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12 Best Zero Drop Casual Shoes [Reviews & Buying Guide]

The importance of footwear to proper feet functioning cannot be overestimated. From protection to cushioning, and arch support, these are just a few of the merits of using proper footwear.

Still, in a bid to ensure our feet are kept in the best condition possible, leading brands around the world have delved into the zero drop casual shoes segment. Best Zero drop shoes are proven to help strengthen your feet muscles and allow your feet to walk naturally.

In this article, we will review the best 10 of them, and also show you how you can pick the best choice for yourself.

Let’s dive in.

Review of the 10 Best Zero Drop Shoes with Cushioning

Without spending any time, we come directly to the issue and provide 10 such zero drop shoes in front of you which are very famous for walking, running and your today’s situation: –

1. Altra Men’s Torin 3 – Best Zero Drop Athletic Shoe

This shoe is a very versatile one, as it can be used for running, walking, cross-training, etc. This is largely due to its durable rubber sole. The shoes are very comfortable to wear, thanks to the EVA A-Bound footbed.

The shoe is made with high-quality textile/fabric materials, and it is a lightweight and responsive shoe. The shoe’s uppers are very breathable and will keep your feet warm and dry, even when you go on a long run. The shoes also provide a lot of cushioning.

The shoes have a wide toe box that allows your toes a lot of wiggle room and a good amount of support, especially when it comes to your feet’s width.

  • The shoes are well cushioned, a fact that was lauded by customers.
  • The shoes are very breathable.

Fit as Expected: 81%

Durability: The rubber sole of the shoe is quite durable.

2. ALTRA Men’s Escalante Running Shoe

The Escalante has a slip-resistant outsole that is also very flexible and durable. The upper of the shoe is a tough one, as it is engineered extremely well. The shoes are also available in a number of colors, so you will find one you like.

The shoes are well cushioned and make for enjoyable and efficient running shoes. The Escalante is also sleekly designed, and they feature the Altra EGO foam which is what provides the cushioning and responsive nature that they have.

  • The shoe provides a good level of traction.
  • The shoe is a stylish shoe.
  • The shoe has some sizing issues, which a number of customers mentioned.

Fit as Expected: 87%

Durability: The shoe’s upper is very well engineered and quite durable.

3. Merrell Men’s Trail Glove 4 Runner

These are an excellent choice for entry-level trail runners, who want to do it with zero drop casual shoes. They have little or no break-in time, and they are very flexible. The midsole of the shoes provides a good level of cushioning.

In the event that you’re using the shoes on rough terrain, they come with a trail protection insole that helps protect you from the rough road.

The outsole also has good traction, though this comes as a result of some added thickness. The shoes as a result aren’t very lightweight, but this doesn’t diminish their versatility.

  • The shoes do not cost a lot.
  • They come with a trail protection insole.
  • The fit of the shoes can be better, especially around the collars.

Fit as Expected: 87%

Durability: In trademark Merrell’s fashion, the outsole of the shoes are solid and dependable.

4. Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 Cross-Training Shoe

The Inov-8 Bare XF shoes are stylish, cross training shoes. They have a wide toe box and they also have a high level of grip and traction. This is because they have a sticky outsole.

They are quite lightweight and also sport a 3mm footbed that gives you a lot of cushioning and helps provide shock absorption. The shoe also provides a high level of stability, thanks to it’s Inov-8’s Rope-Etc technology.

The shoes’ upper has a breathable mesh that ensures your feet don’t get uncomfortable.

  • The shoes have a great fit.
  • A number of customers lauded the fact that the shoes conform to your foot size and shape.
  • The shoes are a tad expensive.

Fit as Expected: 78%

Durability: The shoe’s upper is very stretchy and versatile.

5. Nike Men’s Tanjun Se – Zero Drop Athletic Shoes for Walking

The Tanjun has a very excellent breathable upper that is made of mesh. The shoes also have great fit and style. Instead of TPU overlays, these shoes feature Flywire cables and they help provide extra stability.

These shoes have a great range of colors to choose from, with 12 colorways. The shoes also need little or no break-in time before they can be comfortably worn. The shoes can also be washed in a machine without any damage whatsoever.

The shoes are very comfortable to wear and they are very well priced.

  • The shoes fit very well out of the box.
  • The shoes are very lightweight.
  • The outsole is not very slipped resistant on wet surfaces.
  • Some customers complained that they wore out too quickly.

Fit as Expected: 82%

Durability: The shoes have a tough, durable upper.

6. Brooks PureCadence 6

An incredibly athletic and technically proficient shoe, the Brooks Pure Cadence 6 is one of a kind. The construction of the shoe is seamless and the shoe is also very lightweight and responsive.

The shoe has a 4mm foam cushioning that helps to ensure your feet have a good level of cushioning. The shoes are very comfortable to wear and have a lace-up system. The shoe performs very well, even on hard surfaces.

The shoe also has lightweight guide rails that help ease your body into the natural rhythm for walking/running. The shoe is also stylishly designed and the outsole provides a good level of grip and traction.

