The Minimalist Solution
As the running shoe industry blossomed in the 1970’s and 80’s, the difference between the heel and the front of the shoe started to creep up. Fast forward to now, running shoes have heels rising up to 15 millimeters above the front of the shoe. It’s not exactly a four-inch high heel, but if you take a look at the average running shoe, you’ll notice there is a pretty steep incline from front to back.
In the last few years, a new kind of running shoe has become popular. It’s known as the minimalist, or barefoot shoe (For my purposes, I’m going to treat them as separate styles, although the niche is new and some refer to the two terms interchangeably.) Most minimalist shoes have up to a 5 millimeter rise, toe-to-heel, although some have none. True barefoot shoes always have none, hence the name “zero drop”. Now, I’m generalizing a bit with the previous numbers because there are exceptions, but generally, the rule you should follow is the closer you can get to having a flat shoe, the better.