Transition to Zero Drop Footwear

Most Running Shoes are built on a 2-to-1 heel-to-toe ratio (Twice as thick in the heel as the forefoot). Zero Drop footwear by ALTRA has been built on a 1-to-1 ratio (The heel and forefoot are the same heights off the ground).

A lifetime of wearing an elevated heel has neutralized your Achilles and lower calf and THEY NEED TIME TO REDEVELOP!

Depending on your foot and calf strength, many runners will experience some lower calf tightness due to the natural loading effect of running with Zero Drop. Getting into Zero Drop Shoes will be an adjustment for many. Please read the appropriate directions depending on your shoe.

Minimalist Zero Drop Shoe Transition Guide

How to transition from traditional running shoes to Altra's Zero Drop and minimalist shoes… Running Minimalist or Barefoot Transition Program for Average Feet (i.e. Occasionally walk around barefoot; doesn’t wear supportive insoles)

This program is built for runners & walkers who have average foot strength in order to help them transition to barefoot, minimal (i.e. Adam/Eve), or cushion Zero Drop (e.i. Instinct/Intuition) footwear. Candidates are people who use their feet a fair amount, exercise regularly, don’t wear overly supportive shoes or insoles, and those who may occasionally walk around or run barefoot. I suggest doing the following program as part of regular exercise routine. Simply take some time during your workout in your minimalist footwear or bare feet.

For your first outing, go 1 mile wearing your minimalist shoes or barefoot. The following day, evaluate your level of comfort*. If you have no soreness, then add a ½ mile to your routine the following day. Continue running one day, evaluating the next until you get a bit sore. Once you get sore, you’ve found your base line and foundation to build from. Once you find your baseline, simply add a few minutes every couple of days to your routine and continue to evaluate on a regular basis. Within a few short weeks, you should be able to run long distances with no problems.

*The key to being successful in phasing in a minimalist routine is to evaluate your level of comfort and to find a base line to build from. If you get to the point during your workout where you feel uncomfortable, you have probably gone too long and will most likely be a little sore the next day. This is the premise for the whole program.

Average feet transition

Program 3: Strong Feet (Coming Soon)

Cushioned Zero Drop Transition Guide

Zero Drop™ shoes are going to have a different feel than your traditional elevated heel shoes.Zero Drop Transition

Now that you have learned about Altra™'s Running Footwear and hopefully purchased a pair for yourself it is now time to transition from that 2:1 heel to toe shoe to a Zero Drop™ shoe. So how do we do that efficiently and effectively?

Most running shoes are built on a 2-to-1 heel-to-toe ratio (i.e. twice as thick in the heel as the forefoot).

Zero Drop™ footwear by Altra™ has been built on a 1-to-1 ratio (i.e. the heel and forefoot is the same heights off the ground).

A lifetime of wearing an elevated heel has neutralized your Achilles and lower calf…and they need time to redevelop! Depending on your foot and calf strength, many runners will experience 1-4 weeks of lower calf tightness due to the natural loading effect of running with Zero Drop™ shoes!

Four Suggestions To Ease Transition

  1. Listen to your body...avoid doing too much too soon
  2. It is HIGHLY recommended that you Alternate
  3. Once your lower leg muscles and feet have become accustomed to the awesome natural loading effect of Zero Drop™ shoes, you can run all you want in your new ALTRA™ footwear!
  4. Work on your form. Take a class, video yourself, or otherwise be actively engaged in fine-tuning your running technique. The Learn to Run Initiative can help immensely.