7 Best Low Drop Running Shoes in 2022

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best Low Drop Running Shoes in 2022

The “drop” in road or trail running shoes refers to the difference in height between the forefoot (or toe box) and the heel section. The higher the “drop” in a shoe, the steeper the angle will be between the forefoot and the heel.

Low drop running shoes are designed to promote a more ‘natural’ gait. Their overall construction is also a great choice for forefoot and midfoot strikers. Having a lower drop allows the feet to make a full ground contact instead of catching the heel first.

We’ve rounded up 200+ low drop running shoes in the market and tested all of them for this comprehensive guide. We selected our picks in five categories from the best overall to great options in road or trail running.

How we test running shoes

Our aim at RunRepeat is to make the lives of other runners out there easier and more fun. We do in-depth research and testing to give you the best low drop running shoes that suit your training and racing needs.

Here’s our following process:

  • We purchase all the running shoes on this list with our own funds. This is for the sake of transparency and freedom from bias.
  • We cut the shoes into pieces to get the accurate measurement of the stack, drop, and other 30+ parameters.
  • Our testers give us their feedback after they put in 30 to 50 miles of running wearing a particular model.
  • We gather more information from shoe experts and regular runners who have tried the shoes.

Finally, we give our final verdict for each pair using our CoreScore system, which ranks the shoes based on the aggregated data above. A final rating is assigned ranging from 0 to 100. All the best performing low drop running shoes make it here.

Best low drop running shoes overall

Altra Lone Peak 6
Altra Lone Peak 6

Corescore

92
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 832 users
93 / 100 from 7 experts

Pros

  • Fits true to size
  • Excellent all-round grip
  • Highly durable
  • Great ground feel
  • Feels like it makes you run better
  • Great pull tab
  • Gaiter compatible
  • Brilliant lacing
  • Roomy toe box
  • Fully gusseted tongue

Cons

  • Stain magnet
  • Not enough cushioning for some

Verdict

Whether you’re a dedicated zero-drop runner, just dipping your toe into it for the first time, or like to spice up your rotation with something new, the Altra Lone Peak 6 is a solid workhorse of a trail running shoe. The Altra Lone Peak 6 is a genuinely excellent all-rounder.
See our full review and facts

Best road low drop running shoes

New Balance Fresh Foam More v3
New Balance Fresh Foam More v3

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 861 users
91 / 100 from 10 experts

Pros

  • Insanely soft underfoot
  • Efficient stride 
  • True to size
  • Accommodates wide feet
  • Stable platform
  • Should last a lot of miles
  • Max cushioned
  • No break-in
  • Good lockdown

Cons

  • Runs warm
  • Feels a bit heavy
  • Grip is subpar on loose terrain

Verdict

The New Balance Fresh Foam More is a maximalist daily trainer that amazed us with its cushy and impact-absorbing ride! It's on the superlatives of comfort, we couldn't recommend it more for long runs and recovery days. Apart from its uber plush construction, what sets it apart from other max-cushioned shoes is that it's velvety smooth in its ride. It rolls you through your gait effortlessly and seamlessly.
See our full review and facts

Best trail low drop running shoes

Altra Olympus 4.0
Altra Olympus 4.0

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 1,759 users
89 / 100 from 15 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Wide toebox
  • Built for long runs
  • Superb cushion
  • Excellent traction
  • Durable Vibram sole
  • Light for a maximal shoe
  • Gusseted tongue
  • Very comfortable
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Not very responsive
  • Expensive

Verdict

Looking for a versatile trail shoe? Take the Altra Olympus 4.0! From gravel path, dirt single track, beat-up forest roads, and technical rocky climbs, this shoe just made us run with confidence! And since it's billed as a long-distance trail shoe, we had to see for ourselves that it delivers. And deliver it did! It gave our feet all the protection and comfort they could ask for.
See our full review and facts

Best Nike low drop running shoes

Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%
Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.4 / 5 from 373 users
94 / 100 from 15 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Bouncy and responsive ride
  • Breathable
  • Carbon-plated
  • Excellent grip

Cons

  • Not made for high mileage
  • Unstable platform
  • Feels tight in the midfoot

Verdict

The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% is a race shoe that made us zoom through the streets! It's fast, bouncy, and light and - it's everything speed-ready. With its steep price, it's exclusively for runners who only care about beating PBs and nothing else. For a race shoe, it's surprisingly cushy. During landing, our feet felt like they were stepping on marshmallows!
See our full review and facts

Best Asics low drop running shoes

Asics FujiTrabuco Lyte
Asics FujiTrabuco Lyte

Corescore

84
Good!
4.3 / 5 from 788 users
86 / 100 from 3 experts

Pros

  • Fast and lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Outstanding traction
  • Perform well on muddy trails
  • Responsive
  • Good cushioning
  • Reflective features

Cons

  • Outsole lacks durability
  • A little stiff

Verdict

The Asics FujiTrabuco Lyte is a lightweight trail running shoe that is ideal for neutral runners or those who supinate. It is designed to provide comfort and protection for fast off-road runs and trail races. This shoe is equipped with an aggressive outsole, responsive midsole, and breathable upper. All the features of this running partner are working together to help the runner achieve optimal performance.
See our full review and facts

Best value low drop running shoes

Saucony Endorphin Shift
Saucony Endorphin Shift

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 5,380 users
89 / 100 from 26 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Stable
  • Roomy toebox
  • Plush upper
  • Gusseted tongue
  • Durable
  • Good traction

Cons

  • Heel slips
  • Firm and not flexible
  • Excessively high stack height

Verdict

It's not the most advanced neutral daily trainer we've tested, but for a no-frills running shoe, the Endorphin Shift gets the job done and it's built to last! It's designed as an easy-day recovery shoe, but for us, it can do tempo sessions just as excellently! At $140, it's on our list of great-value shoes.
See our full review and facts
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.