194 best low drop running shoes

Based on reviews from 1,158 experts and 59,150 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to low drop running shoes. Updated Jun 2019.

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Low drop running shoes

Heel drop is the difference between the heel height and forefoot height. Shoes with heel drop of not more than 8mm are considered low drop running shoes. They are designed to encourage an efficient stride throughout the gait cycle. best low drop running shoes, low heel drop running shoes, low heel to toe drop running shoes

Minimalist and low drop running shoes

best low drop running shoes
Best low drop running shoes - January 2019

Low drop running shoes have a less stride-controlling design. The shoes’ low heel-to-toe ramp angle allows the foot to move more naturally which will result in a more powerful and satisfying running experience.

Minimalist and barefoot shoes, with less than 4mm heel differential to account for, are typically low drop running shoes. These shoes allow more ground contact, but with less impact and debris protection. They have lesser midsole cushioning, which results in a lighter platform with minimal structure.

However, not all low heel drop running shoes are minimalist; there are some running shoes that offer maximum cushioning but the heel drop is less than 8mm. Hoka One One and Altra are some brands that manufacture well-cushioned running shoes with zero and low heel-to-toe drop.

Best low drop running shoes for men and women

Best low drop running shoes, minimalist running shoes or maximalist ones, are extremely comfortable. They have a comfortable feel from the moment you wear it and they are designed according to the needs of every runner. Below are some examples of running shoes with a low heel to toe drop.

Low drop running shoes with maximum cushioning

  • Hoka One One Bondi 6 - It is a max-cushioned running shoe with a heel drop of 4mm.  Designed for road running, the Bondi 6 delivers a good balance of comfort, grip, and cushioning. The EVA midsole of the shoe offers soft and responsive cushioning. It also has an Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry for a smoother heel-to-toe transition.
  • Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 - Made for the trail, the Speedgoat 2 is a maximalist running shoe that has a heel-drop of 4mm. It features an oversized injected EVA midsole for responsiveness and comfort. It also makes use of the Vibram MegaGrip outsole compound for traction and durability.

Low drop running shoes with traditional cushioning

  • New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v3 - The New Balance Vongo v3 is a stability running shoe meant for road running. It features the notable Fresh Foam technology designed to give runners durable and supportive underfoot cushioning. The shoe is more expensive compared to the average road running shoes, but some runners considered it as a good investment because of its durability, design, and performance.
  • Nike Flex Fury 2 - If you are looking for a cheap running shoe that is durable and reliable, you should consider the Nike Flex Fury 2. It features a dual-density midsole for responsiveness and Nike Flex technology for flexibility. The shoe gained positive comments from users because of its lightweight and fast design, affordable price, and breathable coverage. The Fury 2 is great for both short and long-distance runs.

Frequently Asked Questions related to low heel to toe drop running shoes

What is heel drop in a running shoe?

The term heel drop is also called as `heel-to-toe drop`, `heel offset` and `ramp angle`. It refers to the height difference between the heel and the forefoot. Heel drop ranges from 0mm to 12mm, but there are few running shoes that have heel drop measurements of more than 12mm. Running shoes with less than 8mm heel offset are considered as low drop shoes.

What brands offer low drop running shoes?

There are several running shoe brands that offer low drop running shoes. These include brands like Hoke One One, Altra, Merrell, Saucony, and Salomon. Runners can find a wide variety of road and trail running shoes from these brands.

What is the best low heel to toe drop running shoe?

The best low drop running shoe for the road is the Altra Escalante 1.5, and for trail running, the Hoka One One Torrent is considered a reliable shoe by most runners.

It is 4mm heel-to-toe drop too low?

There is no ideal number when it comes to running shoe heel drop. It depends on the runner. Even if you are wearing 4mm, 6mm or 8mm running shoes, as long as you are comfortable with it, then everything should be fine. What matters most is that you wear a running shoe that feels right to your running style and needs.

It is also advisable to rotate shoes that have different heel drops to work all the small muscles in the foot.

15 best low drop running shoes

  1. Altra Escalante Racer
  2. Altra Escalante
  3. Altra Escalante 1.5
  4. Altra Lone Peak 4.0
  5. Merrell Trail Glove 4
  6. Hoka One One Mach
  7. Saucony Kinvara 9
  8. Hoka One One Cavu
  9. Hoka One One Bondi 6
  10. Saucony Liberty ISO
  11. Hoka One One Bondi 5
  12. Hoka One One Clifton 5
  13. Saucony Freedom ISO
  14. Hoka One One Clifton 4
  15. Saucony Peregrine 8
Author
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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.

jens@runrepeat.com
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CoreScore
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