Foot Strike While Running

There is a controversy among runners about foot-strike. Should a runner hit the ground with the heel, the midfoot, or the toe? Some runners are very passionate about this question. In an effort to give information about this aspect of running technique, I am presenting information from web sites and books that discuss the question. If you know of other websites that discuss foot-strike, please email me the links.


This section summarizes the pros and cons of the different types of foot-strike that are being used. Once a runner knows his/her strike, the runner can do exercises to counteract the weaknesses of that strike.

Foot-Strike Pro Con
Heel Stretches the calf muscles. Less stress on calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Contributes to over-striding, slower running, and poorer form.
Midfoot Better shock absorption due to a bent-leg. Contributes to better form, and faster running. Less stress on calf muscles, Achilles tendon, IT band. More stress on the calf muscles and Achilles tendon.
Toe Less stress on knees and ankles. Reduced stride. Contributes to better form, and faster running Keeps calf muscle contracted, contributing to shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, and muscle pulls.

Details Sports Medicine
  • A normal foot strike lands flat or on the outer-back portion of the heel and then rolls onto the sole and ends with the push-off from the ball of the foot.
  • A heavy heel-strike can lead to excessive traumatic forces and actually slow you down.
  • Landing hard on the midfoot or ball of the foot places more stress on the achilles tendon (which will contract to counterbalance the force of the strike). This is seen often in sprinters. For these runners, stretching the calves and Achilles regularly is recommended to reduce injuries.

A System for the Measurement of Impact Force in Footwear

Measurements of the energy absorption by the soles of running shoes have shown that running shoes vary considerably in the amount of energy absorbed. The conclusion I draw is that we should choose shoes based on our foot-strike pattern.The results demonstrated considerable variability between shoes for different speeds and for both toe and heel strike. Discussion here is based on the shoes which score well for both heel and toe strike energy measures and how these results relate to retail cost. Shoe F for example is the highest performing shoe for heel strike at both speeds but rates low for toe strike. The shoe is moderately priced but rates high for energy and would be more appropriate for low intensity joggers or walking where heel strike is predominant. Shoe D is also well priced and performs well for fast heel and toe strike and is therefore more appropriate for a higher performance runner. Shoes A and B are effective for toe strike at both speeds but performance is relatively low on heel strike. These shoes are more appropriate for the more competitive runners who perform at higher velocities and require more effective fore foot energy absorption. Shoes D and E both perform well on heel strike over toe strike but vary with speed.

Dr. Stephen M. Pribut's Sports Pages

Some say to run on the ball of your foot, others say contact the ground with the heel. We take a middle of the road approach. Studies have shown that good long distance runners usually contact with the midfoot. Slower runners contact between the midfoot and the heel, faster runners a bit further forward. We feel that only sprinters or short to middle distance runners should contact the ground with their forefoot or the ball of the foot. While there may be exceptions to the rule, this [midfoot] is a good way for most beginning and intermediate runners to start out. It allows for better shock absorption, less stress on the calf muscle and Achilles tendon, and better rolling forward onto the next stride. Your muscles then end up being used in a similar manner to how you walk, and this is the pattern of muscle firing and contact pattern they are accustomed to.

Dr. Pribut serves on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM), is the current President of the AAPSM and also serves as Chair of the AAPSM Shoe Committee.

The Pose Running Method

Conclusions: Pose running was associated with shorter stride lengths, smaller vertical oscillations of the sacrum and left heel markers, a neutral ankle joint at initial contact, and lower eccentric work and power absorption at the knee than occurred in either midfoot or heel-toe running. The possibility that such gait differences could be associated with different types and frequencies of running injuries should be evaluated in controlled clinical trails.

"Reduced Eccentric Loading of the Knee with the Pose Running Method", Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: Volume 36(2) February 2004 pp 272-277

Chi Walking Chi Running

Some of the more common complaints associated with the lower leg are plantar fasciitis, Achilles pain, shin splints, calf strains, and runner’s knee. Though the specific causes for each may vary, they almost always have their root cause in how the foot makes contact with the ground....Upper Leg This includes the hips and back as well as the hamstrings, quads, and IT band, the strong connective tissue that runs down the side of your leg from hip to just below the knee. Common complaints are tight hamstrings, tight IT band, soreness in the lower back, and hip flexor pain. Not surprisingly, all of these can be greatly relieved and even eliminated by keeping your pelvis level (which engages your core) and keeping your stride short so that you land midfoot

The Runner's Repair Manual, by Dr. Murray Weisenfeld

When you run, you should land on your heels--not on the balls of your feet. Your heel should hit the ground first--then your arch comes down--then the ball of the foot and toes. You take off from the ball of the foot--and you're into your next step. Landing on the balls of the feet is bad for you because your calf muscle never gets a chance to stretch. It stays contracted. That's how calf muscles get short and tight. Any kind of running makes your calf muscle shorter and tighter, but running on the balls of the feet makes it worse.

