Clinical Analysis of Running, Running Footwear, and Injury Prevention/Performance. The Doctors of Running, using knowledge of human movement, clinical biomechanics and performance, bring you cutting edge articles, reviews, and research reports.

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In today's episode we dive into the knowledge base surrounding 0 drop shoes and what demands they place on the body. We also discuss transitioning to a 0mm drop platform and considerations of how to do it safely. We then discuss in depth the Altra Paradigm 6, all while trying to bring David along, who was deep into character throughout the review (see YouTube to visualize costumes).
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In this clip, our team talks about the pros and cons of running in various drop footwear.

Altra Paradigm Video Review



DPT CORNER

On Transitioning to Zero Drop Shoes, By Nathan Brown
We have previously discussed benefits of shoe rotations as a way to introduce mechanical variability to you as a runner. One simple aspect of shoes to vary is the drop of a shoe, as you can typically find shoes anywhere from 0mm drop to 12mm drop. Despite variability being a good thing, you also need to consider how to transition to those changes in the shoe construction. If you're used to using a high drop shoe or a highly rockered shoe, which tend to decrease demand on the calf/achilles, you may want to consider how to integrate a 0mm drop shoe into your running routine, which tend to increase demand on the calf/achilles.

There are many things to consider for transitioning to a zero drop shoe, but here are two. First is the frequency that you use the shoe. There are no hard and fast rules, but I would recommend a strategic introduction of shoes with zero drop. Step one would be to wear the shoe for walking and during the work day (if appropriate) for 1-2 weeks. The next step would be to use the shoe for one short run during your running routine. If both of those go well, then you can increase the use of the shoe by 10-20% per week, with every other run being in a shoe with a drop you are most used to. Placing time between each run in the 0mm drop shoe allows time for physiological adaptation to the Achilles tendon (which takes 36-52 hours to restructure its collagen). 

The second consideration is preparing your body from a strengthening and loading perspective. By directly training the Achilles, we can increase its stiffness and strengthen the calf as well. If you aren't already, I'd consider integrating calf raises into your regular strengthening routine, including both slow single leg calf raises and bounding exercises.

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS
Further discussion on running high vs. low drop footwear
Review of the Topo ST-4, a purely minimal, zero drop shoe in 2021
Review of the Altra Paradigm 6

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