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Rearfoot vs. Midfoot vs. Forefoot Striking Running: Which is Best?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Kevin Kirby, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    You obviously missed the research on how many barefoot runners heel strike. How do you explain that?
    You obviously missed all the research that showed the opposite. How do you explain that?

    How come so many elite runners heel strike and can run really fast?
  2. Grahamc

    Grahamc Member

    An understanding of lower limb biomechanics is not needed; common sense will do.
    One advantage might be that the shoe with lower heel is more stable over uneven ground, i.e a lesser tendency for the ankle to turn; try running in high heels to see how the heel hight can affect stability.

    Another advantage might be that a higher heel will influence the first point of contact with the ground. Which could of course be good or bad for the runner (remember we are talking about 'might' here).
    And just in case there is still some dispute over heel height influencing foot strike, we only have to imagine a runner who normally lands, shall we say flat-footed (by that I mean the forefoot and the heel land at the same time or thereabouts). Stick a protrusion on their heel and it's obviously going to be comparatively closer to ground approaching impact than the forefoot and hence impact sooner.

    Isn't there also some research out there about the effect of spending time in shoes with elevated heels: shortening Achilles tendons and calf muscles? Which I guess only becomes a problem when changing to a lower heel. Perhaps now, as manufacturers begin lowering heel height in shoes, some runners might discover the disadvantages of being accustomed to higher heels.

    Finally, if there are no advantages to lower heels then why are manufacturers reducing heel heights? I guess it could be purely market driven, but I suspect they might have been questioning the need for higher heels.
  3. And here we have barefoot runner No. 3099. Next... Check his blog-site. How's the diet book selling?
  4. Grahamc

    Grahamc Member

    For the record (but obviously not Mr Spooner who will decide for himself), probably less than 0.1% my running has been without shoes in the last year or so.
  5. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    No worries Graham, according to Simon, he only finds me as being objectionable. Consequently, I feel like the Podiatry Arena's running celebrity.

    Dana, who tried running barefoot for the first time a few weeks ago and couldn't make 10 meters.
  6. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Hi Craig, thank you for your honest, civil & professional response – much appreciated... compared to the recent unprofessional trash talk spooned out by another (I’ll address this later!)

    Yes Craig, this is where views can become speculative (which is needed to establish ideas/hypotheses)... there also can be a fine line between terms such as “influencing”, “discourage” & “encouraging” when talking about the effects heel differential has in running within the masses/population. I think we can both agree that more research in this area is needed. However, I am sure that shoes of higher heel differential influence gait & strike patterns & hence subsequently encourages a resultant trait to become entrenched in acquired running technique. The body is an amazing structure & we can quickly differentiate (i.e. via proprioception) characteristics (i.e. heel pitch, midsole stiffness) of what is attached on our feet & adjust our function accordingly... sometimes this may not be conducive to the long term effects of running well being (i.e. exacerbating forces which may encourage injury threshold to be met sooner rather than later).

    Now like I said, acquired foot strike patterns are not just influenced by shoes (as you have also alluded to in the above quote i.e. “doesn’t discourage heel striking”), particularly if there is a predisposition to say heel striking via another influencing factor. However, I believe the foot was designed to function in a plantigrade fashion relative to the environment/surface. Unfortunately we also have evolution creep into this topic & even if one was inclined to believe this perspective, the same reasoning still applies with relation to the natural anatomical nature of the foot. Why then the need to raise the heel in the running shoe. I think we both (at least) are still awaiting for the official answer to this. Putting aside the reason you gave in your previous post (i.e. protection for heel strikers), I am sure I have read somewhere that it was the result of accommodating for ankle equinus... why you would want to accommodate for a fault that can be easily addressed via exercises... & then incorporating it in the design of shoes for the masses is beyond me. Either way, whether it is to provide heel cushioning for heel strikers &/or accommodating for the apparent ankle equinus of the masses, I think the future of its inclusion needs to be reviewed (hence why we are now getting more & more models with lower heel-forefoot profiles). We humans need to also focus & learn to understand the state of our own physical conditioning & address this via appropriate exercises... then allow ourselves to naturally self select the appropriate gait/foot strike patterns without excess influence from foot attire... we may then start to see a change in the status quo.

