Suitcase of Courage
Heel vs. Toe-strike : what determines how one runs? 7/26/2009 10:41PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
What do you think causes how one's foot impacts the ground while running? Could it be simply what feels natural to the individual? Is it a matter of choice that one can change if they wish to do so? Or is it something physiological/anatomical that determines it? Does it have anything to do with your degree of pronation? It seems to me that someone who pronates to a high degree would have the foot flexibility to put the ball of the foot down first before the heel. Anyone?
hrmmmm
RE: Heel vs. Toe-strike : what determines how one runs? 7/26/2009 10:53PM - in reply to Suitcase of Courage Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Something tells me it may have to do with the way your muscle strength is balanced, but you can change it if you try hard enough.

I've never seen someone with extremely strong or muscular calves run on their heels, for example.. but this could be a chicken and egg situation.
21questions
RE: Heel vs. Toe-strike : what determines how one runs? 7/27/2009 6:47AM - in reply to hrmmmm Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
heavy trainers
barefoot Rick
RE: Heel vs. Toe-strike : what determines how one runs? 7/27/2009 7:21AM - in reply to 21questions Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I don't know for sure how to answer your question, but nobody is a natural heel striker. The human foot is designed to land on the ball of the foot. If you run barefoot or in Vibrams you'll see the difference immediately...you cannot heel strike unless you want to deal with a lot of pain. You are immediately forced up onto your forefoot, and your leg turnover almost immediately and instinctively bumps up to around the 180 spm that many elite runners turn over. If you try it be very cautious in the beginning, you'll be using muscles, tendons and ligaments that have been dormant for a long time.
common
RE: Heel vs. Toe-strike : what determines how one runs? 7/27/2009 10:30AM - in reply to barefoot Rick Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Okay, I'm going to take a stab at this one. I'm so sick of reading this stuff...

Time and time again I read threads here that say nobody heel strikes naturally, watch little kids run--they never heel strike, shoes cause heel striking, run barefoot and you won't heel strike because it is painful or it feels unnatural...

All bullshit.

I have two kids under the age of six. I have been watching, videotaping, and photographing them running both in bare feet and in shoes for several years--basically as long as they have been able to run. Barefoot or not, my daughter is a midfoot striker, primarily because her foot lands under her hip, directly under her center of gravity. Barefoot or not, my son is a heel striker, primarily because he leans forward over his hips and overstrides, causing his foot to strike well in front of his center of gravity.

It's a mechanical process of learned muscle movements. The fact is that some people (the majority) are born to heel strike, and some people are not. I've observed a small percentage of people who couldn't heel strike if their lives depended on it, and I've met a large number of people who couldn't midfoot or toe strike for a 30 minute run without getting injured.

Also, everyone's ability to get closer to a midfoot or forefoot strike is highly dependent on the speed they are able to sustain. The faster you run, the more you tend to plant under your center of gravity and therefore have a mid to forefoot strike. If your foot lands directly under your center of gravity, it is impossible to heel strike without actively and purposefully dorsiflexing, and lifting your toes so your heel lands first.

Okay, I'm done with my rant. Nothing personal, just sick of seeing this over and over.
try this
RE: Heel vs. Toe-strike : what determines how one runs? 7/27/2009 10:36AM - in reply to common Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Go out and run barefoot on the concrete or another hard surface and then come back and tell us how heel striking worked out.
mighty porn stache
RE: Heel vs. Toe-strike : what determines how one runs? 7/27/2009 10:44AM - in reply to try this Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
One can say the human foot did not evolve to run in shoes. However, the human foot did not evolve running on hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt, either. Therefore, using concreete running as a test of whether the human foot was designed to forefoot strike or not is not a valid test.

go run on soft grass or dirt and report back. That is a much more valid test of what the human foot was designed/evolved to do.
by inteligent design
RE: Heel vs. Toe-strike : what determines how one runs? 7/27/2009 11:05AM - in reply to common Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I started running as a 12 yr old.
All of the slowpokes heelers in the group eventually started mid-striking as their muscle tone improved.
One can't run fast when his running posture is the image of person sitting on a toilet bowl.