10 Best Low Drop Running Shoes in 2022

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
10 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

Hoka One One Bondi 7
Hoka One One Bondi 7
£104
£110
£110
£130
Top pick

Corescore

89
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 119,164 users
86 / 100 from 20 experts

Pros

  • Next-level comfort 
  • Great lockdown 
  • Molds to the feet
  • Breathable
  • Stable
  • Awesome for heel strikers
  • Great grip on roads & light trails
  • True to size
  • 3 widths for men
  • 2 widths for women

Cons

  • Feels big & heavy  
  • Pricey

Verdict

After putting it to the test, we can confidently say that the Hoka Bondi 7 screams comfort! It's highly cushioned and soft, we just couldn't get enough of it in long-distance recovery runs. It runs as smooth as a butter! And if there was a heaven for the feet, this is it right here. If there's a downside, it's that all its plushness comes at the expense of durability.
See our full review and facts
Saucony Endorphin Shift
Saucony Endorphin Shift
£88
£104
£104
Also great

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 4,789 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

Best road low drop running shoes

Saucony Kinvara 12
Saucony Kinvara 12
£80
£83
£85
£108
Top pick

Corescore

89
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 4,699 users
87 / 100 from 22 experts

Pros

  • Perfect fit
  • Wide feet friendly
  • Balanced and reliable ride
  • Fantastic foot lockdown
  • Tongue stays put
  • Great laces
  • Insanely flexible
  • Removable insole
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not for cold days
  • Non-durable outsole 

Verdict

Having tested Kinvaras of the past, we are happy to report that the Kinvara 12 continues to delight our feet as a lightweight daily trainer. So much so we even forgot we had shoes on! Like all other do-it-all shoes, it's good at everything and great at nothing (not a bad thing). For $110, it's a solid choice for a shoe that performs on slow runs, long-distance efforts, tempo sessions, and everything in between!
See our full review and facts
Altra Torin 5
Altra Torin 5
£104
£106
£108
£108
Also great

Corescore

81
Good!
3.8 / 5 from 2,539 users
93 / 100 from 7 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Dialed-in cushioning
  • Responsive
  • Superb comfort
  • No adaptation period
  • Lightweight
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Too plush for some

Verdict

The Torin 5 is an all-around great shoe. Plenty of cushion for the longer efforts or recovery runs, but not too much so as to feel sloppy. If there’s only one shoe you buy this year to serve as your daily runner, the Torin 5 is worth seriously considering.
See our full review and facts

Best trail low drop running shoes

Altra Lone Peak 5.0
Altra Lone Peak 5.0
£105
£77
Top pick

Corescore

92
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 5,179 users
89 / 100 from 19 experts

Pros

  • Great for wide feet
  • Superb grip (rocks, mud, ice, snow) 
  • Stiff and durable 
  • Sheds mud easily
  • Great water drainage
  • Balanced and stable ride
  • Removable Ortholite insole
  • Great for road-to-trail transitions
  • Extremely breathable
  • Rock plate for technical terrain
  • Gaiter-friendly
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • No ground feel
  • Too cold for winter days

Verdict

The Altra Lone Peak 5.0 is a trail shoe that will make you run with confidence! It's sturdy underfoot, supportive, and it's got the right blend of comfort and responsiveness. Throw in any terrain, and this shoe will bite its way through them!
See our full review and facts
Saucony Peregrine 12
Saucony Peregrine 12
£111
£127
£130
£130
Also great

Corescore

91
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 242 users
91 / 100 from 8 experts

Pros

  • Fits true to size
  • Grip is great in good conditions
  • Great cushioning
  • Excellent lockdown
  • Lightweight
  • Chart-topping laces
  • Vibrant looks

Cons

  • Need to keep the same insoles for proper cushioning
  • Some discomfort from overlays

Verdict

The minimal drop trail shoe is a versatile all-rounder for someone who wants that go-anywhere, do-anything shoe. With nice features like a solid outsole and rock plate, the Peregrine 12 is a comfortable, reliable option for tempo work as well as long runs on the trails.
See our full review and facts

Best value low drop running shoes

Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 8
Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 8
£119
£119
£125
£125
Top pick

Corescore

87
Great!
5.0 / 5 from 5 users
90 / 100 from 2 experts

Pros

  • Energetic and responsive ride
  • Grippy on light mud, dry rocks & loose trails
  • Protective cushion
  • Amazing heel hold
  • Upper doesn't need break-in
  • No lace bites
  • Airy even during hot days
  • Cheaper price
  • A stunner

Cons

  • Poor grip on wet surfaces
  • Might hurt feet on hard surfaces

Verdict

The Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 8 remains the brand's staple lightweight and nimble trail running shoe fit for mid to high-mileage runs. It offers a protective and responsive ride that's perfect for moderate to fast paces on almost all trail surfaces. Overall, if you want to up your speed may it be on training or race days, the Terra Kiger 8 will deliver without fail.
See our full review and facts
Altra Rivera
Altra Rivera
£76
£80
£90
£90
Also great

Corescore

86
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 1,627 users
89 / 100 from 16 experts

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Responsive
  • Stable
  • Versatile grip
  • More fit than other Altras
  • Durable

Cons

  • Laces become untied
  • Heel slippage

Verdict

If you want one shoe for everything - daily runs and occasional races - the Altra Rivera is what we'd suggest. It's cushioned, stable, and responsive enough to get you through the paces! And to test its claims to versatility, we hit both the road and trail (single-tracks), and it did awesome! The only issues we had with this shoe were the heel slips and the laces coming undone.
See our full review and facts

What are the cheapest low drop running shoes in 2022?

  1. Merrell Trail Glove 6 - from £59
  2. Skechers GOrun Razor Excess - from £64
  3. Merrell Rubato - from £69
  4. Altra Escalante 2.5 - from £71
  5. Asics Fuji Lite 2 - from £72
  6. Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 - from £74
  7. Salomon S-Lab Cross - from £82
  8. Hoka One One Zinal - from £85
  9. Inov-8 Terraultra G 270 - from £88
  10. Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 - from £89
  11. Saucony Peregrine 11 ST - from £91
  12. Altra Superior 5 - from £94
  13. Altra Rivera 2 - from £95
  14. Saucony Mad River TR 2 - from £97
  15. Merrell Trail Glove 5 Leather - from £99

See all low drop running shoes sorted by lowest price

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.