    That sounds good. I know it depends on the type of injury (as well as their history). Do you think these cases could have also favourably responded to say a NIKE-Free 3.0 (4mm drop), Saucony-Kinvara (4mm), Brooks-Pure Flow (4mm), New Balance-730 (3mm) or the zero drop range including the New Balance Minimus or Merrell Glove range? We all should know that poor footwear can lead to injury. Barefoot proponents will sometimes like to compare injury stats to those of the 70’s when the shoe was of a lower profile with lesser cushioning & apparent less injury. However, the runner profile of today is different to what it was back then – the average 70’s runner would have had a lower BMI, more running experience, better conditioned physiology - we can also look at the overall faster median times of that era which should give us a clue as to the nature of running back then as opposed to today. It would seem that some of today’s footwear characteristics (gimmicks) are the result of accommodating for running's average decline of conditioning... i.e. more cushioning to accommodate for the heavier runner & then we have the higher heel-forefoot pitch/differential. I sometimes train in Centennial Park in Sydney & sit a watch all the different sizes, shapes, techniques & shoes people are running with (quite interesting)... & can imagine the potential forces the above characters/traits (i.e. heavy weight, poor posture) could be invoking to adverse stress & potential injury.

    Yes I agree, hence why I am in favour of some element of midsole protection/cushioning based on the extent of harder unforgiving surfaces prevalent today. However, I strongly believe the adverse effect on “primordial foot function” has been the result of environment, physiology & shoe design... to varying extent between individuals (i.e. body type, running conditioning).

    I have actually read a good article relating to this recently – been reading a fair bit of late & hence forget exactly the source but it stated similar to the above. Yet it once again points out the issues relating to physical conditioning (i.e. poor for the intended activity) whilst still doesn’t rule out the potential influence of adverse shoe structure characteristics to further add ingredients into the injury pot for further ambiguity as to the root causes of injury to individuals. Should footwear design compensate for our laziness & poor body conditioning... & could these compensation components lead to other problems?

    Yes, this type of study may have merit. But then we have the shoe wearing history of the individuals which may be an influencing factor (with regard to adaptation to the minimalist)... particularly if the study done in an industrial nation. The study would probably be more valid within schoolchildren in say Kenya or Ethiopia where body type (weight & physiology) is somewhat similar as well as footwear history (this reminds me of that study & subsequent photos of that barefoot related paper published in ‘Nature’ a little while ago).

    Just this week I have advised three running related patients to head towards the low heel differential/minimalist option... it’s a risk I know – for both them & me (which is a whole topic in itself).

    However, what we may need is something called a paradigm shift... if we have been taught one way we have built our learning on a certain premise but maybe we need to come from a different premise. I believe this is certainly needed within the current health care system & nutrition... yet maybe we need a paradigm shift in our thinking with regard to running footwear. There is a saying... “To get the results you have never had, you have to do the things you have never done”... this may somewhat apply to the case of running injury rates & running footwear. Sometimes what we have been taught or dictated to us (i.e. from footwear industry trends) is not always truth... if there are ongoing issues still present over many years despite the apparent millions poured into research then we need to question why. The primordial anatomical foot structure & intended function should be the premise for footwear design... individual physiological issue should be the target of therapy intervention, needed to address specific areas of conditioning via exercises which also may include individualized support if need via a custom related device such as an orthotic to address conditions not effectively addressed via conditioning/exercises... hence the importance of Podiatry in prescribing appropriate conditioning modules & if needed appropriate supportive devices to aid in efficiency/economy.
  7. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    I have had thought whether to address this issue or not – but it needs to be done!
    The above post (& there has been a long history of it by Spooner) with subsequent posts of the above nature following on this thread is based on his usual ad hominen attack – personal abuse/attacks in the form of belittling a forum member’s personal character in an attempt to invalidate a view point (a logical/informal fallacy). This is poor conduct – period! Furthermore, the use of foul innuendos (which has been modified via a series of ‘X’ in above quote) is a disgrace & inappropriate based on the professional nature this forum aspires to. It is not the first time that this same culprit has used this nature of attack via the use of foul innuendos – once again alluding to the same region of male physiology (makes me wonder if there is some subconscious complex here).

