We live in a generation where more is always believed to be better. But as it’s been said, “It's like the more money we come across, the more problems we see”. Thanks to the Notorious B.I.G. - we can recognize that ‘Mo Money’ may translate to ‘Mo Problems’.
This lesson applies to much more than the money in your pocket, but also, as we will see, to the shoes on your feet. It’s time to discover the benefits of a minimalist shoe, and how a more adaptive style from Flux Footwear can move with your feet, not against them.
“ZERO DROP” EXPLAINED
The term “drop” refers to the difference in height between the heel and forefoot of a shoe.
An average running shoe on today’s market has a heel-to-toe drop of 10 millimeters. Zero drop shoes, as the name suggests, have a heel-to-toe drop of zero millimeters - meaning that the shoe is flat, keeping the heel and forefoot on the same level.
So, why is there such a large disparity between the ‘average’ drop of a running shoe and the increasingly popular zero-drop style? Evidence is beginning to support that zero drop shoes promote a more natural movement pattern and provide a feel that can’t be attained in an overly cushioned, high drop shoe - one that predetermines the positioning and move ability of your foot.
Zero drop shoes provide many positive benefits for anyone looking to run better, reduce risk of injury, and to get back to the natural way that humans run, walk, and move throughout their daily lives. This is why Flux set out to create a shoe that supports flexibility, strength, and balance for all athletes.
From the Adapt Trainer in the gym, to the Adapt Runner on the roads, and everywhere in between, minimalist shoes from Flux Footwear provide specific benefits and support that more isn’t always better.
THE BENEFITS OF ZERO DROP RUNNING SHOES
IMPROVED FORM AND TECHNIQUE:
Humans know how to run. Yet, with the evolution of modern shoe technology, we are quite literally having distance placed between us and the natural ground feel of our feet.
Highly cushioned shoes alter running mechanics and detract from the innate ability to move in a manner unique to your body. An over-reliance on increasingly advanced, unnatural shoe technology can instill habits of poor form and technique that become hard to break.
Zero drop shoes are effective in allowing your body to run and move more efficiently. These shoes can help promote a natural forefoot or mid foot striking pattern (1), as opposed to the common heel strike associated with higher drop running shoes. Flux provides a running shoe that pairs a minimalist structure with a toe-off shape to promote better running form from foot-strike to toe-off.
The Takeaway: Zero drop shoes promote greater running form and economy by allowing for a more natural movement pattern.
REDUCED RISK OF PAIN AND INJURY:
Today’s shoes supply a seemingly endless amount of cushion and protection, but surprisingly, could also lead to a higher-likelihood of chronic pain and injury.
Increasing amounts of foam and rubber in these shoes are said to protect your feet and provide comfortable conditions for training. The issue, however, is that high-levels of cushioning can actually do more harm than good.
When cushioned to such a large extent, the muscles of your feet become less active in the ways that they’re naturally accustomed. Over time, too much support and protection leads to weakened foot and lower-body muscles (4), and as a result, a higher likelihood of flare-ups, nagging pain, and a potentially sidelining injury.
Zero drop running shoes help strengthen these muscles (5) in a similar manner that a routine of prescribed strength exercises may; but rather than being a reactive solution to an issue, a zero drop shoe can be proactive in preventing potential problems from occurring.
The Adaptsol Technology of Flux Footwear provides biofeedback that mimics barefoot proprioception to provide a natural, barefoot feel, with just enough cushioning for any activity.
The Takeaway: A zero drop running shoe helps prevent injury by strengthening the important muscles of your feet and lower body.
ENHANCED COMFORT AND ADAPTABILITY:
Zero drop doesn’t have to mean less comfort. With the proper design, zero drop shoes actually provide more comfort and application to your daily life and training.
Flux Footwear’s zero drop options feature a wider, roomier toe box than that of their competitors. This extra room helps to accommodate proper running form, and enhanced comfort as the miles or time on your feet add-up. Plus, zero drop shoes help to mitigate the negative impact of higher drop, over-cushioned shoes. It may sound counterintuitive to say that higher-levels of cushioning can lead to more stress on the body, but due to the aforementioned strength benefits of more minimalist shoes, a lower drop running shoe can reduce leg stiffness (6) and alleviate overall impact on the muscles and ligaments of your lower body.
Whether you’re on a run, at the gym, or on the go, zero drop shoes provide greater comfort and adaptability to the natural stress and impact of daily movement. And with Flux’s options of stylish trainers and running shoes, you feel and look great, no matter the activity.
The Takeaway: Zero drop running shoes feature a roomier toe box and evenly balanced cushioning for greater flexibility and comfort.
THE ZERO DROP DIFFERENCE
So, how do you know if a zero drop running shoe is for you?
There will never be a ‘one size fits all’ approach to health, comfort, or performance. Zero drop running shoes help to mitigate many of the issues that have become increasingly common in the world of running - things like unnatural form and technique, overuse injuries, and discomfort.
If you’ve struggled with these issues, or want to take a proactive approach to stronger, healthier running - a zero drop shoe is a great choice. In trying a zero drop shoe for the first time, it is best to gradually transition into this style, as opposed to making the switch in an instant.
The following guidelines can help make your transition to zero drop a seamless one:
- Gradual transition: Gradually increasing the amount of time you spend in zero drop shoes can help reduce discomfort and allow your feet to adjust to the new sensation of walking without highly-cushioned shoes.
- Start small: Begin by wearing zero drop shoes for a few hours at a time and gradually increase the duration as your feet get used to them.
- Listen to your body: Pay attention to any discomfort or pain you experience while wearing zero drop shoes. If you experience discomfort, take a break and switch back to your regular shoes for a few days.
- Give it time: It can take several weeks or even months for your feet to fully adjust to zero drop shoes, so be patient and persistent.
Keep in mind that everyone's feet are different and the transition time may vary. It's important to listen to your body and adjust accordingly to ensure a comfortable transition to zero drop shoes.
With time, you may see that you are running better with less. And with Flux Footwear, you will always have the gift of better movement.