During early years of running, most runners believed and taught that runners should use a heel strike. The Runner's Repair Manual was written during that era (copyright 1980), and it thus teaches that a heel strike should be used. Even though the book does not discuss recent advances in sports medicine, it does contain useful comments about foot-strike.



boblog said...

This for providing this resource. I find this comment in the last section:

"Landing on the balls of the feet is bad for you because your calf muscle never gets a chance to stretch. It stays contracted."

quite odd. I run short distances (5 mi) using a toe strike. When landing on a toe strike, the heel does come down, and sometimes touches, or comes close. The main difference is that there is very little pressure placed on the heel at all.

But the calf length feels no different than the heel strike, and in fact I have noticed very little difference in my calf muscles after nearly a year running this way. My Achilles tendons do feel tight in the mornings, and I do stretch them, but nothing in the calf.

Allen said...

Hi Boblog,

Quite a few runners use a toe strike, and as long as they don't get injured, that's fine. Just be aware that you are increasing the stress on your calf muscles a bit. You might consider stretching them as a preventative measure.

Thanks for your feedback about your use of toe strike! It's nice to hear from runners who aren't getting injured.

boblog said...

Thanks Allen! The way I figure it, its easier to recover from a muscle injury than joint injury! In any case, I've been mulling writing a blog post called "The Toe Strike Changed My Life" -- I'm running pain free now for the first time since my 20's, and loving it.

Tyler said...

I disagree that toe strike increases shin spliints. My experience is the exact opposite. Heal strike causes more severe shin splints. Yes, toe strike increases stress on the calf but the calf is a much larger muscle built for shock absorption than the(name escapes me) shin muscles.

Anonymous said...

I was a little surprised by the suggestion that heel striking improves shock absorption. I was a constantly-injured runner throughout my 20s and finally gave up--shin splints, patella-femoral syndrome, I'd had it all, despite spending real money on good orthotics and motion control shoes. Then I discovered the POSE method, switched to slipper like shoes, ditched my orthotics. At 41, I can run 10 miles on pavement with no knee pain at all. It's true that my achilles tendons are tight in the morning, like boblog, but also like boblog, I sure prefer a little tightness to the pounding of joint injury.

boblog said...

One more comment on the "cons" argument re. calf muscle. I increasingly find this unconvincing. As anonymous says, there is some tightening of the Achilles tendon in the morning, which goes away. The calf however, feels no different -- and logically speaking, it shouldn't. The calf can be extended in the toe strike -- almost as far as the heel strike. I vary the amount of calf extension depending on how fast I'm running and how tired I am. I'll sometimes lightly touch the heel even, and my calf is fully extended then. The movement pushing off seems almost identical.

So I think any worry about the calf muscle is a red herring.

To second "Anonymous"'s comment: I've also noticed that while I did have some pain in the shin muscles as I was building up strength, it has completely disappeared. Nothing like the shin splints I used to get running when I was younger using a heel strike.

Anonymous said...

Thank you guys so much for providing your own experiences with the heel vs. ball of foot running. I never realized i sprinted heel first until yesterday and when i tried the ball first it made me so much faster. I will be changing how i run to a midfoot/ball strike.

Allen said...

World-class runners run at about 180 steps per minute. I've formed the habit of running close to that rate, and I've found that that fast rate causes me to take shorter steps. This is good because big steps or over striding is one way to get injured. I'm finding out that as I run faster my foot strike becomes more of a mid-foot rather than the heel strike that I naturally do when I run slower.

Allen said...

Joe left this comment on the Plantar Fasciitis page, and I've posted it here, too, because he is a mid-foot striker.
I had plantar fasciitis last year, it ruined the last half of my training and I had to run my half marathon with my foot taped. Note - I am a mid-foot striker.

