Newbie here (sorry).  Been looking at minimalist shoes and noticing articles like the one in Runners World that call the zero-drop or minimal shoe thing 'passe'.  Also went into a running shoe store and was told that it peaked 2 years ago and now folks are getting away from it and going at least to a 4 mm drop.  Many sites put zero-drop and 4 mm drop in the same category as minimalist.  The guy in the running shop said that the Vibram 5 Finger had gotten lawsuits, and they won't carry them anymore, although I noticed that REI still has them.  

So, I'm wondering what others around here think.  Is this strictly a zero-drop group here, or are others playing around with 4 mm and up?  The guy in the shoe store said that he used to run in zero-drops but when he got tired his heel started hitting the ground, so opted for at least 4 mm.  I asked him if he had done strength training and of course he said yes.

I don't want to be the last one on the planet to go zero-drop if the trend has moved on for a good reason other than people are too lazy to do strength training, or maybe they want to run farther than they have trained for like the guy in the shoe store. WWES? (I can guess, but curious for others feedback.

-Gene

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IMHO zero drop shoes with no padding are hard to get used to unless you've been running that way all of your life.  So the shoe companies respond with shoes that more people can run farther in with less set back than what happens when attempting the transition to zero drop.  But that zero drop shoes are hard to get used to does not mean they are bad.  I think getting used to them has been good for my legs/body.  I'm a convert and if running stores don't sell them I will start ordering them on line.

I don't care at all that Vibram 5finger was sued.  That is just the world of lawyers.

It seems to me that Eric Orton was into zero drop before it became the rage and will continue to be into it now after.

I am not a runner that other runners look up to.  I was a good sprinter in high school and now am just trying to stay healthy in my 50's.  It's been two years and I am still adapting to minimalist shoes and the farthest I have been able to run is 5 miles.  But I was doing it with no guidance.  Now following the Cool Impossible for 6 months I think I will be breaking though that barrier by the end of the summer.

Hi Gene, 

I am a relatively new to running (less than a year of "serious" running) but I was pretty lucky to start in Vibrams right from the start so I didn't need to transition. I still train in them daily because I just absolutely adore the feel that I get from them. However, for my first semi (road), I chose more traditionnal but still zero-drop shoes for comfort. I think that that was a good decision... The Vibrams do really well on the rocky paths here too but not so well in the mud...

I have a blind trust in Eric, can you tell ? But I never thought I could do so much running (for me) and not only NOT get injured but also feel my body get stronger. 

Your reseller's comment about feeling his heels hit the ground when he got tired is quite clear. He obviously wanted to run longer than what his body was strong enough for and did not want to be patient to allow his body to develop this strength gradually in order to keep up the forefoot strike. It's not easy to be patient and to accept our body's limitations. But the reward is: no injuries! Sometimes, when I listen to runners talk amongst themselves, I have the impression that running is about "injury management".  Remember "More is not better. Better is better."

I don't care anything about trends and already order my shoes on the internet. If the minimalist trend does die out, I'll be the last minimalist runner !

Hi Gene, I too proudly endorse Eric's philosophies and aspire to run in zero drop shoes but it takes time to transition. The instant gratification crazed world we live in want everything now, we want to run 100 mile mountain trail in zero drop shoes without first doing the work, we want success of all kinds immediately.

I have had a pair of Eric's B2R trail shoes for almost a year now and still haven't fully transitioned into them completely, it takes time because our feet and legs are either weak or our muscle equilibrium, vital for strong running, just isn't there. Folks may say that running in zero-drop or minimal shoes is 'passe'  and that it peaked 2 years ago and now folks are getting away from it but how many of these folk put in the work to transition correctly.

Stick with it, take a holistic approach to your transition by continuing the strength exercises and take your transition slowly. Maybe buy a pair of 4mm drop shoes as part of your transition programme and remember foot strength and muscle equilibrium are the keys to success.

Hope I've helped, keep us posted with your progress

A couple things about forefoot strike and minimalist shoes. Very important point of clarification, your heel SHOULD come down when you run. Yes, I think most would agree a forefoot strike is best, but, the heel should still come down after the forefoot. Keeping the heel elevated will aggravate the achilles. This is a very common mistake, and one I made early on. To get the "perfect form" without thinking about it, run in place. You can't run in place without perfect form. Your forefoot will strike first and your heel will come down, that is what you want to mimic/practice during runs. First look at the shoes you are used to running in.  If they are really beefy with a high/wide heel, going to a zero drop shoe is asking for disaster. Transition slowly working down to a 0-4mm drop. WHILE you are doing this start working on form, strength. Think about WHY you are transitioning. Most are trying to run more naturally and to avoid or work through pains/injuries/issues. We know running more naturally, with good form decreases pain and injuries. It took me a full year to be able to run confidently with good form and I still get sloppy when tired. Don't force good form, practice it and give your muscles time to remember it. This is called "muscle memory". It takes a really long freaking time for muscle memory to occur. Or at least it did for me.  Give your brain and feet a break. Run for 5 minutes focusing on good form and then don't worry about it, just run. Increase that time each time you run or focus for a few minutes here and there throughout your run. The most important thing to remember is no shoe...a Zero drop, vibram, 4mm, etc will "fix" anything. Take the primary focus away from the show, the shoe is such a minimal part of injury prevention and form. Remember what you are trying to accomplish....a more natural running form to improve efficiency, prevent injury, work through niggly problems that may be form related. 

Well said Lori, my ramblings tied to explain exactly what your reply managed to do!

I have been running with the Mizuno Wave Inspire shoes (which have a 12mm drop) prior to reading The Cool Impossible. I was having a very difficult time dropping my heel after the forefoot strike and realized that my shoes were preventing me from doing it properly. Today I went to my local running store and bought a pair of Brooks Pureflow (4 mm drop). My level of awareness drastically increased when "test driving" these shoes. For those who have transitioned into lower drop shoes, is there anything I should be aware of? I don't want to transition to quickly and cause an injury.

Thanks!

Yes, the 12mm drop shoes definitely impaired your ability to feel and bring your heel down properly. I would suggest transitioning slowly, like no more than 20 min a couple times a week the first week on your easy runs and gradually increase your time from there as you feel. Everyone is different about how quickly they transition. I would incorporate the strength exercises in Eric's book to build foot strength.
Thank you so much Lori! This forum has been a huge blessing to me.

I am just getting back into running after a break of over 20 years (including four high-risk pregnancies that meant many months of bed rest), and after a couple of months of frustration over little progress, I found XEROSHOES.  (They get excellent reviews, and the makers are super-easy to contact with questions/concerns.)  I've been running about two miles per day several days a week (mostly on grass) and have had lots of soreness some days, but it usually goes away with a break of a day or two.  Now that I'm just finishing Eric book, I finally know what I'm *supposed* to be doing!  :)  I'm planning to stick w/ my XEROSHOES, and I'm wondering if others have tried them....  ~Pam

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