Best Running Shoes With A 4mm Heel Drop

If you’d like to go for minimalist or barefoot running shoes but your worried about the transition. Taking a step down in heel to toe drop will help get you to zero drop in a staged and controlled way.

This guide will help you choose the best running shoes with a 4mm heel drop for you.

If you’re in a hurry, here are some of the best 4mm drop shoes currently on the market:

Bestseller No. 1
Saucony Men’s Kinvara 13 Running Shoe, Triple Black, 10.5
  • Built to be fast: The Kinvara 13 was literally designed for speed. Its beveled midsole and new midfoot contouring deliver a smoother, faster ride.
  • An upper that’ll take down the competition: Its re-imagined upper is made with a single-layer mesh, giving you a lightweight feeling and even more breathability.
  • Lighter. Faster. Stronger: We created the lightest Kinvara ever to help you truly take off. It’s 7.2 ounces of pure speed.
SaleBestseller No. 2
ALTRA Men’s AL0A547F Torin 5 Road Running Shoe, Black – 11 M US
  • Maximize your performance in the Torin 5 mesh running sneakers by Altra
  • Made with breathable mesh uppers and a lace-up construction
  • These sneakers feature colorblocked details and extra collar padding
  • Foam cushioned footbed
SaleBestseller No. 3
Saucony Men’s Kinvara 12, Blue/Citrus, 10.5 Medium
  • Weight: 7.5 oz (213 g)
  • Cushioning: PWRRUN
  • Offset: 4 mm (28.5mm / 24.4mm)
  • Category: Neutral
Bestseller No. 4
Saucony Men’s Kinvara 6 Running Shoe, White/Citron/Orange,9.5 M US
  • Sleek running shoe with lightweight design, bright seamless overlays, and overall ombre effect
  • 4mm heel-to-toe offset
  • FlexFilm upper
  • Full-length PowerGrid cushioning
  • Pro-lock lacing system
Bestseller No. 5
Saucony Women’s Freedom 4 Running Shoe, Black/Sunset, 9.5
  • Feels light and springy: Updated with our ultralight PWRRUN PB cushioning that takes energy efficiency to new heights.
  • Stays with you: From a treadmill class to bootcamp, this shoe’s slightly wider base and strategic stabilizers ensure you have the confidence to give every interval and every rep everything you’ve got.
  • Style that works: The crafted details—a suede tongue, debossed logos, and hidden reflectivity—make for a truly high-performing shoe that can be worn all day.
  • Lighter Footprint: This style is vegan and contains recycled upper materials.
SaleBestseller No. 6
ALTRA Men’s AL0A7R6M Escalante 3 Road Running Shoe, White – 12 M US
  • Go Further: Our original Altra EGO foam is designed to provide added energy return and a responsive, yet soft, comfortable feel.
  • Get Comfortable: Signature Altra Balanced Cushioning and FootShape toe boxes allow your toes to spread and encourages proper, low-impact form throughout your run
  • Push Yourself: InnerFlex midsole technology ensures increased flexibility and performance
  • Lock In: The sock-like engineered knit upper keeps your foot comfortable and locked in
Bestseller No. 7
Xero Shoes Men’s HFS Running Shoes – Zero Drop, Lightweight & Barefoot Feel, Black, 10.5
  • SHAPED FOR COMFORT, BUILT FOR SPEED – Xero HFS features a lightweight, minimalist build that contours to the shape of your feet. Its spacious toe-box allows you to splay, spread, and relax your toes for superior comfort
  • XERO DROP SOLE FOR PERFECT POSTURE – The Xero Drop sole offers a non-elevated heel and is low-to-the-ground – this allows for proper posture, balance, and agility for all-round performance
  • FLEX YOUR FEET, FEEL THE FLOOR – Our tire tread inspired patented 5.5mm FeelTrue sole strikes a balance between just-right protection and feedback – it delivers heel to toe cues to the brain for your best run ever. Allows your feet to bend and flex as nature intended
  • TRAVEL FRIENDLY, 5000 MILE WARRANTY – Xero HFS’ extra-durable construction is backed by our 5,000 Mile Feel the World Sole Promise. Being ultra-flexible, you can roll ‘em up and put in your pack or pocket for compact storage and easy travel
  • VEGAN FRIENDLY – Xero Shoes believes in promoting healthy and sustainable lifestyles which is why the HFS is made with zero animal products
Bestseller No. 8
Topo Athletic Women’s FLI-Lyte 4 Comfortable Cushioned Durable 3MM Drop Road Running Shoes, Athletic Shoes for Road Running, PowderBlue/White, Size 7.5
  • PURPOSE: Topo Athletic Women’s Fli-lyte 4 shoes have been specifically designed to ensure natural and comfortable road running experience. They are lightweight and breathable.
  • MORE CUSHIONING AND RESILIENCE: Fli-Lyte 4 running shoes feature proprietary midsole compound which is springier than EVA and offers more rebound over the life of the shoe.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND BREATHABLE: Topo Athletic’s Fli-Lyte 4 model has been designed using lightweight breathable materials that ensure a ‘2nd Skin’ fit and feel.
  • ORTHOLITE FOOTBED: Comfortable, anti-compression footbed allows to keep your feet fresh and dry. Thanks to the special properties provided by the insoles you may no longer worry about your running performance
  • 3MM DROP: Topo Athletic’s mid-level drop provides a near neutral platform for a more natural running experience.
Bestseller No. 9
ALTRA Men’s AL0A5472 Torin 5 Luxe Road Running Shoe, Black/Black – 11 M US
  • Go Further: Sleek new engineered knit uppers provide comfort and breathability
  • Stay Comfortable: Coupled with our FootShape toe box, the Torin Luxe also features the brand-new Altra EGO Max midsole foam is luxurious and light
  • Go Anywhere: Ideal for walking, jogging, running, running errands, in the office and out on the town
  • Mesh Upper – For breathable comfort
SaleBestseller No. 10
TSLA Women’s Trail Running Shoes, Lightweight Athletic Zero Drop Barefoot Shoes, Non Slip Outdoor Walking Minimalist Shoes, Barefoot Pink & Light Grey, 8.5
  • TSLA Zero-Drop Barefoot Shoes Series designed for performance and outdoor trail activities.
  • [Groove Sole] Multi-directional flexible groove and cushioned insole for balance and stability.
  • [Dura Nylon Band] For instep support and an enhanced tight fit.
  • [Nonslip Grid] Outsoles feature excellent grip and prevent slips.
  • [PU Shank] Supports firmly and working stable on the heel.

