Should You Run In A Zero-Drop Shoe?

Running gait analyst and running injury expert Jay Dicharry shares his top tips.

Running gait analyst and running injury expert Jay Dicharry shares his top tips. 


Should it by my goal to eventually run in a zero-drop shoe with a flat profile if I’ve been running for years in a shoe with a 12mm heel-toe drop?


It depends on the person and what they want out of running and what works for them. Not every runner needs to get down to a zero-drop shoe, but running in a shoe with firm cushioning and a minimal heel-toe drop of about 3-5mm clearly reduces the torque and impact forces on the body while also enhancing a runner’s stability.

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For some people, a shoe with a 4mm heel-toe drop like the Saucony Kinvara or Brooks Pure Flow will be the end point. For other people, they might find that a zero-drop Altra Instinct or Merrell Road Glove works best for them and the Kinvara might be a useful shoe to use along the way. But it’s important to know that a runner needs to work on strength and form drills to get into a shoe with a lower drop, otherwise they could be risking prolonged soreness or injury.

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About The Author:

Jay Dicharry, a physical therapist at Rebound Physical Therapy and director of the REP Biomechanics Lab in Bend, Ore., is a renowned expert in running gait analysis and overuse sports injuries. He is also the author of the recently published “Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed and Injury Prevention” (Skyhorse Publishing, 2012).