Friday, October 19, 2012

"Do You Know Your Footstrike?"

Great post:
"...The results? Among the "traditional" group, 20 of 22 claimed to be rearfoot strikers; in fact, they were all rearfoot strikers. Among the minimalist group, all 35 of the "minimalist" group said they were forefoot strikers; in fact, 12 of them were rearfoot strikers...."
Turns out this matters, as a lot of the minimalist heel-strikers were beating up their heels. See the graph at the link.
"...So in this group, minimalist forefoot strikers had smaller vertical loading rates than the traditional group, but minimalist rearfoot strikers had larger vertical loading rates...."
What this tells you is that it's not enough to buy a pair of minimalist shoes. A lot of minimalist shoes still have enough cushion underfoot to allow you to heel strike, even if you're an experience barefoot-style runner.

I bought a pair of the New Balance Minimus Trail Zero (MT00) when they first came out. Took them out for a spin, and noticed a noise: Thwip, thwip, thwip, thwip... I was heel-striking! They had just enough cushion under the heel to fool my feet!

Now that's after running exclusively in minimalist shoes and barefoot for 3+ years. I examine the wear patterns on my shoes, so I know what I'm doing, and I listen closely to my feet landing. But your body just naturally falls into a heel-strike if there's enough cushion to allow it. And, to answer Alex's question:
"So... who here has objective evidence of what their footstrike is? :)"
I do. If you really want to fix your form, you need to do at least some barefoot running.