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How many heel strikers in the top 100 finishers in the New York Marathon?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Craig Payne, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator


    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    This one surprised even me.

    Sneaker Report posted photos of the top 100 finishers in the New York marathon from the weekend to report on the most popular shoes:
    The First 100 Shoes to Cross the NYC Marathon Finish Line

    If you scroll through all the photos, a lot of them show the foot strike of the runners; of those that do, most of them were heel striking!

    In the context of all the propaganda and rhetoric we keep hearing ...go figure!
  2. William Fowler

    William Fowler Active Member

  3. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

  5. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    Funny graphic doing the rounds on twitter of Priscah Jeptoo's and Pamela Anderson's different "pacing strategies"....

    Attached Files:

  6. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Sad news:
    New York City Marathon's Oldest Female Finisher Dies
    Full story
  7. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Interesting study on shoe trends for the pointy end of the field; however, not really an adequate assessment on foot strikes as this wasn't the objective (nonetheless, still interesting). In keeping with the high standard of evidence based observation on this forum :rolleyes:... & probably against my better judgement, I decided to also assess these photos on foot strike. It would have been good if the photos were in chronological/sex order (I take it the elite females started first).

    What I personally noticed is that most of the photos were difficult to tell whether there would be heel or midfoot strike - only at close pre or post foot contact was there any real certainty. Hence I had a nerdy moment & decided to collate my personal observations. Based on the following key:

    - M = midfoot.
    - H = heel.
    - X = can't classify (i.e. mid flight, midstance, toe off).
    - ? = question mark ;) i.e. close to ground contact with the foot nearly parallel to ground for either a M or H.

    - M = 17.
    - H = 16 (I kid you not - didn't know the figures until I tallied the results).
    - X = 65.
    - ? = 2.
    - T = 100.

    Now there was a lot of "X" - it was just unclear to say for certainty how the foot would/did strike (i.e. photo of mid flight or at toe off). Thus in 67 cases (X= 65, ?= 2) there were either M or H potential. Then there is also the issue of road gradient i.e. a habitual midfoot striker on the flat may heel strike going downhill (like I do). Anyway, on another important issue...

    Hang on, Pamela looks to be walking in those photos (in what looks to be the Nike Free 5.0) hence we would expect a heel strike. Anyway, I could have sworn I use to see her midfoot strike on Baywatch... then again, that was quite a few years ago now... on sand... & barefoot. I was going to post a YouTube video of her technique... but it was a bit cringeful :eek: (i.e. the music, the posing).
  8. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Thanks. That was my point. Of those whose foot strike pattern could be identified 50% were heel strikers. According to the rhetoric and propaganda elite runners running fast don't heel strike.
  9. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    you were seriously watching her feet???;)
  10. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    There is no doubt whatsoever that the foot generates the most complex joint/joint, joint/muscle, foot/interface interactions of the human body, with enormous human variability.

    I doubt if many people would disagree with the above statement, yet here we are with what seems to be a big endian little endian, one size fits all type of argument.
  11. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    You're welcome :) . My point was that "most" were not seen to be heel striking as a large portion of the photos was not clear on the matter. Anyway, despite being a habitual midfooter I am not promoting (pushing) one over the other. A photo study (of a road race/marathon) with the objective of determining foot strikes would be interesting (I know of at least 1 or 2 research papers on the topic). It would also be interesting to photograph the top 50 from each sex... as well as a group at the rear of the field.

    As with the... "rhetoric and propaganda elite runners running fast don't heel strike" - I agree, it is "rhetoric and propaganda"... I know plenty of fast runners who are prominent heel strikers... first to mind was Steve Moneghetti. It's just we tend to find a higher percentage of midfooters at the pointy end of the field as oppose to the fatter end of the field.

    On a similar note... just added another post regarding another world class runner's views/reaction to barefoot running... here - post # 22.

    Yes, I see your point :eek:. I suppose I was destined to become a Podiatrist :cool:... besides, I didn't watch too much Baywatch... was watching Melrose Place :eek: or Twin Peaks (as in the show :rolleyes:).
  12. Dr. Steven King

    Dr. Steven King Well-Known Member


    It is really hard to maintain forefoot first contact during these long races.

    Perhaps if we look at sprinters the inverse may be true that almost all of them forefoot first contact.

    And if we look at speed walkers most of them will heel strike.

    The debate over how we contact should take more into account the distance and speed and type of gait utilized than the type of footwear worn.

    I know this is a bit of a no brainer for the smart folks here on Podiatry Arena.

    A Hui Hou,

    Knowledge is the mortar that fortifies the bricks of experience...

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