Are Altra Shoes Zero Drop? (What Zero Drop Shoes Are Good For)

Altra Shoes are very different from other shoes! Altra’s Zero Drop platform provides a level of mobility and natural body alignment. Their shoes also contain an extra layer of cushioning in high-impact areas. This combination delivers unmatched support, cushioning, lightweight flexibility, and comfort in a minimal shoe.

Are All Altra Shoes Zero Drop?

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Yes, all Altra shoes are designed to be Zero Drop. Made for all day comfort, Altra made the Zero Drop line to be as close to barefoot as possible. These shoes are truly Zero Drop.

Right from the companies inception Altra’s goal was simple: design a running shoe that felt good from the start for everyone focused on the foot stance used in nature—the “zero drop.” With their ultra-flexible Eva outsole, zero-drop construction, and bio-mechanically engineered footbeds, Altra’s zero drop shoes have been shown to reduce injury by allowing a wider variety of natural running forms.

What Is An Altra Zero Drop Shoe?

Zero Drop refers to the height differential between the heel and forefoot in a shoe. Zero drop is a term used to describe a shoe’s design and construction.

Zero drop shoes have a theoretical heel-toe measurement on the bottom of the shoe that is the same as its fore-to-aft measurement, meaning that there is no difference between your heel and forefoot height as you stand in the shoe.

Altra shoes are zero drop, meaning that as you stand in them, your heel is not higher than your forefoot. Zero drop is a term that describes shoes that have a heel-to-toe drop that is the same as the length of the foot. Most athletic shoes have a heel lift, which can cause problems for individuals with flat feet.

 

ALTRA Women's Escalante 2 Road Running Shoe Sneakers, Teal/Lime, 9.5

 

The Altra Zero Drop philosophy is to support the healthy alignment of the feet throughout the running stride by keeping the heel and ball low to the ground.

To help keep your foot in a natural, healthy position, the sole of every Altra shoe is a 0mm drop from heel to toe. Some shoes have additional features to enhance this natural positioning.

There are two factors that determine whether a shoe is zero drop or negative drop: the heel-toe offset and the stack height.

Offset is the measurement of the heel to toe difference in mm. Stack height is the measurement of how thick the midsole is. Negative drop shoes have an offset number greater than zero, and a stack height that is also greater than zero.

What Are Altra Zero Drop Shoes Good For?

The best way to run depends on your footstrike pattern, not on whether your shoes have a little or a lot of cushioning built-in. The effect of cushioning on injury rates is small compared with the effect of strike pattern and this is where zero-drop comes to the fore.

This is the alignment pattern in which your foot is most naturally aligned. It results in the most efficient use of your body’s energy to propel you forward. It also puts less demand on your plantar system due to increased shock absorption and it puts less strain on overworked muscles (ie: commonly injured calf muscles).

Zero drop shoes are shoes that have a very flat sole. This makes it possible to walk, run, or hike with the entire foot on the ground. What Altra does differently from other barefoot brands is add a level cushioning to the footbed of the shoes.

The most common reason people have difficulty with running or other athletic activities is what they are used to. A person who has never run before will have an easier time picking it up than someone who has been running in conventional shoes for many years.

If you start out using zero-drop shoes, it can be harder to return to regular shoes. A shoe with a raised heel forces you to use muscles that are not used when wearing zero drop shoes. It can take time to build up strength in those muscles again.

Are Altra Zero Drop Shoes Good For High Arches?

Altra Zero Drop shoes are definitely good for high arches. Altra’s shoes are designed to be zero drop (heel and toe are the same height; zero drop is zero mm heel-toe drop), which is the optimal way to run with a high arch.

As long as you have enough room in your shoe, an Altra Zero Drop shoe will support your arch even if you have fallen arches.

Overpronation is often blamed for most biomechanical problems, like shin splints, but the opposite of overpronation (less pronation) can also cause biomechanical problems, like high arches or fallen arches. Pronation helps distribute impact forces across our legs, but excessive pronation will cause the leg muscles to work harder than they should.

Zero-drop shoes, like the Altra line, are designed with a foot’s natural shape in mind. They provide ample space for the toes and encourage a more natural rolling motion as you walk. This is especially helpful for those with flat feet or who suffer from conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis which can be helped by allowing the foot to move naturally.

If you do have high arches, this is not necessarily an indication that your feet need extra support and it is not uncommon for people with high arches to wear zero drop shoes without any discomfort. Additionally, high arches do not necessarily mean that you have low insteps or narrow feet.

Do Altra Zero Drop Shoes Help Back Pain?

The Altra Zero Drop shoes are designed to give you the feel of running barefoot, but with the protection and support of an athletic shoe. These shoes are perfect for runners who struggle with back or knee pain because they force you to run in a good running form which will help eliminate the chance of injury.

These shoes are designed to give you the feel of running barefoot, but with the protection and support of an athletic shoe.

The general impression is that zero drop shoes are less likely to be associated with back pain than regular running shoes. That impression is correct. But it doesn’t mean you can forget about your form. If you run incorrectly, a zero drop shoe will still lead to injuries.

Likewise, if you have weak ankles, or tight calves, or a bad hip, or any of a variety of other issues that can cause problems for runners regardless of shoe choice.


In summary, Altra shoes are associated with barefoot shoe movement. What that means is they create shoes that provide your protection but imitate as much as possible being barefoot.

So… the shoes are lightweight and flat. Zero drop simply means that everything is level. Most shoes have the heel higher than the ball of your foot with zero drop they are level.

This enables you to walk, run, and stand in a more natural position and use your feet as they were designed to use. The shoe actually molds to your foot rather than your foot being forced to mold to the shoe as would happen with ordinary shoes.

But at the end of the day. Yes… Altra Shoes are Zero Drop!

You may also be interested in… Do Altra Shoes Come In Wide Width? (Famous Wide Toe Box) and Are Altra Shoes Good For Plantar Fasciitis? (Will They Help You?)