    Buyers Guide

    There aren’t many recreational runners who naturally prefer a 4mm drop in their running shoes. Those who do own a pair of running shoes with a 4mm drop more than likely have them for a specific reason. Such as:

    Shoe Rotation

    Most running shoes have a drop between 5 and 10 mm. I have a pair of both that I change during the week to try to avoid an injury. Running mile after mile in the same shoes over pretty much the same routes week in week leaves you prone to an injury caused by that repetition.

    Changing things up a little with the heel to toe drop changes things slightly. The theory being that you’ll use your muscles in subtly different ways and the chances of an injury caused by repetition is reduced.

    Introducing a pair of 4mm shoes into my rotation hasn’t crossed my mind as there are so many more options if you look for 5mm and 10mm drop shoes. But there’s no reason you couldn’t add 4mm drop shoes into the mix.

    Transition To Zero Drop Running Shoes

    If you’ve read born to run you may want to go zero drop barefoot minimalist tomorrow. Some people can make that jump easily but there are more people who tried and got injured and went back to a cushioned shoe.

    I think there’s a place for both schools of thought in the world and it depends on what sort of runner you are. If you’re a casual runner who maybe runs now and then, avoid the barefoot brigade. If your getting more serious about your running there’s no doubt that zero drop or barefoot running will bring benefits in the form of foot and leg strength.