To prevent it this year, I always do a calf stretch while sitting on the side of my bed before I get up in the morning or when I've been sitting for a while. The point is to stretch your foot before you put any weight on it so you don't tear (or re-tear) your fascia. While sitting, simply place one ankle on the opposite knee and pull back on your toes on the upper foot. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times. Do this with boot feet.

Rather than wear shoes that immobilize my foot, when the pain started to subside, I started to run in light weight trainers to strengthen my foot. This year I am training for a marathon and have done all of my long marathon training runs in light weight trainers. They are they only shoes that I use. (-- and I don't have sore feet any more!)

I also noticed that both my Achilles' Tendon and Plantar Fascia tend to have more pain when my calves are tight (obvious when it's pointed out) so I tend to watch for that symptom. Because I am a mid foot striker, I've started to pay attention to where my foot lands to make sure that it isn't to far forward on my toes. I've noticed that my calves get very tight when my strike is too far forward.


Dave said...

I have gathered the opinions of some of the world's best triathletes and some independent physio therapists and composed it all into an unbiased article.
If anyone is interested to read this go to:


Allen said...

Thanks, Dave, for the link! Your article really gives a clear picture of foot-strike, and I added a link to your article at the end of my summary.

As a nit, your reference to should have a .org instead of the .com

Dave said...

Thanks Allen,
I am glad that you liked it and hope that it can help a lot of people out there.
My apologies for getting the address wrong and for taking so long to notice your comment back to me. It has been changed now on the article.
All the best,

DW2009 said...

I recently switched from heel-striking to mid-foot style of running. This came about because I bought some Newton shoes, which demand a midfoot strike. Adding a shorter stride, and little "butt-kick", made this a very simple and comfortable change. I have had some achilles tightness, some calf soreness, and recently upper hamstring soreness (I think from added focus on the butt-kick). But - no more nagging knee pain or low back pain!

I've tried to go back to heel-striking during runs in my ASICS shoes, but it now feels awkward and uncomfortable. They are new shoes, but landing on the heel just feels jarring now. I've run 20 mi with the midfoot style very comfortably.

I'm now working on some dynamic stretching exercises to try to alleviate the hamstring problems.

Simon Loo said...

I am 80-82kg, flat feet, relatively strong legs, have good motion stable shoes for running, stretch before run, and walk 15-20min after hard run, apply muscle prevention cream, and i run almost every day 5k, for last 6 mth, so i am supposedly conditioned. But I am suffering from chronic calves and shin pain, that does not affect my run, but it there permanently seem, and been researching for a solution, but never found. Anyone can help ?

Someone told me it must be due to my footstrike as all other factors have been taken care of. I read a lot on footstrike on internet, but the funny things is i cannot still differentiate the differentiate between toe strike, mid foot, and heel strike, and practise it. I suspect i am heel striker, because there are days i practically slap the floor when i run and my foot steps can be heard from a few metres, esp when i was about to overtake someone, i notice they always turn around, as if some elephant is coming from their back. Is there a simple way, to guide me to move from heel to mid foot strike?

Anonymous said...

I recently tried toe-striking as I had heard good things about it. It really wrecked up my calf muscles. They're pretty much like rocks. I'm never going to be so ridiculous again!

boblog said...

It took me about 3-4 months to build up strength in my legs to do this, and I still regularly work on leg strength and flexibility (deadlifts, thrusts, squats). But I've been running this way (6-11 mi) for four years without any serious pain and with no injury.

boblog said...

Simon, look up "Pose Running" or "Chi Running". They are different styles, but both use midfoot or toe strike. You might also doing some treadmill work in a room with mirrors, it will help you visualize your strike. I do notice that compared to most runners, I make very little noise and have very little upper body movement, which seems to come from the technique.

Allen said...

Concerning toe strikes, first a disclaimer :) We're all different, and what works for one person might not work for another person.

In general, the only runners who use toe strikes are sprinters. They run fast for relatively short distances. One suggestion to what I just said is running up hills. Due to the incline of the hill, almost everyone I know runs on their toes up hills. However, that is a relatively short distance and the person likely is going slower.

Here is how you can tell the type of strike you're using. Look at the bottom of your shoes. If the heels are worn, you're probably doing heel strikes. If one side of the midsole is worn more than the other, you're pronating if the worn part is on the inside and supinating if the worn part is on the outside, and you need stability or motion control shoes.