    The above post (& subsequent natured posts) are a disgrace to the profession & to this forum!

    I thought you would know better Kevin. I remember not that long ago that you rebuked inappropriate dialogue (yes, with the very same culprit as above involved yet again) on another thread on the basis of forum & professional integrity (if I get the time I might try & find it)... yet here you endorse it. Is it because it is directed at someone you have issue with &/or don’t like. Whilst you may not always agree with what Dana has to say, he does have valid running related information & does not incite justification for the sort of ad hominen attack of the above nature. This is not only mean spirited but also inappropriate for the integrity of this forum & the profession of which I know you hold dear... & please don’t tell me that Dana’s presence here is adversely affecting the integrity of the forum – it isn’t, but a different perspective to yours. It is the above conduct & language that will have greater impact on the integrity of the forum than that of anyone with a differing view on running & subsequent running shoes.

    Now am I going to cop the above natured conduct as well?
  8. Mathew:

    I thought that Dr. Spooner's posting was funny....and after spending already 12 hours in airports and airplanes on my way to Manchester by the time I made that comment....I needed a good laugh. Sorry I offended you by saying that I thought that Simon Spooner's comment was funny, but his remark perfectly summed up exactly what I thought about the person he was commenting on.

    Have you ever met Simon? He is a fun guy to be around. Too bad he isn't lecturing here again with me again in Manchester this year since his presence would certainly add to the enjoyment of the meeting for me.

    However, Mathew, I am not the moderator of Podiatry Arena. If you don't like what is here on Podiatry Arena, then I suggest you complain to one of the moderators....that is not my job. I am nothing more than another contributor here on Podiatry Arena. I control nothing on this forum, contrary to what you imply.

    Maybe you should offer to help Craig Payne to edit the content of Podiatry Arena to remove posts you find objectionable. I'm sure he would appreciate the help.
  9. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Thank you Kevin for your response.

    Yes I understand the predicament you were in - airport stop-overs can be boring & frustrating. I can also understand that this predicament may have clouded your judgement on this matter... yes, we all need a good laugh under trying circumstances... but probably wise not to endorse bad conduct/behaviour on a public forum... this has the potential to direct the thread southward with the opponent wanting to respond to such conduct... down the track a moderator then comes in & shuts the thread down.

    No, I have not personally met Simon... my response was purely relating to the nature of content he typed under his banner. That's it - it's there for all to see. There has also been similar natured content in the past - hence why I also brought him up on it on this incident. One's personal association with another should not influence one's standards & subsequent views - as hard as that may be at times. Yes, I understand you are both friends.

    Kevin, I did not imply that you are or should have a role of a moderator... however, a role of an influential professional role model maybe. That said, as I stated above, you however have commented on this forum relating to conduct issues in the past (& with the person in question).

    I appreciate Craig Payne's effort here in maintaining a valuable forum. Hence, I will not bother him or other moderators further with complaints by me - particularly when I can address the issue myself via my personal opinion on the matter. In fact I think the material should stay... it serves as testimony to the nature of character present on this forum.

    Unfortunately, I am way too busy to help Craig out on this forum. I can imagine that Craig is extremely busy also hence see no point burdening his load any further... which means we all should play a part in helping the running of this valuable forum with appropriate conduct/attitude.
  10. For the record Matthew, I find the content you type "under your banner" equally objectionable and your holier than thou attitude, condescending. If I'd have known you were going to get upset by the word "masturbation" I'd have used "wank" instead. Neither of which words are blocked by this forum, by the way.

    Have a nice day.

