Running shoes with a 4mm drop?

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I just ordered some new running shoes and the heel-to-toe drop is only 4mm.

Now someone from a sports shop told me this will help to sort out my shin pain - but my running coach said that a lower drop can lead to hamstring injuries.

I'm a very very beginning runner, I'm doing a walk/run programme and I'm only on my 10th run.

So... opinions? Sorry for the endless running questions - like I say I'm a beginner!

Replies

  • cheshirecatastrophe
    cheshirecatastrophe Posts: 1,395 Member
    edited July 2015
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    Honestly, it's different for everyone. The general wisdom is that a lower drop puts less pressure on your knees and more pressure on your Achilles and calves. If the low drop causes you to transition from a heel strike to a midfoot strike, you would also be stressing out your foot more but I think your calves less. I personally find that for shin splints, the best thing *for me* is a higher drop (8-10), more cushioned shoe (Asics GT-2000 got me out of bad shin splints this spring).

    The important thing in any new running shoe is to ease into it. Since you're just starting out running, honestly, this is a great time to experiment. Shoe-related injuries come up because people get used to their old running shoes and develop muscles accordingly, then try to replicate high mileage in a different shoe with muscles that aren't ready for that mileage. Since you're at the beginning, that's not a problem! Why not give it a go and see if you like them?
  • nicola8989
    nicola8989 Posts: 381 Member
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    that's really good advice thank you. I am going to try them out tonight and see what I think of them - I'm hoping I can return them if I'm not keen. They feel really comfy in the house, I did some running back and forth in the kitchen to try them out and they seemed okay.
  • kristinegift
    kristinegift Posts: 2,406 Member
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    +1 to @cheshirecatastrophe.

    I've been wearing 4mm shoes for years, after wearing 10-12mm shoes in high school. It sorted out my knee problems, and I eased into them basically from nothing -- as you'll be doing as a beginning runner -- so they never stressed my feet, calves, Achilles, hamstring etc. in any noticeable way. Give them a go and see if they help!
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
    edited July 2015
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    I use 8mm for road running and 4mm for trail running.

    It does take some time to transition from 8-4 at the beginning of the season, as my winter trail shoes are still 8mm for the moment. So early season I use them for 6Km then 10Km sessions for 2-3 weeks before moving up to long distances.

    There is a lot more tension in the calves after using them, but I feel more stable in the lower drop.
  • brianpperkins
    brianpperkins Posts: 6,124 Member
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    It's a personal choice and comfort issue. If you've run in shoes with more of a drop, take your time and transition to the new shoes. Rapid change can lead to pain.
  • nicola8989
    nicola8989 Posts: 381 Member
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    Thanks everyone, I do feel a bit of a difference in them and they are a bit more painful than my others!
  • pearshapedmum
    pearshapedmum Posts: 131 Member
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    hi there :-) I bought a pair of shoes with a 4mm drop a few weeks ago. I previously have had multiple knee issues in old shoes (12mm drop stability show). I have been taking it slowly, starting at 10 min jogs. I definitely notice a slight burning sensation creeping in to the Achilles tendon/lower calf area but stop when this sets in. I can do about 15 mins no problem, but only run twice a week whilst I am still in the early stages. I am finding things pretty good, with zero knee problems. advice is to work up the miles very slowly, and try to keep a short stride with fore/midfoot strike. :-)
  • trisha1298
    trisha1298 Posts: 51 Member
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    Hi friends- I've been running for about two years, but the first year was hardly running at all. I basically wore minimal shoes (barefoot vibrams) on walks and short runs to build up the calf muscles to run comfortably. Before that I always ran with traditional running shoes and had shin splints and knee pain. So the minimal shoes eliminated all pain for me, but it was really a long process of having very sore calves after every time I ran.

    The first couple months I only ran for 15 minutes or so at a time, very slowly, and still I was sore after. As the soreness diminished I started running a little more, for like 30 min at a time. After about a year I switched to minimal merrell shoes and my running really picked up. I wear the Merrell Bare Access Trail-Running Shoes. They are zero drop but have a lot of cushioning so that helps on longer runs.

    I've now done 3 half marathons and totally love running. I really could not have done it without being patient through the long time of building up my legs to run in the minimal shoes.

    As for hamstring injuries, I have never had one, but I do spend a lot of time stretching my hamstrings after I run. My hamstrings and my calves are always the tightest for me.

    Good luck to you- I saw your other post as well and I can tell you are very frustrated and confused. You will get a ton of advice, but just try to find what works for you.
  • nicola8989
    nicola8989 Posts: 381 Member
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    I think frustrated and confused sums it up very well! I guess I'm just at the stage now where my mind is ahead of my body. Or I can't get my body to do what I want it to. Or something.
  • 68myra
    68myra Posts: 975 Member
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    nicola8989 wrote: »
    I think frustrated and confused sums it up very well! I guess I'm just at the stage now where my mind is ahead of my body. Or I can't get my body to do what I want it to. Or something.

    man, oh, man, can i relate to that!!!

    Best of luck to you and your running adventures!