Here is a good way to stop doing heel strikes and do midsole strikes. Get your running stride up to about 180 steps per minute. That is the fast pace that world-class runners use, and it works for us sloggers too. That stride will force you to take smaller steps, and smaller steps make it much easier to do midsole strikes.

One danger of heel strikes is that you may take too long of steps (overstriding), and that can lead to calf and shin injuries. When your foot hits the ground, it should be under your body, that is, behind your knee. If your foot hits the ground in front of your knee, you're reaching out too far, that is taking too large of steps. Take smaller steps, and you'll have less shock on your body because your lets act as shock absorbers. Look at the videos on my page on running form.

Try to avoid slapping your toes when you run. Not only are you wasting energy, you're putting extra stress on your body. Become a stealth runner in which you run with a lighter impact on the ground. If you get tired, it is hard to keep a good form, and toe slapping or heel scraping on the ground is a sign you need to walk more or stop and rest.

Unless you're sprinting or close to it or going up hills, avoid a lot of knee movement. Do more shuffling in which you don't life your feet way high off the ground. Shuffling not only is the most efficient way to run, it also reduces significantly the stress on your body. Think of it in terms of physics. If you lift your feet high, you put a lot of potential energy into your legs and feet do to the distance they are off the ground. That potential energy is converted to kinetic energy as your foot comes down, and the momentum of your foot will put a large shock 2 or 3 times your body weight on your body. Shuffling reduces the potential in your feet and thus the kinetic energy of your feet.

A good stretch that I do before and after my runs is the furniture lift. See my page of pictures of the stretches I do for an explanation of the furniture lift. I do three versions of calf stretches before and after my run.

If you're suffering calf and shin pain, you need to reduce or stop your running for a couple (or more) weeks to let your body heal. Do more walking, swimming, cycling during that time to keep your body conditioning up.

Pain isn't normal, and it is a sign you're doing too much. In fact shin splints are known as "too much, too soon".

runnergirl training said...

Great post! Thanks! I'm a new follower!

James Dunne said...

Great post and overview. The runners and triathletes we coach at Kinetic Revolution definitely benefit both in terms of performance and injury prevention by adopting a midfoot strike. However we make sure they invest the time in learning to do it properly and hold back on run volume in the early stages - just focusing on technique until their calfs etc have developed the appropriate strength to cope with the demands of loading in this way.

I often suggest that athletes try jumping rope regularly in the initial stages just to condition the calfs.

Kinetic Revolution have put together a Six Week Running Technique Program including session plans, strengthening exercises and instruction videos for runners looking to change from a heel striking form to midfoot running:

Run Faster said...

This is something I never thought about. I just follow my natural running style. Might experiment and see if it make a difference


Allen said...

It depends on the type of running you're doing. Sprinters who go fast for relatively short distances do toe strikes. Many distance runners do heel strike. Back in the 1970s when I started running, heel strikes was the "normal" way of running. Since then, people have learned that mid strike leads to fewer injuries, and many runners are converting to that. I'm one of those who are converting.

I'm finding that running with a stride rate of 170-180 steps per minute helps me do mid strikes. That fast stride rate forces me to take smaller steps, and the smaller steps naturally help me use a mid strike.

Anonymous said...

Here is all I have to say... Take off that nice pair of running shoes then tell me how running heel to toe works for you. Our bodies are not designed that way.

Allen said...

Yes, I've learned that. Barefoot runners say mid-foot is the only way they keep from injuring themselves. I've experimented with barefoot running enough that I understand what they (and you, anon) are saying. Take off your shoes and you'll immediately find out the stress that heel-strike puts on your foot (and your body).

findingmymojo said...

I am brand new to running and have had a rough start. I would appreciate advice before I give up. I was already walking and biking each week and wanted to start running. I was was doing the couch to 5k program. Having never ran before I read about the toe strike and used that as my method. I did stretch before/after. My tennis shoes were about 10 years old and i know now that was problematic. After 6 runs into my intro program I now have painful pes anserine bursitis (going on 3 weeks now). I have never had an injury previously except for mild shin splints. I am very frustrated and don't know what to do and how to make sure it doesn't happen again. I really want to be a runner! Any advice is welcome.

Allen said...

Hi Finding,

I'm not a doctor or a sports trainer, so I can only give general comments. See a sports doctor for more specific advice.

First, don't do any running until your injury heals. If you can walk and/or bike, do that.

