Author Topic: Zero drop walking boots  (Read 386 times)

emdaw

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Zero drop walking boots
« on: 09:24:19, 07/10/20 »
Am in process of looking for some new lightweight boots or shoes and keep reading about Zero Drop. I understand what that means but was wondering what your opinions / experiences are in respect of walking in zero drop footwear.  Thanks in advance for your views  O0

Birdman

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Re: Zero drop walking boots
« Reply #1 on: 17:57:59, 07/10/20 »
I think you are only going to find out by buying them and then walk some distance on them, because this is too personal to generalise. Some people love them and with others they cause serious injuries.
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

Ridge

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Re: Zero drop walking boots
« Reply #2 on: 18:03:43, 07/10/20 »
I had to look up what they were so I know nothing about this but I wonder if it would make a difference if you usually wear virtually flat footwear all the time or if you are generally in something with at least a small heal.

BrionyB

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Re: Zero drop walking boots
« Reply #3 on: 18:33:14, 07/10/20 »
I have several pairs of zero-drop shoes and would happily walk all day in them on pavements or smooth paths, but wouldn't wear them on more rugged ground; mine are all very thin-soled so you feel every sharp stone you step on, and they're very soft and flexible and not particularly grippy.


Presumably the ones designed for hiking are more robust (you could technically have zero-drop without the barefoot/minimalist aspect, though they tend to go together in practice) but I wonder if that almost defeats the point of them. I think you'd have to try some on and see if they feel suitable for the kind of walking you want to do.

GinAndPlatonic

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Re: Zero drop walking boots
« Reply #4 on: 18:57:04, 07/10/20 »
I became a zealot supporter in regards to flat soles a few years back . However I stopped using them for long hikes as they didn`t give me enough grip , and they give less protection from rocks and unexpected shocks underfoot .

 Most "flat" soled shoes are also a tad flimsy for my liking and for that reason I lost interest in wearing them . It seems manufacturers  feel they have to include really lightweight uppers in their designs too. I just don`t see why flat soled boots or shoes can`t be made with traditional uppers and materials . Maybe that`s a bit of a gamble for them and they just chase the consumers demands which are the oft repeated protection from an ankle twist . So that would go against the ethos of flat soled shoes.. ???

The other thing I realised was that the front edge of the heel on traditional boots or shoes give added grip when walking down hill .
« Last Edit: 19:02:28, 07/10/20 by GinAndPlatonic »
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Ronin83

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Re: Zero drop walking boots
« Reply #5 on: 18:58:42, 07/10/20 »
I often use zero drop shoes in day to day life and exercising. I find its great for improving posture and strengthening all those small muscles and ligaments etc in my feet, ankles etc. It also awakens nerves and re engages proprioception.


Unfortunately, there isn't a robust zero drop boot I have seen which can handle serious hiking unless the wearer has spent years toughening their feet and strengthening their ankles. We're all just wimps really. There's people in this world who hike mountains and all sorts with next to nothing on their feet, but for most of us we need more protection, me included, to enjoy it.


The nearest there is are the altra Lone peak mid. The yanks love them. They're not really sturdy, tough boots though. Vivobarefoot trackers are good, but thin soled. Both suited to gentler hikes. You'll never really know how they are for you as an individual until you use them though.


I wish for the day a proper leather hiking boot is built with a thicker zero drop sole.

Ronin83

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Re: Zero drop walking boots
« Reply #6 on: 19:03:17, 07/10/20 »
By the way my missus has done walks in the vivo trackers and loves them. She has very wide feet and they're a revelation to her. These walks are more like around the Chilterns though, not harsh rocky mountains.

Whiskeytownracer

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Re: Zero drop walking boots
« Reply #7 on: 17:07:21, 08/10/20 »
I bought some Altra Lone Peak 4.5 earlier this year and echo what others have said. Flimsy, parts of the upper had significant visible wear within 2 months (though this is 5-600 miles for me). They're also rather thin soled to the point I picked up a heel injury not long after getting them. I stood on a small sharp stone about half way through a 14 miler, debated turning back or continuing with either option being painful, upon continuing I stood on another in the exact same area of my heel about 200 metres later and wish I'd turned back! Walked home in considerable pain and then had an enforced 2-3 week break. On the plus side, being so flimsy, they are super lightweight!

The zero drop thing is quite interesting and it certainly alters your posture/works some muscles differently. I'm now ~1k miles in with them and though they certainly no longer look new there's a fair bit of life left. You'll just have to try it to see. Not sure I could only wear zero drop though. On a side note, the Altra's have a wide toe box which looks a little odd, but I find fabulously comfy - a revelation in fit for me. YMMV

Birdman

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Re: Zero drop walking boots
« Reply #8 on: 17:35:12, 08/10/20 »
On a side note, the Altra's have a wide toe box which looks a little odd, but I find fabulously comfy - a revelation in fit for me. YMMV


Yes, that is probably he most important reason for their popularity among long distance hikers
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

Ronin83

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Re: Zero drop walking boots
« Reply #9 on: 23:28:33, 08/10/20 »
The things is we think about it as zero drop altering our posture, but the fact is it doesn't alter our posture from what it should be (barefoot). "normal" shoes are the ones which alter our posture, and potentially cause damage.
Unfortunately decades of wearing them, realistically, can't be undone in a month or so, especially when, like me, you are required to wear steel toes 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Viclikestowalk

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Re: Zero drop walking boots
« Reply #10 on: 12:17:23, 11/10/20 »
I have only had my Altra High Peak 4s for a couple of week, I love them.


Super light (so great for my knees) and I find them really grippy.


I however live in completely flat flip flops or bare feet when not out for a long walk, so the zero drop is already my normal.