I had racked up some miles on my New Balance 880 V2s and, I though I’ve never been good at keep track of the exact miles on my shoes, I was starting to feel pain in my shins again. With Cooper River looming, I knew that would be my last real run in my NBs and the official hunt for a replacement began. Enter the concept of Zero Drop.
Like most runners, I have a few issues I struggle with. First, I’ve always had trouble with shin splints, but especially when my shoes start to get worn. For me, it’s a tell-tell sign that I need to replace them, and the pain in my legs in March was the call to action. Initially, I was just planning to get another pair of New Balance 880s. I had been happy enough with them and the price was right. Before I made the buy, I decided to do some reading online about my options. I don’t even remember what I searched for specifically, but I ended up stumbling across Altra’s website.
The foot shaped toe box was enough to draw me in. A wider toe box was why I had ended up with the New Balance 880s over many other options I’d tried. When I started reading about the Zero Drop soles, that’s when I decided to order a pair. Zero Drop means that the soles are the same thickness at the heel as they are at the forefoot. I had always felt pitched forward in running shoes. I absolutely loathe that feeling. According to what I read, Zero Drop would eliminate that, improve my foot strike and reduce the overall impact on my body. Sign me up!
I ordered a pair of The One. The were definitely a little “louder” than my old 880s, but at least I wouldn’t have to be worried about getting lost in the dark. I knew after my first short run that these shoes were for me. They were light, breathable, and incredibly comfortable – both when running and just walking around. I had no pain from my shoe change, and running with Zero Drop felt so much more natural than it ever has in any other shoes.
My longest outing in The Ones so far has been 10 miles. They were some of the most comfortable miles ever – even after trudging through knee high water in them. Did I mention how breathable and quick drying they are? Most of my running has always been urban – streets, sidewalks, the occasional greenway… but, I’ve really started to branch out and enjoy trails a lot more since Fenway came to live with us, so it only felt natural to get a pair of Zero Drop trail shoes…
The Lone Peak trail running shoes from Altra are Zero Drop and have these neat, almost cleat-like, soles that push rocks toward the mid-sole, making your trail run much more comfortable. My favorite, favorite feature of these shoes though is the descent rudder. The descent rudder saved my butt no less than three times on my muddy trail run yesterday. This super awesome little piece of rubber keeps you from wiping out when your foot slips out as you run downhill. It gives you a quick catch and a little chance to regain your footing.
As far as durability goes, I’ve kind of put these shoes through the wringer, and they’ve held up amazingly! If you’re looking for a new running shoe, definitely give Altra Zero Drop a try. Oh, and if you worry about ordering shoes you’ve never tried, Altra has a 30 day, no questions asked return policy – worn or unworn – so you can order a pair, give them a go, and send them back if they’re not for you!