Next, get a good pair of running shoes. There are three kinds of shoes (neutral, correction, motion control) and you want to get the correct type for your feet. This means you should stay away from mall-type stores and go to a good running store where the clerk will watch you walk or jog in the new shoes. He/she will know how much you pronate and which of the three kinds of shoe would be best for you. Shop for shoes in the late afternoon while your feet are swollen from normal activity. Wear the same socks you will wear while running (stay away from cotton).

Learn to walk and run with a mid-foot strike. One way to do this is to work up to a fast pace, about 170-180 steps per second. This means you will take smaller steps, and that contributes to doing a mid-foot strike.

When you do start running, for a while, stay away from any plan and just run a few seconds in the middle of your walking. In the beginning not more than 10 seconds of running. Don't increase your running more than once a week and not more than a 10% increase in running at a time. And, as I said above, don't do any running until your injury is healed.

Remember that your plan for running is just a plan made for a stereotype of a running. It may not be the best plan for you. Learn to listen to your body for signs that you're suffering from pain or are doing too much. Modify your plan based on what your body is telling you. I follow the philosophy that we should run without pain and without injury. Pain isn't a normal condition. If the pain is very intense, don't try to run through it. Pain means you're doing something wrong. Try to find out what you're doing wrong and change your running accordingly.

Always remember that rest is actually more important than your running. During running (or walking or biking) body cells are damaged. During rest, the cells are repaired. It takes at least 48 hour for your body to heal itself from damage, so don't do two intense sessions in a row. Always follow an intense session with an easier, rest session. What is an intense session? A workout that is difficult for you, one that challenges your ability at that moment. However, don't go overboard and do workouts that are really hard for you. Keep in mind that increases to your distance or speed should not be made more than once a week and not more than 10% of what you've been doing. That is, make small increases so your body can adjust tot the increased stress without suffering injury. It's like a stairway, much easier and less stressful to take steps one at a time instead of two at a time.

Forget that "no pain, no gain" thing. Pain is a danger sign from your body. We're recreational runners not competitive runners, and we have the luxury of taking more time in our training.

Check back once in a while and let us know how you're doing. We're all rooting for you. Also, browse the pages listed in the left sidebar. The site has a lot of good information and suggestions that have come from years and years of experience from many runners who are successful at running without injury or pain.

Allen said...

Finding, one more comment.

I hope you don't give up running. Although, if you find you don't enjoy running, do something else that you really enjoy. I've been running for 39 years because I enjoy it, and I've only had one injury due to my running, a minor knee injury from not giving my body enough rest.

boblog said...

So it's nearly three years since I posted my original comment, and I can say that the forward strike has been an unqualified success for me! I now run 15-20 miles a week (was up to 30 over the summer), all on the forefoot strike, and with virtually no join pain. It literally has transformed my life. A few follow-up points:

- it's not just the foot strike -- strike placement (not too far forward, so the momentum is down/back) is just as important, as is hip use and straight back (with hips tucked slightly in). I've read up on Pose, Chi, and Evolution, and use a mix of the three. It's important to focus on overall technique, not just the strike (though that maybe the most important part since it affects so much)

- my achilles is usually tight in the mornings. And sometimes sore after the first half mile or so. But goes away, and its not a serious concern, pain-wise. Aside from that, and typical muscle pain and chafing after 8-9 miles, my runs are amazingly comfortable. The effort is in keeping my pace up, not ignoring joint pain

- I do weight training, a couple of times a week. For legs, do squats, deadlifts, thrusts, hip ab/adductions. I find if I don't keep them up, some pain creeps in. So my personal experience is that muscle support is very important.

boblog said...

PS -- running the NYC half in a couple of months. My first race! Will shoot for marathon eventually.

Allen said...


It's great that you've found the strike that works for you. Good luck in the half!

harptuba said...

Wow, they used to call me twinkle toes in high school and I was not a sprinter. I own the Runner's Repair Manual with the "heel-strike" rule and have always wondered if everyone else really runs heel-strike. My kids do, my running partner does. I did see another runner in a marathon up higher on her toes than me so I know others run forward on their feet.

I tried a few times to use a heel-strike, but you might as well have told me to run in high heels! Although heel-strike feels bad for MY body, I think that we should be cautious about advising heel-strikers to move to midfoot/toe. It is up to individual biomechanics and I wish others had not told us midfoot/toe runners that heel-strike was "correct" - we should respect others and not tag their style as "wrong" either.

