Running Without Shoes: Why Consider Foot Strike?
- There are three major classifications of how a runner's foot strikes the ground: 1) Heel striking: Heel lands first, then the forefoot comes down (heel-toe running); 2) Midfoot striking: Heel and ball of the foot land simultaneously;
3) Forefoot striking: Ball of the foot lands first (usually below the 4th and 5th metatarsals) before the heel comes down (toe-heel-toe running).
- "Approximately 75% of habitually shod runners all over the world heel strike (Hasegawa et al., 2007)".
- Running injuries: Studies suggest that at least 30% of runners get injured every year, and many of these injuries stem from problems that arise in the foot or lower leg (van Gent et al., 2007).
- Bare foot for long running: The bare foot may be well suited for running long distances without requiring modern, heavily cushioned, high-heeled running shoes.
- Running shoes vs. barefoot: most runners who wear standard running shoes usually heel strike, but our research suggests that most barefoot or minimally shoe endurance runners forefoot strike and sometimes midfoot strike.
- History of running: Humans and our recent ancestors have been accomplished endurance runners for more than a million years (Bramble and Lieberman, 2004).
- Minimal footwear: Humans evolved to run and before the mid 1970s all humans ran in either no shoes or very minimal footwear such as sandals, moccasins or thin running flats.
- Safety foot landing: Humans were able to run comfortably and safely when barefoot or in minimal footwear by landing with a flat foot (midfoot strike) or by landing on the ball of the foot before bringing down the heel (forefoot
ALTRA - Zero Drop Footwear | Resources: http://barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/1WhyConsiderfootStrike.html; http://barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/3Running BeforeTheModernShoe.html.