    Think about using a 4mm drop shoe as a gateway running shoe to the barefoot world. When you get them run around the block slowly and see how your legs and feet feel straight after and the next day. Go back to your ‘normal’ running shoes for the rest of the week and try running a little bit further the following week.

    Essentially transition slowly and come up with a plan that works for you.

    Stack Height

    We tend to think of these low drop or zero drop running shoes as being at the opposite end of the spectrum to a maximalist shoe. This is true of many running shoes with a lower drop but there are those out there that still have plenty of cushioning in the stack.

    The extreme example of that is the Nike AlphaFly Next%. Nikes flagship carbon plated marathon racing shoe. However my focus here is for a daily training running shoe.

    A 4mm drop shoe with a good stack of cushioning could help make the transition to more extreme racers. For those wanting to transition to the barefoot world this is probably a step too far.

    Other Considerations

    There other benefits to a running shoe with a 4mm drop, such as:

    Versatility Of 4mm Drop Running Shoes

    Before the COVID-19 pandemic, my Saturday morning routine consisted of attending parkrun and a gym session. While my Hoka Clifton 6’s were the perfect choice for a high-speed run with like-minded individuals, they could have been better for the gym.

    I began packing an old pair of Asics with a firmer midsole better suited for gym workouts to address this issue.

    However, I soon realized that minimal 4mm drop shoes would have been more suitable for the gym. Despite this, I am unwilling to part with my beloved Hokas, so I will pack a second pair of shoes to ensure I am prepared for my parkrun and gym sessions.

    Stretching and Strengthening Exercises for Runners Wearing 4mm Drop Running Shoes

    Stretching and strengthening exercises can benefit runners wearing 4mm drop running shoes. One effective stretching exercise is the calf stretch, which involves standing with your hands on a wall and stepping one foot back while keeping the heel of the other foot on the ground.

    It would be best to lean forward while keeping your back leg straight until you feel a stretch in your calf and Achilles tendon. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

    Additionally, strengthening exercises such as toe raises, and calf raises can help improve the strength and flexibility of the muscles in your feet and lower legs.

    These exercises can help prevent injuries and improve running performance. It’s important to incorporate stretching and strengthening exercises into your regular exercise routine and consult a medical professional if you experience discomfort or pain.

    Taking a proactive approach to stretching and strengthening can help keep your muscles healthy and prevent injuries while wearing 4mm drop running shoes.

    Types of Runners Best Suited for 4mm Drop Running Shoes

    While 4mm drop running shoes can be suitable for most runners, they are especially well-suited for runners who want to improve their running form and reduce the risk of injury.

    Forefoot and mid-foot strikers, who land on the ball or in the middle of their foot, can benefit from the natural foot strike encouraged by 4mm drop running shoes.

    Additionally, runners looking to transition to a more natural foot strike or who are interested in minimalist running may find 4mm drop running shoes a good option.

    However, it’s important to note that runners with a history of lower leg or foot injuries should consult a medical professional before transitioning to 4mm drop running shoes.

    Choosing the right type of running shoe based on your individual needs and running style can help improve your running performance and reduce the risk of injury.

    How Do 4mm Drop Running Shoes Improve Running Form?

    4mm drop running shoes can improve running form by encouraging a mid-foot or forefoot strike.

    When you land on your mid-foot or forefoot, your foot is more natural, which can help reduce the impact on your heel and lower leg.

    This could help improve running form and reduce the risk of injury.

    Additionally, 4mm drop running shoes can help improve balance and stability by promoting a more natural foot strike. This can lead to a more efficient stride and improved running performance.

    By wearing 4mm drop running shoes and incorporating proper running form techniques, you can help improve your running form and reduce the risk of injury.

    Slow Transitioning to Great 4mm Drop Running Shoes

    Making a sudden and drastic change to your running shoes is generally only recommended if you have encountered a significant issue with your current pair.

    Switching shoes with vastly different characteristics can lead to discomfort, pain, and even injury.

    Therefore, taking a slow and steady approach is essential when transitioning to a new pair of running shoes.

    This means gradually incorporating the new shoes into your routine, starting with short runs and increasing the duration and intensity.