    Manchester, so much to answer for, Kevin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2Mi995ggFU
  11. Nice posting, Mathew. You are a good man.

    Happy running!
  12. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Thank you Simon for your civil response (putting aside the YouTube content posted :rolleyes:). I am sorry you find the perceived "holier than thou attitude condescending". I can honestly assure you it is in no way intended to be. We all have our faults (me included) & I am continually reminded of a saying... "those in glass houses should not throw stones". Be that as it may, I gave the reason for my concern in posts 47 & 49. I think it just makes for a more conducive Podiatry Arena experience.

    I've noticed you like music Simon... here is probably a more appropriate YouTube link under the circumstances... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YBr5P9rJ-8

    You have yourself a nice day also.
  13. Mathew:

    My lovely wife, Pam, and I just visited the Manchester Art Gallery on my one day off here. We saw a painting there that I thought you might like. It is called "The Chariot Race" (1882) by Alexander von Wagner (1838-1919). The caption at the museum said that the painting may have been inspired by the novel "Ben Hur" by Lew Wallace (1880). This is the best painting I have ever seen of a chariot race...made me think of you.:drinks
  14. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Thanks Kevin for posting that. Haven't seen this one... looks pretty impressive.

    It must be a good feeling being in a position where you can tour the world lecturing on subjects you enjoy & feel passionate about... whilst at the same time having the opportunity to experience the above culture with your wife. All the best with the lectures & your travels.

    To put the painting in perspective for those who may not be aware of the scene, here is the chariot race from the most popular re-enactment of Lew Wallace's book - the 1959 film Ben-Hur...

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  15. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Matt, thanks. Some thoughts I have regarding Simon and Kevin. First, I am not mad at or upset with either of them. I believe there are reasons that drive there reaction towards me that I understand. I might be wrong about what the actual reasons are but that is OK, they work for me.

    Simon truly has animosity towards me and I know I bother him to no end. Simon has a very strong interest in running, has focused his studies on the biomechanics of running, has made a practice of healing runners and has shown a genuine interest in running. What Simon doesn’t have is running experience and Simon is smart enough to know that in spite of how extensive his background that without experience, he is missing a major piece of the puzzle. To truly understand running is to experience it. It genuinely bothers Simon that someone like me who does not have a “medical” background knows as much as I do about something Simon is so interested in.

    When I’m having a debate, as soon as I’ve had enough of Simon, I simply push the button that sends Simon into a tail spin spewing vulgar insults. Once that happens, Simon completely discredits himself as a professional and discredits everything he has said. Those reading may not agree with what I’ve had to say but they certainly aren’t going to take anything Simon has had to say as having any worth at all. When Kevin jumps in to support Simon’s lack of professionalism, I see it at a bonus because Kevin is also discrediting himself.

    There is another side that I have some concern about and often hesitate before I push the Simon button. That is that for someone as obviously intelligent as Simon is, there must be some major issue or issues that I don’t see that drives his complete lack of self restraint. I can only speculate about what is causing such great anger and unhappiness but whatever it is, it must be pretty serious.

    For Kevin, I believe it goes much deeper than just a difference of opinion. For that matter, I think that Kevin agrees with far more of what I have to say than his stubbornness will allow him to divulge. If you look at Kevin’s opinions on minimal shoes and shoes in general from the middle of 2010 when I started writing on this forum until now, you can clearly see him move towards the direction of what I’ve been saying all along. No one has to take my word for it, just read what Kevin has written on the subject over the last few years then read what I have written, the trend is obvious. In the past I have had ugly debates on the forum with Kevin only to hear him parroting my point of view to someone a few weeks later. Kevin will never agree or admit that what I have just said is true and that is fine, both Kevin and I know the influence I have had on Kevin’s thinking.

