Rotating shoes with different heel-toe drop? (Read 273 times)

Half Fanatic #846

    Before I started running barefoot most of the time, I gradually transitioned from shoes with high heel drops (the most cushioned shoes I could get),  to Nike Free 5.0, then 3.0 with 4mm heel drop including for work, to totally minimal running shoes with 0 mm heel drop.  I didn't have issues with calf pain at all, probably because I changed gradually over a couple of years.  If your low heel drop shoes cause discomfort, rotate them a little less often for a while - find that line that your body will accept and it will seem normal in a few weeks. Rotation is a good  way of transitioning.  You shouldn't have much trouble if you are BF at home and in Tom's a lot, but don't expect to get used to low drop shoes in a couple of weeks - give it a few/couple of months and don't "push it" too much.

    "I don't always roll a joint, but when I do, it's usually my ankle" - unk.                          Run like the winded

     I ran half my last race on my left foot!                   "Frankly autocorrect, I'm getting a bit tired of your shirt"

    running metalhead

      It seems to me that running in a lower heel shoe is like running up hill.


      So, perhaps think of what happens when you go out and run hills.  Your calves get sore.  You want to take it easy on that type of running until you get used to it.


      For me it's exactly the other way around: I usually run in MT10 or flats, some times I use "normal" heeled shoes like my battered NB Ironman II (with 1000 miles on their soles!) and I get a hell of calf pain. 

      When I run I feel like a swallow

      Because you are free like a bird?

      Nope, because of all the flies I eat.



        Yep I try to rotate different shoes during the week. I just got some New Balance Minimus 00's on sale that I use once a week for a short run. I do track workouts once a week in some low-drop Puma's. My long run shoes are still a higher-drop cushioned shoe. Also just picked up some new Vibram FiveFingers for a great price. Right now just wearing those to the gym to get used to them. I have an older pair of FiveFingers that are for wearing in the house (I never wear outdoor shoes in the house).

           RVDowning, if you don't mind my asking, what are your arches like?  Running Warehouse has those Universe 4's on liquidation (last I checked), and I remember trying them on at an expo and being amazed at how lightweight they were.  I'm looking for something inexpensive to rotate in with my beloved Kinvara 4's, which also have a 4mm drop, but am worried the utter lack of arch support in the Universe will hurt my feet (though I would almost certainly save the Universes for track/speedwork).


          I don't really have any arches any more.  According to my doctor that is what happens when one gets older.  (I'll be 68 in March.)  They are definitely light weight.  Wearing them is almost like cheating.  They weren't inexpensive (One pair was $125 and the other $100), but since I get 1500+ miles on them the cost per mile does eventually get pretty low.  If they are on liquidation I wonder what is going to replace them. (Plus, maybe I should stock up on some more of them.)  A shoe company's replacement/upgraded shoe is often worse than the good shoe it replaced.


            I where NB minumus unless I'm on a Forest service rd.  FSR  thru the mts are made of crushed granite. Those rocks are sharp and tear my feet up in minimus so I were Brooks trail shoe.

            I have not had any problem swapping.

              I'm sure I do since I don't know what the heel-toe drop is on any of my shoes.


              FYI Saucony prints the heel-toe drop right in on the insole.  My Saucony rides, for instance, say 8mm.

              "When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up against them; for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels."  Ezekiel 1:21


                I do not rotate shoes with drastically different drops mainly because I only run in "normal" drop shoes now.  My main shoes are the Adidas Supernova Glide 5 (11mm) and Mizuno Wave Rider 16 (12-13mm).  I own Nike Free 5.0s (8mm) and Saucony Triumph 10s (8mm and my least favourite shoe but not due to the drop - I just don't get on with Sauconys) but seldom run in those at all now.


                I don't like rotating drop because I don't see the point in low drop shoes anymore. I also question whether it's good to constantly change shoes at all.  I plan on buying three or four pairs of Supernova Glides and alternating, but just for wear purposes.  I will only use lower drop shoes (Adidas Hagios) when I'm actually racing.  Frankly, I think the whole "low drop" shoes thing is a marketing ploy by shoe companies that know most people would love to put a shoe on and suddenly have the gait of an elite East African runner but it's just not true.


