Zero Drop Shoe Guide: How to Choose the Right Pair

We all know that shoes are a vital part of our daily lives. Whether we’re running, walking, or just lounging around, we need shoes to protect our feet and provide comfort. But there are some shoe types and styles that can have a negative impact on your overall health and wellness. Zero drop shoes are one such style, but they’re not always as bad as they sound!

With the rise in popularity of minimalist running shoes and barefoot running, people have been doing a lot more research on what makes a good shoe and how to choose the best one for their needs.

In this guide, we’ll look at what zero drop means, why it’s important, and some factors you should consider when choosing your next pair of shoes. And to also help you find the best zero drop shoes for you, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite brands for men and women below:

What is a zero drop shoe and why does it matter?

A zero drop shoe is a shoe that has no difference in height between the heel and ball of the foot. This means that when you’re standing, your weight is distributed evenly throughout your foot.

Why does this matter? It matters because it can help you avoid injury and pain. When you wear high-heeled shoes for long periods of time, it puts pressure on the balls of your feet and other parts of your body. This can cause pain, discomfort, and even permanent damage over time. By wearing zero drop shoes instead of high heels, you can prevent these issues from developing further.

Why are zero-drop shoes better for your feet?

Zero-drop shoes are better for your feet because they allow you to be less rigid and more natural.

Xero Shoes Men's Aptos Hemp Canvas Slip-on - Casual, Lightweight Zero-Drop Shoe, Zinc, 11.5

When you wear normal shoes, you’re forced to walk with a heel-to-toe gait that isn’t natural. This means that your body has to work extra hard to shift its weight from the heel of your foot to the toes and back again. This is especially difficult if you have foot problems like plantar fasciitis or bunions.

Zero-drop shoes are designed so that there’s no difference between heel height and toe height—that way, you can walk as naturally as possible, which reduces strain on your joints and muscles.

How To Choose The Right Zero Drop Shoes?

The best zero drop shoes are those that are designed to allow your feet to function as they were intended to. There are many different types of shoes out there, and some are better than others when it comes to helping you maintain good foot health.

The right zero drop shoe for you depends on what type of activity you’ll be doing in them. If you’re just looking for something to wear around town, then any pair of zero drop shoes will do. But if you’re training for a race or other athletic event, then it’s important to find shoes that meet your specific needs. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Level of activity

If you’re an avid runner, it’s likely that a zero drop shoe is the best choice for you. It will help reduce injuries and stress on the joints and make your run more comfortable.

If you’re an occasional runner, or if you’re just starting out with running, a low-drop shoe is probably best. This will allow your body to adjust gradually to being on your feet for longer periods of time, which reduces fatigue and discomfort.

Foot shape

There are three main foot shapes: normal, narrow, and wide. The most important thing to consider is where your foot bends when you step down on it.

If your foot bends at the middle of your toes (like a duck’s foot), then you have a normal-sized foot. If your foot bends at the tip of your toes (like a ballerina’s foot), then you have a narrow-toed foot. If your foot bends at the sides of your toes (like a duck’s feet), then you have a wide-toed foot.

Type of terrain

Consider what kind of surfaces you’ll be running on. If you run on trails or uneven ground often, then having less heel-to-toe drop may be better for your gait. This is because it will allow your foot to move more naturally through its range of motion and absorb shock better than if it were on an elevated heel.

If you’re going to be doing a lot of trail running, then choosing a zero drop shoe makes sense because it allows your foot to move more naturally. However, if you’re more interested in road running and biking, then a shoe with a higher drop may be more appropriate for your needs.

Wide Toe Box

A wide toe box is one of the most important aspects to consider when you’re looking for a zero drop shoe.

A wide toe box provides ample space for your toes to spread out and move around freely. It’s important because when you walk, your toes are the first part of your foot to make contact with the ground. They’re also the most flexible part of your foot, so if they have limited mobility due to a lack of space or stiffness in the rest of the shoe, it can cause pain and discomfort.