    What bothers Kevin about me also has to do with running experience, it doesn’t have to do with what I know from experience but that I am still running at a level that Kevin had to abandon since the early 80’s. When Kevin talks about running, it is about running in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. There is a huge gap of 30 years from the running experience which Kevin draws from. I certainly know what it is like to be born a runner, I don’t know what it is like to be a runner who has had an extremely short running life and can no longer run. I would imagine it is enormously frustrating to not be able to run more that a few miles at a time on more than a few days per week. Here I come talking about how far I’ve run in terms of laps around the world rather than in miles or Kilometers. I’m sure this drives Kevin nuts. I might be wrong about this and that’s OK, it is just my understanding of Kevin’s reaction towards me.

  16. What a charming character you have just shown yourself to be. Dana, the amateur runner is now an expert in psycho-analysis too. Is there no end to this man's talent, or even a start? Does the above post really add to this thread? Is it intentionally inflammatory? Is it "troll" behaviour from someone who is not "a foot health professional" and thus, has no reason to be writing here in the first place? I'll let you decide. Personally, I shan't rise on this occasion. Suffice to say that I think that Dana's problems stem from his childhood; him being taunted in the play-ground in the way he was, just because his parents gave him a girls name. But unlike Dana, who works at IBM making the coffee, I'm no expert in psycho-analysis via the internet. What say you Matthew?
  17. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    I think we've got to the stage now where we should all avoid pushing anybodies buttons. We all by now should know where either of us pretty much stands on the subject. I think it might be best if we put our personal differences aside, take a step back & take a few of these babies...


    ... & wait for the research to catch up to the discussion... :drinks (that is Chlorella & Spirulina smoothies).
  18. Here's a picture of a fence.... Freud, what do you think?

    Attached Files:

  19. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    I've noticed you have been editing your post (# 56) Simon since its initial application... adding further taunts.

    Anyway, Johnny Cash wrote a song about the issue...

    ... & here is the San Quentin version...

    According to Mr Cash... good qualities can come from the experience.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  20. Yes, that's right. I felt it added comedy value. When someone writes something which is clearly intended to cause provocation and/ or hurt, like Dana did, which you appear to be conveniently turning a blind eye to, I find the best way of dealing with that is to see the comedic value within it. You see, when Dana couldn't answer my questions nor evidence his own contentions, by his own admission he then attempted to divert the discussion and provoke an emotional response in me such that he might be seen in a better light than me by others reading this. Despite the fact that he could not hold his own within the academic debate. You appear to have fallen for this tactic, Matthew. Sure, I use a wide vocabulary which might not suit you, this doesn't make me angry or emotionally disturbed as Dana would paint it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_osQvkeNRM Read between the lines to see the academic argument which was taking place; that which Dana attempted to divert and appears to have achieved. Why would he do this if he felt he had the upper hand in the debate? Dana has gone from someone who has knowledge of last design in footwear, when he quickly realised that I had greater knowledge than he, and has now positioned himself as someone with expertise in psychic, psycho-analysis, of which he has none. He works for IBM and is an amateur runner. This is funny. So, the comedic value is in playing him at his own game and in likening a "Freudian consultation". I suppose if I have to explain it to you, it'll be lost. Dana hasn't made me angry nor loose sight of the argument; he has at last shown the true nature of his personality in public, for which I thank him. I have studied the work of psycho-analysts during my teacher training and was most inspired by the work of Carl Rogers, so I'm happy to play along here. Yet, I guess its the sanctimonious nature I really object to. But most of all it's 'cause of the wicked lies..." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4NW5S1UTPQ
    What do you make of the fence, Matthew? Do you see a barrier or a seat?
  21. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Thank you Simon for highlighting your thoughts.

    I have not turned a blind eye to the recent events; I just did not make comment on it... on a thread which had already gone off track from the foot strike subject. Whilst reading Dana's post at #55 I thought to myself... this isn't going to help matters... yes, I thought it was provocative... yes, I also understand why he wrote it... yes, I also understand why you (& Kevin) could get annoyed by it. Hence why from that point I wanted to remain impartial & suggested in post 57 that we all avoid pushing anyone's buttons, take a step back & take a few chill pills.

