The Science of Running: Foot Strike

For my second installment of the science of running I decided to look at foot strike and how it affects running. As you are likely aware there are a few theories here on how foot strike affects running and what the best form is.

The foot strike of runners is classified in one of three ways – heel, mid-foot and forefoot. The debate surrounding which is best is centered around whether heel striking leads to more injuries because it has a greater impact.

That is just a very basic description of the issue. If you want to read more about foot strike and how it might affect running here are a couple of studies I found РThe Science of Sport  and Does your running foot strike matter?

As for myself, like many I was primarily a heel striker when I started running. Now when I run I seem to be more of a mid foot striker. I didn’t set out to consciously change my foot strike out of concern that heel striking might lead to a greater chance of injury.

For me the change developed as I changed the shoes I was running in. Last year I decided to try lighter shoes and started running in New Balance 890 and Mizuno Wave Ronin 3s. Since I have continued to run in these models of shoes I have continued to run with a mid foot strike more regularly.

I can’t wade into the injury debate because I have been pretty lucky so far to avoid injury regardless of foot strike.

What has your experience been? Have you made an effort to change your foot strike?

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