you don’t know what they are.
Level from Heel to Toe
The best way to understand zero drop shoes is to compare them against a pair of pumps. Your typical pumps have an elevated heel, making the heel of your foot higher than your toe when you walk. The vertical distance from heel to toe is known as the ‘drop’.
Zero drop shoes are level from heel to toe. The heel is always at the same height as the toe. For all intents and purposes, zero drop shoes allow your feet to remain in the position they were naturally designed to be in. At least that is the theory. Some podiatrists argue that it’s not healthy for your feet to remain level from heel to toe.
All Sorts of Zero Drops
You would be forgiven for assuming that all zero drop shoes are athletic shoes. After all, sneakers and trainers are what normally come up when you Google zero drop shoes. But rest assured that there are all sorts of zero drops – from sneakers to casual shoes and work boots.
It is important to note that zero drop shoes are not necessarily flat inside. The idea behind the zero drop concept is that your foot remains completely level. But your foot still has a natural arch. Therefore, it is not uncommon for designers to build arch support into their zero drop designs.
There is also nothing special about zero drop shoes that prevent you from wearing them with shoe covers, galoshes, or over-the-shoe boots. For example, GC Tech’s waterproof shoe covers can be used in concert with virtually any pair of men’s shoes. There is really nothing about zero drop shoes that would make a difference in terms of shoe covers.
Not Minimalist Shoes
Another thing you should know is this: zero drop shoes are not the same as minimalist shoes. While it is true that minimalist shoes are often zero drop by design, they don’t have to be. Minimalist shoes are based on an entirely different concept.
Minimalism is a concept rooted in avoiding what is unnecessary. In a minimalist home, there are not a lot of unnecessary decorations and accessories. Clutter is kept to a minimum as is furniture and household trappings. Minimalist shoes are similar. They don’t have a lot of extra cushioning, nor do they feature a tremendous amount of embellishment.
Zero drop shoes can be minimalist in nature. But they can still have extra cushioning and plenty of embellishment. The point is that zero drop shoes guarantee that your foot remains level from heel to toe. That’s about it.