    To be fair Simon... it would seem you have both attempted the above tactic on each other. Whilst I understand your frustration Simon, it also appears to me that you were the first main aggressor... with your sharp wit... it was a tad spiteful wasn't it?

    I think you need to also try & understand my perspective Simon. Whist I stated why I addressed your earlier conduct I still want to remain impartial to the above - yet we (you & I) haven't had what would be considered an amicable history either. One's history has been known to further sway one's subsequent views & perception of another.

    Thanks for the video on swearing - I enjoyed it. Let me assure you I do swear at times (I personally feel I shouldn't but I do). Yet it is only when I am angry as some swear words conveniently express the passion building up in me i.e. when I or someone else does something of which I consider to be stupid. However, I try & refrain from doing so in a public setting (hence a public forum). I think most will agree there is a time & place for it.

    Like I said, it would seem you have both instigated similar emotions/reactions in & from each other.

    My answer to this question is not really relevant. Yet I will answer - whilst I understand I am involved in this altercation between Dana & yourself I do not want to add further fuel to the fire. I can see both perspectives here Simon & just because I haven’t stated such doesn't mean I don't understand your concern. I addressed you earlier on this matter solely on the manner by which you were expressing your concern... & that was the ad hominen nature. Based on post 57 in which you followed with the above question, I wouldn't want to see the fence as a barrier, nor would I feel comfortable sitting on the fence... I would much rather knock on the gait/door & wait for it to be opened Simon.

    I would like to think that one day we all might meet in person... & not have the feelings generated via what most would agree as controversial topics (i.e. foot strike, running foot attire) on a writing medium not conducive for outlining true intentions... deter from a future friendship... & no doubt have a laugh at the experience.

    All the best.
  22. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    Hi Matt
    Back on topic!
    I don't think we disagree on too much...
    I personally think that higher midsole bending stiffness is a more important characteristic that whether a shoe has 4mm vs 10mm drop. For that reason I would expect that most of these shoes wouldn't 'cut the mustard' in this instance... (I am assuming they are quite flexible as the only one I have access to here is the Nike Free.)

    I don't think you are getting my point- I was asking a hypothetical question...
    This is only valid if done in an industrialised suburban environment. Who are running shoes made for? Consumers. Who are the majority of consumers? Suburban dwellers in industrial nations???
    While I find it interesting that school children in Ethiopia might run barefoot very well, or that Dana runs big kilometres on trails, it does not really relate to the majority of running that your or my patients do because of the terrain.

    So my question remains- Which group would more likely to be injured??

    If you had a patient who came in with MTSS (they have just taken up running) and they were wearing a pair of Asics GT shoes would you suggest they switch to a pair of nike frees? If they were wearing pair of frees, would you suggest a more structured shoe?? I know... 'it depends'... what about if it was an acquaintance asking over the phone and you had to offer broad advice without seeing them?

    I think there has been a paradigm shift... I think the role of running technique and training sessions barefoot are much more readily considered these days. In addition I think that heavy motion control shoes are much less likely to be recommended than previously... don't you think?? It would be interesting to see sales figures for a shoe like the Brooks Beast...
  23. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Hi Craig, all good points worth pondering over.

    A tad difficult without seeing them, of which case their history would play a big part in determining the more appropriate advice (over the phone): history of footwear, mileage, running terrain, training program (i.e. hills, track work etc...), wear pattern described over the phone & possibly feedback on their gait (i.e. foot strike) may elicit some suitable feedback as to a sole footwear related answer (putting conditioning modules aside). I think in this case I would advise on shoe characteristics to look out for & not recommend a particular brand or model (in fact I do this for most of my patients)... as one brand/model may fit better on one patient’s foot as opposed to another. Basically the main characteristics I would advise on (in the above case) would be a supportive upper, flexible midsole at 'ball of foot' region & once again a low heel to forefoot pitch (that is 0-4mm). Of which I may give them a list of models across the major shoe brands which have shoes that fit the above criteria... so really it is just the heel pitch which is the stand out trait (fortunately the number of shoes which fit the criteria is increasing).

