KNOW YOUR TECH breaks down the scientific technology used in your favorite sneakers and activewear. Let’s demystify your next purchase: today’s technology is Altra Zero Drop Footwear. Built from the ground up, the focus of Altra Zero Drop Footwear is heel-to-toe drop ratio, or, in other words, the difference in elevation between the toe area and heel. While the vast majority of running sneakers feature a midsole/outsole combination that causes the heel to sit slightly higher than the toe, Altra Zero Drop Footwear forgoes this tradition with a thin heel area. Thus, the heel and toe sit at an equal distance from the ground, resulting in no, or zero, drop.

What is it? Altra Zero Drop Footwear is more of an engineered design than an actual technology, but it delivers high functionality. Essentially, Altra Zero Drop Footwear are soles that are built without an elevated heel, allowing the toe and heel to sit at the same distance from the ground.

How does it work? By reducing heel strike and allowing for a more natural striking motion, Altra Zero Drop Footwear delivers a more efficient run that helps to reduce many common problems such as shin splints, runner's knee, and excessive pronation Since the the foot to strike in the mid-foot area instead of the heel, the overall experience is more natural and comfortable. 

Notable products: Altra Zero Drop Footwear line

Bottom line: If you like the idea of minimalist shoes but aren't sure about going all the way yet, consider Altra Zero Drop Footwear.

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