  • The shoes are good for overpronation sufferers.
  • The shoes are very comfy to wear.
  • Some customers complained about some sewing issues.

Fit as Expected: 89%

Durability: The rubber outsole is very solid and durable.

7. New Balance Men’s Zante V4 Running Shoe

The Zante is one of the best zero drop shoes for value. The shoe is lightweight and comfortable and provides a good deal of support.

The shoe’s fit is very good, and it’s upper is also very breathable. The affordable price of the shoe is a huge attraction for the shoes. The shoes also feature Fresh Foam is its footbed.

The shoe is secure, particularly around the midfoot and in areas of feet folding.

  • Several customers lauded the all round capabilities of the shoe.
  • Some customers complained about the plastic shell of the shoe being too stiff.
  • The design of the shoe is quite basic.

Fit as Expected: 73%

Durability: The Fresh foam footbed of the shoe is one that helps the shoe be quite durable.

8. New Balance Men’s Minimus 10 V1 Trail Running Shoe

The Minimus 10 checks all the important boxes for zero drop shoes for walking and as a result, they are a very solid option. The shoe’s uppers are made with a number of mesh layers, which helps it to be quite breathable.

The shoes fit like a glove, and the outsole of the shoe is very grippy, as it provides great levels of traction even on the most slippery of surfaces. The shoe’s construction is very durable, which is the New Balance standard.

  • The shoes are very versatile.
  • The shoes are quite stylish.
  • The shoes require some break in time.
  • The shoes are expensive.

Fit as Expected: 62%

Durability: The shoe’s upper is very tough and well constructed.

9. Xero Shoes TerraFlex – Men’s Trail Running and Hiking Shoe

The Xero Terraflex has rubber sole material with synthetic as its outer material. It offers you a trail gripping quality with its 4mm lugged sole. Enjoy excellent traction as you move uphill or downhill.

It doesn’t even matter what the weather is like because these shoes will give you a smart grip and keep you from falling. The shoes are comfortable and are designed to allow your feet to move freely.

The FeelTrue rubber of the shoes gives you maximum protection during movement and even when you step on rough surfaces, you won’t get hurt. This is due to the BareFoam layer of the shoes.

  • The shoes are delightfully lightweight.
  • You’re well protected on rough surfaces.
  • The Terraflex runs small.

Fit as Expected: 69%

Durability: The outsole rubber is warrantied to 5000 miles!

10. Adidas Men’s Ultraboost 19

You have a whooping 31 color choices with these shoes. Adidas Ultraboost 19 are sleek and practical shoes.

The flexibility of the shoes is perfectly intact and they offer you protection and a great fit. The fit is so good you’ll feel like you had socks on rather than shoes.

The snug fit will wrap around your feet comfortably and you can rock them without any concerns.

The outsoles will serve you better if you reserved these shoes for the gym. They are your all-purpose casual footwear that will add life and trendiness to your wardrobe this season.

  • Their snug fit is an excellent feature.
  • You have many colors to choose from.
  • Not best for trail running.

Fit as Expected: 86%

Durability: The rubber used to make the shoes are durable. They were manufactured by Continental, a company that makes tires.

11. Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 4 Shoes

You should take advantage of Merrell’s stellar reputation for providing quality zero drop shoes. This particular one is made of 100% fabric and its sole is made of Vibram material.

It comes with a practical mesh upper that lets your feet breathe when you have them on. If you sweat a lot, you should go for this one. The M-Select FRESH feature of the shoes provides an antimicrobial treatment that protects your feet from odor and infection.

The lace-up system has an adjustable fit for comfort and custom fit. Get locked in comfortably in the hyper lock TPU film heels of the shoes.

You will also enjoy the moulded nylon arch shank which takes off the strain from your calves and ankle when you walk. The shoes were specially made to enhance your natural movement, and with the most amazing minimalist design.

  • The shoes come with antimicrobial treatment.
  • The moulded nylon shank protects your calf from the strain.
  • The minimalist design is sleek with a barefoot feel.
  • The shoes’ soles can be a little harsh before break-in time.

Fit as Expected: 71%

Durability: Vibram synthetic rubber soles are known for their durability.

12. Vibram Men’s V-Run Running Shoe

These shoes have synthetic outer material for long-lasting use and a bungee closure type. The design is made to hug your feet snugly and keep them cool all day.

They are lightweight and come with a 2mm EVA insole. This is also accompanied by an antimicrobial drilex sock liner to keep your feet safe and healthy. The 4mm EVA rubber midsole enhances support and comfortability.

Another thing that’s great about the shoes is that you can machine-wash them, which makes maintenance super easy. The VI-LITE features maximum shock absorption. The shoes are hard and stable without being too tough for the feet.

The XS RUN on the sole gives you excellent traction during fast or slow movement. You can absolutely trust these shoes because they have been tested on the highest peaks of the world and have been found to retain their excellent performance even in the lowest of temperatures.