Having said all that, I truly appreciate the article and comments. It is nice to know I am in good company.

Allen said...

Hi harptuba,

You have a really good point about letting our bodies determine the type of strike to use.

I'm a natural heel-striker. I'm learning to do a mid-foot strike, and the way I'm doing this is to increase my stride-rate to 170-180. This forces me to take smaller steps, and my strike is automatically changing to a mid-foot strike.

My stride-rate was already 170-180, and I haven't had to do anything to increase my stride-rate. That in turn is causing me to take smaller steps, and I've found that with smaller steps, I naturally use more of a mid-foot strike.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff! I recently read born to run and it gave me such hope that I began a training regimen. I am up to 6 miles having adopted a mid-foot strike. My calves do feel tight, but it is nothing compared to the jarring lower back pain I experienced with a heel-toe stride, also experienced a soleus muscle issue and overall body impact pain that was nearly unbearable. I honestly never thought I would be able to run 6 miles. I am 42 and while I won't say it's been easy, I will say it's doable. I run nearly evry other day slowly working my way up.

Anonymous said...

The Blade.

I started my running program 1 year ago on July 28th 2011. It consisted of only running a very steep hill that its 130 yards in length. I chose this because my primary sport is strength training with weights. I wanted to find a running program that would provide me with some general physical conditioning, yet at the same time I didn't want to completely zap my energy and have nothing left to do extremely heavy weights in the gym. My trainer is a former NFL full back and has been doing the hill running for over 6 years now and has had amazing results with increased strength and more intensity in the gym with less fatigue. I too after a year of running only hills have found the same thing. I recently however, decided to begin running on flat ground just to see what it would be like. Fortunately running the 130 yard hill, usually 3 or 4 times, three times a week has provided a moderate amount of aerobic training and a significant amount of anaerobic conditioning which is very similar to weight training and likely owing to why it is so appealing to me. Although I didn't give it much thought in the beginning, I did however, notice that I was landing on my heals while running up the hill. This provided a severe stretch of the calf muscles and I found myself in much pain. I quickly went out and purchased a pair of Minimus shoes and received what I believe to be the best advice ever when it comes to this topic. The shoe salesperson told me not to think about my footstrike at all, "just go out and run", the footwear due to its minimal padding on the heal area will unconsciously guide you to more of a mid strike and eventually you will land on the balls of your feet. I did exactly what she told me to do. I laced them up and began running the hill. Perhaps because I was new to running, and so focused on my breathing and watching my heart rate ( I use a Garmin Forerunner) and monitoring how long it took me to cross the anaerobic threshold etc, I really didn't have time to "THINK" about my foot strike and after a year I have indeed become someone who runs exclusively on the balls of his feet weather on flat ground or the hill.

I'm certainly no expert, and being new to this wonderful sport of running I am amazed at how passionate some of these debates can become. Its very likely that if I hadn't started running hills exclusively, then I never would have changed my running style, and coming from the world of powerlifting and bodybuilding, I can't begin to tell you how many different styles of training there are out there related to that sport. Even though I have become a toe runner by necessity, I am very interested however, to see how this trend will ultimately end up. We really wont be able to appreciate how effective this technique is, or for that matter if it is even for everyone until more longitudinal research and data gathering can be done.

For those of you who are struggling with the newfound technique of mid strike or ball of your foot running, then go out and find a nice steep hill to run a few times a week. You'll be so busy trying to breathe you wont even notice that your up on the balls of your feet the entire time. After about 6 months or so, you wont be able to run any other way BUT on the balls of your feet.

Anonymous said...

I used to use the Pose method -- actually ran my first marathon using it -- but eventually developed a pre-stress fracture condition in some of my metatarsals. I'm just now healed enough to get back into running.

I introduced running barefoot on grass (artificial turf) as part of my long run days. Much to my surprise, my "natural" foot strike is not forefoot. I naturally seem to prefer to land -- lightly -- on the forward part of my heel, near the arch (no over striding) and my foot rolls forward very relaxed.

When after, I put on my shoes and run this way, it seems effortless, so I'm convinced this is what works for me.

I'm of the belief that you use heel strike when walking, fore foot strike when you sprint and run up hills, and something in between depending on your speed, the terrain, and your fatigue level. You can land on your heel without over striding. If you heel strike under your center of mass, there is no braking effect.

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