Why try Altra ‘Zero Drop’?
To Land On Your Mid-Foot, Not Your Heel
After the barefoot minimalist running craze, most runners are aware that it is better to land on their mid-foot, which is just behind the toes. Yet most people still run in running shoes that have a big chunky heel at the back and encourage you to run with poor posture and land more on your heel.
To Do So Without Sacrificing Cushioning
The reason for this is that if you haven’t had a problem then why change. There are lots of stories about runners changing to shoes that offered no cushioning and getting problems with their Achilles or calfs. Although this can happen Altra has developed shoes that allow you to change to a more mid foot running style without over stressing your body and running into trouble.
To Allow Your Foot & Toes to Spread Properly
Altra footwear have a trademarked FootShape Toe Box, as squeezing into a narrow shoe is simply limiting your foot’s natural ability to cushion your fall and propel you forward instantly.
To Improve Your Form and Posture
Zero Drop created better alignment (see image). Landing on your heel literally slows you down, whilst your body works hard to continue pushing you forwards. Landing on the forefoot keeps your cadence (and efficiency) up, naturally.
Transitioning to Zero Drop
The transition needs to be done with care but, it doesn’t take long and there will be less wear and tear on the body. With Altra you start your transition with the more cushioned shoes. This means that your body doesn’t have to get used to too many things at once. As all the shoes are zero drop you get used to landing on your mid-foot with your foot more under the center of gravity. As shoes like the Paradigm are highly cushioned you aren’t reliant on your foot absorbing the shock or having to work too hard. The space in the forefoot will encourage your foot to start to work but, this will take time. So, having the cushioning gives you that time.
The transition method that Altra recommend starts with you walking about in the shoes and when you are ready to run you start with just 10 minutes of running. Then next time you run you use your old shoes. Alternating each time you run and gradually increasing the time you spend in the Paradigms. For most people it doesn’t take long for the zero drop Altra shoes to feel good and the old high heeled shoes to feel restrictive and unnatural.
Here is a link to an article written by Northern Runner’s Iain about his transition to Altra:
Iain had had issues before with low heel to forefoot drop shoes that where very soft (so they didn’t activate his feet). This caused an injury that took 6 months to heal and Iain was told to always use shoes with a high heel. Yet after his transition to Altra Iain has run with no injuries and seen the benefits of running with better posture. Which for Iain has mainly been no soreness in his legs the day after his weekly long run of 20 miles plus.