I never used to pay much attention to whether shoes were good or bad for my feet. My main concern was if they were in style and looked good. It didn’t matter to me if they were comfortable or not. That was until I started having foot problems. This forced me to re-evaluate what was important to me. Foot pain is no joke and when you are on your feet for hours a day, you quickly realize that proper footwear is far more important than being on trend. Fortunately, the world of footwear has evolved over the years and you can now have the best of both worlds; shoes that look good and are good for your feet. After doing some research, I discovered zero drop shoes. You may be asking what a zero-drop shoe is, just like I did. Let me share what I found and why you too should give them a try.
What Are Zero Drop Shoes?
Zero drop shoes are shoes that keeps the ball of the foot and heel at the same level to the ground, the same as if you were barefoot. They are also referred to as barefoot or minimalist shoes. When we wear high heels, cushioned running shoes and thick soled boots, our feet can often be put in unnatural positions, and in the opinion of some experts they are overly protected. This can lead to injuries of not only the feet but to the ankles, knees and back.
What Are The Benefits Of Wearing Zero Drop Shoes?
1. Strengthen The Feet
Wearing overly protective footwear can cause our feet to become weak. As a result we may end up needing insoles and artificial support to carry us through the day. A zero-drop shoe puts your foot in a natural position and forces you to use the muscles of the feet, which typically helps them to become stronger.
2. Proper Alignment
A zero-drop shoe keeps your foot in a straight line and parallel to the ground. This puts your body into what most would consider a proper alignment, which can give you better posture and may lead to less strain to your joints.
A zero-drop shoe gives better connection to the ground beneath. This gives us better balance and stability.
4. Less Jarring Impact
A traditional overly cushioned running shoe promotes a heel strike. This causes jarring to all the joints of the lower body which may lead to injuries. A zero-drop shoe encourages the wearer to strike more with the forefoot. This can lead to a more efficient forward stride and the foot absorbing more of the shock. This may prevent ankle, knee, and back pain.
Because zero-drop shoes have less cushioning, they are generally more lightweight. This gives a feeling of freedom and possibly an enhanced performance.
My favorite zero-drop shoes are Leguano Barefoot Shoes that are handmade in Germany. They have many styles and colours to choose from. I now have 3 pairs and my feet love them! They are extremely lightweight, breathable, and super comfortable. I did have to gradually ease into my Leguano’s because I had relied on orthotics and thick soled running shoes for years. But now that my feet have strengthened, I no longer need those, and my feet feel better than they have in years!