  • The shoes are extremely lightweight.
  • The shoes’ performance does not drop in low temperatures.
  • The shoes are super easy to maintain.
  • The shoes are pricey.

Fit as Expected: 74%

Durability: The polyester lycra stretch meshes upper material and microfiber make the shoes durable and reliable.

How to Buy the Best Zero Drop Casual Shoes

There are some checks for you to do before settling on a choice for your zero drop casual shoes. They are;

  1. Support: Zero drop shoes for walking usually offer a lot less support than non-zero drop shoes. This is because the soles are stripped of the extra padding, and left completely flat. This is usually very useful if you want to strengthen the muscles in your feet.

Should you want some sort of support, you can get a supportive insole and place in your zero drop shoes for walking. It would provide additional arch support to help with heel sculpting. It would do this whilst not adding any incline from forefoot to heel.

Traditional running footwear is designed to provide additional arch support and heel sculpting, whereas the options in this guide do not. This is why a secondary footbed may be necessary to help those with certain requirements.

  1. Outsole Type and Material: It is extremely important to pick a zero drop casual shoe with a sole that fits your purposes and plans. Usually, zero-drop shoes have flat soles, so you need to pick the right shoes for you. Remember, the sole is the only protection you have when walking or running.

Also remember that a more flexible outsole like most zero drop casual walking shoes will be more susceptible to issues that come with use on rough terrain, or even a dirt trail.

The following is a list of different types of outsoles for zero drop casual shoes based on materials used;

Rubber: the most common outsole material. Offers you an excellent level of grip. It is also slip-resistant and water-resistant. There are a number of types of rubber soles, such as carbon rubber (best for running shoe outsoles) and blown rubber ( best used for the forefoot part of the sole).

EVA: lightweight and popular. Usually used for insoles, but also for outsoles of zero drop casual shoes. It helps to provide better cushioning and also good shock absorption.

The following is a list of different types of outsoles for zero drop casual shoes based on surfaces to be used on;

Roads: these types of outsoles will be designed to be used on pavement. As a result, these soles would have shallow lugs, which would offer a fairly good level of grip.

Trails: these types of outsoles will be designed to be used off the pavement. Because of this, the lugs on this outsole will be deeper and stronger and consequently offer a better grip.

  1. Comfort

There is no point in wearing shoes if you would be uncomfortable in them. But comfort means different things to different people. For some, a breathable shoe is comfortable for them, whilst for others, the shoes also have to provide a lot of cushioning to be considered comfortable.

Whichever definition of comfort you have, ensure whatever shoe you’re picking has it, in spades.

FAQs on Best Zero Drop Shoes

Are Zero Drop Shoes Good for Flat Feet?

Absolutely. This is because zero-drop casual shoes usually have a wide toe box with ample space for your toes to flex and rest comfortably. Also, a flexible sole and a lack of height in the shoes promote the use of your feet in a more natural position, and this is perfect for people with flat feet.

Who Should Wear Zero Drop shoes?

Anyone can wear zero drop casual shoes, but for those who should wear it, we’d say people with plantar fasciitis.

Contrary to popular opinion, treating plantar fasciitis with zero drop casual shoes is a very good idea. This is because you get to treat the cause of the pain directly with zero drop casual shoes.

The normal design of the leg doesn’t have thick soles and extra padding like most of the shoes we wear do. Wearing these shoes make the leg muscles weaker, as they are not able to do what they were designed to do. As a result, not only are the muscles weaker, but they are also overstressed at the bottom of the soles, due to the raised platforms.

This overstressing can and does lead to plantar fasciitis. On the other hand, using a zero drop casual shoe helps get your feet back in the natural position, and in the course of time, this can also contribute towards helping with pain from plantar fasciitis.

What are the Benefits of Zero Drop Shoes?

There are a lot of benefits to using zero-drop casual shoes. For one, they help give you the feel of running naturally. It feels like you’re running barefoot and enhances the usefulness of your feet as a natural shock absorber.

Using zero-drop casual shoes also lead to a lesser injury risk when running. This is because they do not encourage heel striking. Also, they do not encourage leaning forward when running, as this can affect your posture and alter it in some way.

Zero drop casual shoes are usually lightweight, and this helps them enhance the feel of running barefoot. Keeping this natural feeling helps with running better, and the strain on your knees are taken away and spread to your calf muscles.

How Long Does it Take to Get Used to Zero Drop Shoes?

This is one thing we are not comfortable putting numbers to. This is because most people are used to non-zero drop shoes, and these are shoes they have used all their lives.

The body has become conditioned to non-zero drop shoes, and getting used to zero drop casual shoes has to be a gradual process.

We advise this because a rushed transition would be ill-advised, and will most likely result in muscle strain, ligament strain, and also tendon strain. These are all sources of pain that can be avoided, and aggravating them would lead to a serious foot injury.

Conclusion & Final Words

There you go! A list of the best ten zero drop shoes for walking. With this guide, you will be able to make the best choice for you, and successfully join the recent rave that is zero drop casual shoes.