When getting a new pair of training shoes, one can get overwhelmed with all the options available. From the type of materials used on the upper, the technologies in the midsole and the outsole, the overall style and construction - the choices seem endless. Then, you have to consider the type of physical activities you will be participating in because there’s probably a trainer dedicated for them, like weightlifting shoes or trainers for CrossFit. Another aspect which training enthusiasts are looking into these days is the offset.
The offset, or the heel-to-toe drop, is the difference between the height of the heel and the height of the toe relative to the ground. There are two types of offset: the high drop and the low drop. High-drop training shoes are those with an offset higher than 10 mm; the heel sits higher than the ball of the foot. As for low-drop training shoes, the heel-to-toe drop is 0 mm - 5 mm; the heel and the forefoot are at the same or almost the same level.
What to look for in a pair of low-drop training shoes?
Best low drop training shoes - July 2018
As the name implies, there should be little-to-no difference between the heel height and the forefoot height.
When you put on the footgear, you should feel like your foot is sitting flat or almost flat, like it does when you're standing barefoot on a flat surface.
The heel should not be elevated. This flat disposition helps in keeping the foot feel planted and adds stability during weight training or the quick cuts needed in high-intensity workouts.
Low-drop training shoes vary in terms of sole thickness. You can come across low- and zero-drop minimalist training shoes with thin soles as well as low-drop trainers with extremely thick cushioned midsoles.
The choice solely depends on your preference. Some athletes are accustomed to wearing shoes with very little cushioning, while others prefer more padding when their foot strikes the ground. But the important thing to consider is that no matter how thick the midsole is, it should be able to keep the foot stable.
Like other workout footwear, low-drop training shoes typically use mesh for the upper as it is breathable and prevents the foot chamber from getting too hot while training. Other materials utilized may also include knit, jersey, leather, synthetic leather, nubuck, and other elements that are able to provide support and steadiness to the foot. The upper should be made of components that are able to hold the foot during dynamic movements.
Frequently asked questions about low-drop training shoes
Why use low-drop training shoes?
When wearing low-drop training shoes, the user’s foot lays flat inside the shoe which means that the weight of the wearer is evenly distributed and not focused only on one area. There are gym-goers who prefer this because they feel more grounded, especially when lifting weights or squatting. They also claim that their feet feel more steady when wearing low-drop training shoes.
Are minimalist training shoes considered low-drop training shoes?
Yes, minimalist training shoes fall under the low drop training shoe category. The reason for this is that minimalist training shoes have a thin sole unit with a zero or a very minimal drop. The unit is designed to deliver a barefoot experience, so there is no elevation at the heel as the footbed is virtually flat all throughout.
Are there low-drop training shoes with thick cushioning?
Yes, there are low-drop training shoes with thick cushioning. Remember, the low drop is the difference between the height at the heel and the height at the forefoot. There are thick midsoles with minimal offset. Not everyone enjoys working out using minimalist training shoes because they want more underfoot cushioning, particularly during high-impact routines which could be brutal to the heel and the ball of the foot.
Can people with flat feet wear low-drop training shoes?
Yes, people with flat feet can wear low-drop training shoes. However, people with low arches tend to overpronate or excessively roll their feet. Wearing low-drop training shoes could result in pain or discomfort, especially under the arch. If you feel like you need some reinforcement, special insoles or custom orthotics could help solve this issue.
How to clean low-drop training shoes?
Low-drop training shoes should be treated like regular training shoes, meaning they should not be machine washed or dried as that could compromise their integrity. Depending on the material of the upper, a simple wipe down using a clean, damp cloth may suffice. However, if there is caked-in dirt, a clean, dry brush may be used first to remove excess dirt. Make a cleaning solution using warm water and mild soap, then use that to remove stains or stubborn dirt with the help of a brush or a cloth. Rinse the solution by wiping down the footgear with a clean damp cloth. Air dry the footwear for 10 hours or more to ensure that all components are completely dry. Stuffing the inside with crumpled newspaper helps in quickening the drying process.
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