If you want to wear zero drop or barefoot shoes at some point you have to see if you have enough flexibility in your calf muscle and Achilles tendon. In a normal shoe the heel is elevate so the calf is already contracted slightly just standing at rest. The range of motion is 30* at max where your foot goes up towards your shit, and I have less than that. The first test they have in this video determines this. My podiatrist pointed this out to me at last exam.
Since I didn’t have that range of motion it put a lot of pressure on the heel and forced the heel to grow out into a spur toward the Achilles tendon. That didn’t bother me at 4mm heel lift in the New Balance Minimus, but I would have done calf stretches if I had known better. I now do these heel stretches which is 10 reps of 5 second stretches 3 times a day. I may do these for life since they feel really good and calfs tend to be tight in general.
The next step after you gain the full range of motion is to slowly start minimal with a Nike Free 5.0 or shoe with 8 mm heel lift which is less than a standard shoe which I think might be 12mm or higher. Start off wearing the new shows ½ hour the first day adding an half hour per day. Do this until you wear it all day. Than I would wear that for at least 4 months to a year. I would buy the next pair before the shoe wears out, and that pair could be 6 or 4 mm. You would do the same easing into wear it all day. Repeat this process until the final which is zero drop or 0 mm heel lift. If you have any pain at any step of this, just continue wearing the level of heel lift that felt good. I don’t think stopping at 8 mm or 6 mm is bad if that’s what your body tells you to. But that may be restricted by the calf muscle or other foot half issues you may have. I think if I followed this from the start I wouldn’t have heel spurs and sore heels. There may be slight gait adjustments as well which I will find out over time what they are. I will update here when I do find that out.
This is super slow which might not be necessary for some people though, its just seems like it would be best for me since my feet adapt slowly to anything. I’m starting from scratch again. Be able to move your feet and the quick pace is fun.