                A friend who is a Physiotherapist said business is very good these days due to people buying minimal shoes and trying to "force" a mid or forefoot strike when they're running 10min miles...


                Do any of you do this successfully? Did you know right away that the lower drop was going to work out? I'm having first world shoe problems over here.


                I ordered a pair of Saucony Mirage 3s with Christmas gift money to try out and I'm totally unsure whether I should keep them for another couple of weeks and see how that goes, or just send 'em back already. They're super comfortable on my feet, maybe more than my other shoes, but definitely beat up my calves - have only run short (0.5-1.5 mile) distances in them thus far, and only on the treadmill. My other shoes are ~9mm drop (Asics DS Trainer, Adidas Adizero Tempo) and now I'm questioning whether it would even be smart to rotate shoes with different heel-toe drops on a regular basis.

                From the Internet.

                  Thanks for all the input everyone. I really wanted to love these shoes, but dammit I'm tired of sore calves so I'm going to stick with what works. Sending back the Mirages, planning to pick up a second pair of DS Trainers to rotate with my aging current pair.

                    I rotate shoes. It depends on how many pairs I own at a given time. For a while, I had 5 pairs and ran regularly in four of them. Now I own three pairs, but barely ever run in my Asics Cumulus 12s anymore. I got used to the Mizuno feel and I find the Asics too heavy, soft and cumbersome. I think the Wave Riders are 12-13mm drop, and the Sayonara are around 10mm drop. Felt a bit weird at first to run in the Sayonaras as all my previous shoes had been traditional drop (11-12mm drop) Asics trainers, and the Wave Riders. So the lighter Sayonaras felt a bit harsh with the lower heel drop and less cushioning. But I now love the lighter shoes. Since there are a lot more options of lighter shoes in the 8mm drop market, my next shoes are probably going to be in that range. I’ll probably try the New Balance 890s.

                    From what I read in this thread most people rotate shoes with different heel drops, without issues. That’s a good sign. Going from 10 to 8mm drop shouldn’t be too much of an adjustment, I hope.

                    I, too, am a bit of a tech specs freak. It adds to the fun to know all these things (weight of my shoes, heel to toe drop, etc.) It’s like people who are 10 pounds overweight, but pay an extra $2000 for their bike because it is 4 ounces lighter. Useless, but the numbers amuse them.

                    I say things. I do things. Does it all have to make sense?

                      Frankly, I think the whole "low drop" shoes thing is a marketing ploy by shoe companies that know most people would love to put a shoe on and suddenly have the gait of an elite East African runner but it's just not true.


                      A friend who is a Physiotherapist said business is very good these days due to people buying minimal shoes and trying to "force" a mid or forefoot strike when they're running 10min miles...


                      I'd believe this. Tried a pair of the Merrel Barefoot. Today's 8 miles was the farthest in these shoes. Not enough cushion in the forefoot for me and the lack of a heel does seem to tug on my calves more than usual. Biggest thing was they seemed to be lighter than my racing flats. Sure isn't a shoe I'd want to put to many miles in training. Racing, perhaps.

                      Get off my porch

                        I don't really notice the heel/toe drop in different shoes but I do notice the amount of forefoot cushioning. The Saucony Virrata is billed as a zero drop shoe but to me the only thing that matters is it has more forefoot cushioning than just about any lightweight trainer out there.

                        Runners run.

                          Not sure I would agree that low drop/minimal shoes are in themselves the problem that is increasing traffic to podiatrists etc.

                          I think part of the problem is people using minimalistic shoes before effectively altering the fundamentals of their running stride. It takes months of disciplined work to transition to a midfoot landing if you are new to it.  It has to be done judiciously.   If you heel-strike/overstride in minimal shoes, you are definitely asking for trouble.

                            I rotate 4 pairs or running shoes.    Two pairs are trainers and two are racing flats.


                            About 1 1/2 years ago I started transitioning to lighter more flexible running shoes and my calves gave me a lot of trouble at first.   Now I like the lighter more flexible shoes better and the trainers seem too heavy.      They all have a different heel-toe drop but I really dont know what the ratio is on any of them but I can tell you they are all quite a bit different.


                            I dont see a problem doing this at all but it might take a while to get used to minimal drop shoes if you haven't been running in them.

                            Champions are made when no one is watching