Natural Drop Shoes
Shoes with no Heel-to-Toe Offset are designed exclusively for runners who land on their mid-foot or forefoot. Natural drop shoes (commonly known as "Zero" or "Near Zero" drop) help facilitate a landing below the body's center of gravity by replicating the natural landing of the foot itself. There is data to suggest that a natural drop shoe contributes to more energy return while running, as the achilles is lengthened to match its natural capacity before it rebounds and propels the body forward.
Shoes with little to no angle are not recommended for runners making the transition from a longer, loping stride to a more compact and efficient landing unless combined with a Comfort level of cushion. The consistent padding from heel to toe maximizes foot clearance in front of the body, contributing to the full motion and optimized landing of a more efficient stride. Natural drop shoes replicate the motion of running barefoot, but add in cushion and protection for everyday use. Natural drop shoes at the Ultra Running Company have less than 2mm Drop.
- Promotes an efficient foot strike
- Eliminates unnecessary weight in heel
- Promotes improved posture
- Optimizes use of running muscles
- Not recommended for heel strikers
- Minimal heel shock absorption (vs. similarly cushioned high drop shoes)
- Potential for a longer transition period