Have you ever worn a zero drop shoe? You should try it.
I just got a pair of Skora Phase running shoes which have a zero drop from heal to toe. This forces me to pay more attention to my running form while encouraging a midfoot landing instead of a heel strike.
This is not a review of the Skora Phase, I’ve only done 2 runs so far. This post is a look at the running philosophy of the company (encapsulated on their shoe boxes) and why rotating a zero drop into your running tool box is a smart move.
The Benefits of a Zero Drop Shoe
I was a faithful Asics Nimbus runner for years but had transitioned into the Asics Gel Lyte 33 with a 6mm heal to toe drop several months ago. I enjoy wearing these shoes for long runs and marathons but wanted to incorporate a lower drop shoe for short run and speedwork. It is easier for me to pay attention to natural running form with a lighter more flexible shoe. I considered serveral different brands but found this great sale on the Skora Phase.
I’m just starting to test these shoes, but so far incorporating them into my shoe line up has been smooth. They don’t have much cushioning but I like the fact that they allow me to feel the ground better. They also have a wider toe box for a more natural foot spread.
I love the three tips that are listed on the flap of the box:
- Reconnect to your body: Awareness of how your feet connect with the running surface helps give your body greater control and efficiency.
- Reposition your body: Maintain an upright posture, aligning the hip to head. Land with your feet under your body, not in front. Keep your knees slightly bent and avoid landing with an outstretched, straight leg.
- Rhythm: While every body and gait is a little different, a good stride rhythm is around 180 footstrikes per minute. A shorter stride length encourages a foot landing that allows your entire body to work as efficiently and bio-mechanically correct as possible.
One reason I’m training with zero drop shoes is to force myself to pay closer attention to my running form. Better form = fewer injuries = happy runner.
But here is another reason why I have invested in a zero drop shoe . . .
Why it is Wise to Rotate Your Running Shoes
I always advise people to rotate between at least two different pairs of running shoes, especially if you run more than 3 times per week.
An article on the Runner’s World website talks about a first of its kind study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports which found that runners who rotated among multiple models during the 22-week study had a 39% lower risk of running injury than those who almost always ran in the same shoes.
This could be because different shoes distribute the impact forces of running differently and lessen the strain on any given tissue. The researchers also found that runners who reported more cross-training had a lower incidence of injury.
I currently rotate between wearing Asics Gel Lyte 33 for long runs, and a Skora Phase that I found on sale for $66 (down from $110) for shorter runs and speed work. I also use Vibram Bikilas for cross training.
Ok, I admit I love buying running shoes! Since I run about 1,800 miles a year I go through quite a few pairs. I give all my “experienced” shoes to my sister Amy.
Now I would love to hear about what shoe you run in. Leave a comment below. Have you tried a zero drop?