    It’s also essential to choose shoes that are intentionally different from your current pair based on your needs, such as a lower heel-to-toe drop or more cushioning.

    By taking a gradual and intentional approach to switching out your running shoes, you can help prevent discomfort and injury and ensure a smooth transition to your new pair.

    A Good Achilles Tendon Stretch

    A 4mm drop running shoe can give you a good Achilles tendon stretch by encouraging a mid-foot or forefoot strike, which can help stretch the calf muscles and Achilles tendon.

    When your foot lands on the ground with a mid-foot or forefoot strike, your calf muscles and Achilles tendon are stretched as your foot rolls forward.

    This stretching motion can help improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury.

    By wearing 4mm drop running shoes and incorporating regular Achilles tendon stretches into your exercise routine, you can help keep your muscles healthy and prevent injuries.

    Plantar Fasciitis

    Wearing a lower drop running shoe can help build up strength in your foot, effectively preventing plantar fasciitis.

    However, it’s important to note that if you have previously experienced plantar fasciitis, seeking proper advice is crucial before transitioning to radically different running shoes.

    Changing your footwear without proper guidance can increase the risk of discomfort, pain, and injury. Therefore, it’s recommended to gradually incorporate lower drop running shoes into your routine, starting with short runs and gradually increasing the duration and intensity over time.

    By taking a gradual and intentional approach to switching to lower drop running shoes and seeking proper advice, you can help prevent plantar fasciitis and ensure a smooth transition to your new footwear.

    Ask An Expert For Help

    Any doubts or concerns about what you are planning on doing, ask an expert. Bare in mind that if you ask someone wearing their Vibrams you’ll get a radically different answer to someone who’s wearing a pair of Hoka Bondi’s.

    Final Thoughts on The Best Running Shoes With A 4mm Heel Drop

    Whatever your reason for wanting to run in a pair of 4mm drop running shoes, make the transition slowly.

    If you notice any signs of pain immediately after your run or the next day. Leave them a couple of weeks before you try to run in them again.

    Best Running Shoes With A 4mm Heel Drop

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I go from running in a show with a 10mm drop to a shoe with a drop of 4mm or less?

    It can be done but should be done carefully. If you’re not a careful type of runner you may want to avoid such a radical change.

    Why do running shoes have different heel to toe drop?

    Every runner is different. Some people prefer to have more of a drop than others. It’s a personal preference often informed by events and shoes of the past.

    What are 4mm drop running shoes?

    4mm drop running shoes are shoes with a heel-to-toe drop of 4mm. This means that the difference in height between the heel and the toe of the shoe is 4mm.

    What are the benefits of wearing 4mm drop running shoes?

    The benefits of wearing 4mm drop running shoes include improved running form, reduced risk of injury, and increased stability.

    How do I choose the right size of 4mm drop running shoes?

    To choose the right size of 4mm drop running shoes, you should measure the length and width of your feet and consult the size chart provided by the manufacturer.

    What are the different types of 4mm drop running shoes?

    There are many types of 4mm drop running shoes, including minimalist, racing, and trail shoes.

    Can I wear 4mm drop running shoes for all types of running?

    Yes, 4mm drop running shoes can be worn for all types of running, but they are especially suited for forefoot strikers and runners who want to improve their running form.

    What should I look for when buying 4mm drop running shoes?

    When buying 4mm drop running shoes, you should look for shoes that fit well, provide good support and cushioning, and have a durable outsole.

    How do 4mm drop running shoes improve running form?

    4mm drop running shoes encourage a mid-foot or forefoot strike, improving running form and reducing the risk of injury.

    Can 4mm drop running shoes help prevent injuries?

    Yes, 4mm drop running shoes can help prevent injuries by encouraging a mid-foot or forefoot strike, which reduces the impact on the heel and lower leg.

    Are 4mm drop running shoes suitable for all types of runners?

    4mm drop running shoes are suitable for most runners but especially for forefoot strikers and runners who want to improve their running form.



    Slightly obsessed middle aged runner.