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:

SaleBestseller No. 1
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.
Bestseller No. 2
Topo Athletic Men’s MT-4 Comfortable Lightweight 3MM Drop Trail Running Shoes, Athletic Shoes for Trail Running, Electric/Orange, Size 10
  • BEST USED FOR: Take it from the city to the summit with MT-4, delivering a comfortable, flexible, and versatile ride so you can head straight from your doorstep to the trailhead.
  • RECYCLED MESH UPPER: The redesigned secure and durable upper features a partially recycled mesh.
  • ALL DAY COMFORT: Medial drainage ports allow for quick water release and drying. The dual-density midsole provides a soft feel directly underfoot, with firmer response against the ground.
  • INCREASED TRACTION AND DURABILITY: Topo Athletic upgraded the outsole with Vibram XS Trek EVO for increased traction and durability across a variety of terrain, with generously spaced lugs for optimal mud and snow release.
  • 3MM DROP: These updated trail running shoes have been engineered with 3mm heel-to-toe drop, offering cushioning without losing flexibility and ground feel for a more natural running experience.
Bestseller No. 3
Saucony Men’s Endorphin Shift 2 Running Shoe, Black/White Reflexion, 10.5
  • SPEEDROLL Technology propels you forward with the feeling of continuous momentum. Elevated cushioning and a stiff forefoot combine for an instantly responsive ride so you can run faster, not harder. Its thick bed of springy
  • PWRRUN cushioning alone provides a plusher take on SPEEDROLL and makes the Endorphin Shift 2 perfect for every distance and any day of the week, especially those when you want your shoes to do a little more work for you.
  • A new, trimmed-down TPU heel counter shaves off weight while providing great heel fit. Up top, enjoy A more breathable mesh for all-day comfort. This style contains recycled materials
SaleBestseller No. 4
New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam X More Trail V3 Running Shoe, Interstellar/Shadow, 8
  • Fresh Foam X midsole foam with approximately 3% bio-based content delivers our most cushioned Fresh Foam experience for incredible comfort. Bio-based content is made from renewable resources to help reduce our carbon footprint
  • Toe Protect technology helps protect feet from rocks, roots and debris
  • Synthetic/mesh upper provides increased breathability
  • Two-part midsole offers enhanced durability
  • 4 mm drop; due to variances created during the development and manufacturing processes, all references to 4 mm drop are approximate
SaleBestseller No. 5
New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam More V3 Running Shoe, Night Sky/Libra, 9.5
  • Fresh Foam midsole cushioning is precision engineered to deliver an ultra-cushioned, lightweight ride
  • Engineered mesh upper is lightweight and breathable
  • Lace-up closure for a secure fit
  • 4 mm drop; due to variances created during the developwoment and manufacturing processes, all references to 4 mm drop are approximate
Bestseller No. 6
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.
Bestseller No. 7
ALTRA Men’s AL0A82C8 ALTRAFWD Experience Road Running Shoe, Black – 12 M US
  • Natural Fit: Our shoes have a roomy toe box and low drop, built to keep you comfortable and keep you running
  • Rock On: Our rocker shape is designed to give the feeling of being propelled forward with each step and provides an efficient toe-off without taking away from your natural stride
  • Float Away: Lightweight, responsive compression-molded midsole foam that encourages efficiency and an effortless feel
  • Why We Made This: Experience an effortless run with a low drop complementing rocker shape, and lightweight foam for a smooth, sleek, and efficient fee
Bestseller No. 8
Saucony Men’s Kinvara 12, Blue/Citrus, 11.5 Medium
  • Weight: 7.5 oz (213 g)
  • Cushioning: PWRRUN
  • Offset: 4 mm (28.5mm / 24.4mm)
  • Category: Neutral
Bestseller No. 9
HOKA ONE ONE Women’s Road Running, Black White, 8.5 US
  • Running shoe from Hoka One One
  • Breathable upper
  • J-Frame Support technology
  • Lace-up front closure
  • Padded footbed
Bestseller No. 10
Mens Zero Drop Wide Toe Box Road Running Shoes Width Zapatos De Correr for Male Size 8 Gym Sports Walking Hiking Tennis Athletics Lightweight Red 41
  • A wide toe box lets your toes spread, splay, relax, and function naturally.
  • Zero Drop design allows for proper posture, and it’s built low to the ground for balance and agility.
  • Soft mesh upper and lining provides a breathable and more comfortable interior fit.
  • EVA midsole provides lightweight cushioning and adaptive energy return for serious stability and shock absorption.
  • Durable rubber outsole provides the perfect combination of grip, traction, and durability on all types of terrain.

    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.