Ask the Coach: Dizziness, Zero-Drop Shoes and Recovery Runs - Page 2
Considering the Big Zero (Drop)
I have calf problems and chronic Achilles tendonitis and I’ve heard transitioning into zero-drop running shoes can help. Fact or wishful thinking?
—Gerald Madler, Columbus, GA
Chronic Achilles tendonitis is an inflammatory condition caused by trauma or overuse to the largest tendon in the body. Relief requires allowing the micro-tears to heal and inflammation to reduce, which means ... time off—the remedy no runner wants to hear.
Says Dr. Ray McClanahan, sports podiatrist and founder of Northwest Foot & Ankle, “Zero- drop shoes can be helpful in restoring Achilles tendon and calf health, but should be used appropriately and in combination with a proper training plan, including gradual changes in both training volume and intensity.” I usually transition my clients with progressive barefoot walking and grass sprints. The goal is to build strong, healthy and injury-resistant lower legs.
Using footwear with an extreme differential between heel and toe (like 14mm) may actually shorten your Achilles tendon. Although rapidly changing, this design still encompasses most conventional shoes on the market.