The best way to ensure that you’re getting a wide toe box is by measuring the length from your big toe to where it meets the tip of your second toe (the one next to it). If that measurement is less than 3/4″, then you’re good!

Thick sole

A good zero drop shoe will have a thick sole that provides cushioning and support. This is important because it allows the foot to move naturally, without any interference from the shoe itself. The thicker the sole, the more natural your movement will be.

No built-in heel lifts

When it comes to zero drop shoes, there’s no need for any extra “support” because the weight of your body is distributed evenly across your foot.

If you’re wearing a shoe with added arch support or built-in heel lifts, you’ll be putting stress on the front part of your foot and causing pain over time. These kinds of features can throw off your body’s natural alignment, which is something you want to avoid when trying to achieve a zero drop.


When you’re looking for a zero drop shoe, you want to be sure that it’s lightweight.

It doesn’t have to be feather-light, but if you have a higher body mass index or are carrying extra weight around your midsection, then a heavy pair of shoes will not only make your feet sore but could also cause knee and hip problems.

A good way to know if you’re getting a lightweight shoe is to check the material it’s made out. If you’re buying online and can’t feel the shoe in person, look at what other people have said about it—if they say it’s super light but still supportive and comfortable, then that’s probably a good sign.


Consider your training goals: if they are long distance races like marathons or cross country races, then having less heel-to-toe drop may help prevent injury over time because it allows for natural movement without putting undue pressure on the joints.

The Effect of Zero Drop Shoes On Your Body

The effects of your shoes on your body are not just about comfort. They can also be about pain and injury, as well as issues with posture and gait.

If you’ve been wondering what the effect of your zero drop shoes on your body is, here’s the answer: It’s very positive!

First off, wearing zero-drop shoes helps you to maintain a better posture. The less you have to bend over to walk in them, the less pressure you feel on your spine, hips, and knees. You’ll also notice that your back won’t hurt as much after a long day at work when you wear zero-drop shoes. This is because they force you to stand up straight instead of slouching over like most other types of shoes do.

Secondly, these types of shoes are much more comfortable than others because they evenly distribute weight across all parts of your foot instead of concentrating it all in one spot like heels do for example which causes pain in places like the heel area or even worse somewhere else entirely where there’s no padding at all!

The last benefit I’ll mention here is that zero-drop shoes can actually help improve overall health by strengthening muscles around joints such as ankles and knees, especially when combined with a regular exercise routine such as walking outside daily, for example!

What are Some Great Zero Drop Shoes?

There are many brands out there that make zero drop shoes, but we’ve narrowed down our list to the most popular brands including Altra and VIVOBAREFOOT. Both companies offer a variety of options in different styles. They also have an excellent reputation for quality products.

One of my favorites as well is New Balance, which makes an excellent range of zero-drop shoes for both men and women. They have many different styles and colors to choose from, and you can often find them on sale at your local sporting goods store or online.

Another brand that makes zero-drop shoes is Merrell. The brand offers a wide variety of styles and colors in their line of zero-drop shoes, so you’re sure to find something that fits your needs. Merrell also has some really fun designs and patterns available as well! You can usually find these shoes at your local sporting goods store or online as well.

Final Verdict: Are Zero Drop Shoes Worth It?

To sum up, the best zero drop shoes are the ones that fit your needs. And if you’ve read this far, you’re probably ready to make the switch to zero drop shoes. But before you do, there are a few things that you should know.

First, remember that zero drop doesn’t mean absolutely no heel at all—it just means a lower heel than usual. In fact, many people who use zero drop shoes find that they can still walk just fine in them even though they don’t have any kind of heel at all.

Second, be aware that some people may need more time than others to adjust to zero drop shoes. If you start feeling soreness or pain in your feet or ankles after wearing them for too long, consider switching back to your old shoes for a day or two before trying again.

Finally—and most importantly—never give up! If zero drop shoes aren’t working for you yet, try again later down the road when you have more experience with them and know what kind of shoe works best for your body type and needs.

Try different brands and styles until you find the ones that feel best for you–you can find the right zero-drop shoes for you if you’re willing to put in the work!

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