What is Zero Drop?
Nearly all traditional running shoes (including many so called minimalist & racing shoes) have a 2 to 1 heel to toe differential (24mm heel and 12mm forefoot is most typical). Thus the average drop or differential is 12mm.
Zero Drop is simply a 1:1 ratio – meaning that the heel & forefoot are the same distance off the ground – there is no drop or has a zero differential or zero offset from the heel to the toe.
Footwear manufacturers call the heel to toe differential by different names: Inov-8 calls it differential; Go-Lite calls it neutral heel and neutral last; Brooks Running uses the term offset and defines it as the difference between (midsole + outsole) heel height and (midsole + outsole) forefoot height.
The importance of the drop value is that the lower it is, the easier it is to land on your midfoot or forefoot while running in minimal shoes.
For a comprehensive list of the heel-to-toe differentials of traditional running shoes, check out our Shoe Differentials guide.
For the list of the heel-to-toe differentials of minimalist running shoes that we currently monitor, opt-in to our upcoming Comparison Matrix (on the right sidebar). We will email alert our subscribers first when it is available for download.