Is There An Ideal and Safe Footstrike Pattern for Runners?
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Is there an Ideal Footstrike for Runners?

3 responses

  1. Brian Hazard
    April 2, 2013

    Thanks for this Jeff!

    I wonder why the graphs are the opposite of Lieberman’s:

    http://barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/2FootStrikes&RunningShoes.html

    Also curious why the second graph (heel strike) shows a load up to 2000, where the forefoot strike graph only hits 1200. Should I conclude that forefoot striking reduces loading rates?

    • Coach Jeff
      April 2, 2013

      Hi Brian, thanks for the comment!

      The link you sent is a comparison between heel striking in shoes and heel striking without shoes. Not sure that relates to the points in this article. Did you mean to send a different link?

      As to the two graphs, you’re right, overall load/impact is higher in heel striking, but the curve of the line is slightly more gradual, perhaps suggesting while heel striking demonstrates a higher overall load, it’s less jarring. Keep in mind also that a higher loading rate doesn’t necessarily mean higher injury rate.

      This is all to say that we don’t have all the answers yet. There is still a lot we don’t know about how footstrike relates to injury risk.

      • Brian Hazard
        April 5, 2013

        Oops! I sent the wrong page. Here we go:

        http://barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/4BiomechanicsofFootStrike.html

        The graphs in the video thumbnails compare heel striking to forefoot striking both in shoes and barefoot. The heel strike has a transient but the forefoot strike doesn’t.

        But yeah, who knows how that translates to injury risk!

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