    I am just personally convicted on the view that footwear should primarily serve as a means of protection from the elements & terrain. Like I said before, the foot was designed to function in a plantigrade fashion relative to the terrain & I would want to reduce the potential of any adverse shoe related influences as much as possible (including reducing the influence of footwear on naturally self selected foot strike placement). If someone needed support/control i.e. due to compromised osseous/joint integrity, then I feel it best given via an educated/assessed input based on the individual from someone like a Podiatrist - I feel shoes shouldn't encroach on this role too much via the addition of bits & pieces (some may call them gimmicks) in a generic sense which is then directed to the masses of which may not be appropriate via the potential encouragement or influence of adverse function/motion/strike pattern... & subsequent adverse stress. Some may not agree with this but this is my point of view at current point in time.

    I agree, there has already been a paradigm shift to some degree... it has started but it is still in its infancy with much needed research needed to shed more light on hypotheses. As we are all aware of on this forum, there has/is also been some pseudo-science involved, misrepresentation of the data, a barefoot movement making fanciful evangelic like claims & emotions running high on the topic. These factors alone have likely clouded the bigger picture for the lay person wanting to find the best solution for their running shoe requirements... hence then more inclined to stick with what they know & what they are comfortable with (i.e. to take the so called more “minimalist” option may be seen as too great a risk - physically & financially).

    Yes, it would be interesting to now see sales figures for such shoes as the Brooks Beast. My guess is that the figures would have dropped recently & will continue to drop as more info becomes available as to the suitability of such a shoe (particularly those runners say under 120kg???). I have an affiliation with the Brooks Beast – when I was a 14 year old it was my training shoe – a light child (50 odd kg) & with good lower limb posture/mechanics... I hated the shoe, but back then I didn’t know why... I knew it was the most supportive shoe on the market... hence I thought it was the best (as I assume the sales person did). Ironically, I actually developed MTSS in that shoe (yet, I was also doing a lot of hill work during that winter as well).
  24. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Matt, your point of view is refreshing and greatly appreciated.

  25. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I picked this up via twitter this AM:

    I have no idea which 10k it is, but as per usual, some are forefoot striking; some are midfoot striking; and some are rearfoot striking .....AND, they all running very fast (all <30 mins for the 10K)!
  26. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Turns out it was from the US men's Olympic 10k trials
  27. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Thanks Dana.

    Thanks Craig - that's quite an interesting caption of times & foot strike. Whoever did it certainly had interesting intentions. There sure is good depth in U.S distance running. I can see the U.S becoming a force in distance running in the future... their development programs are soooo much better than Australia's :confused:.
  28. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I just realized that they were running TWICE as fast as what I was planning on doing in 3 weeks in the Run Melbourne 10k ... but its not going to happen ... going to be facing the surgeons knife instead. ... haven't decided if it was the fault of the New Balance Minimus's or the Hoka One One's ....
  29. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Oh no!... all the best with that. Hmmm... those shoes are worlds apart... I know being a researcher & all the temptation to test these shoes must have been hard to resist... do you think it possibly could be the combination use of both the (presumed) vastly different shoes together?? (I confess I've never set foot in a Hoka One One).

    Where's the knife going?
  30. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I try to mix it up. I run some days in the New Balance 10somethings; some days in the Minimus and some days in the Hoka One One (which I love running in!); I wear my MBT's to work one day a week..... mix it up.
    Knife going into medial meniscus for 3rd time in 10yrs!
  31. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    Yes- Actually I am surprised by the number of heel strikers.
    Most people will shift to forefoot strike at this sort of speed... How long they can maintain it is a different question...
  32. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    HI Matt
    Of course, but my whole line of questioning is based around what to give as broad recommendation for running shoes for a person who is about to take up running.

    ... is pretty much what I recommend also apart from advising on heel pitch! I Just don't feel that it is that significant a factor to worry (at least initially...)
    Do many of the running shoes with decreased heel pitch still have reasonable midsole stiffness??? Same as an Asics GT???

    There is a train of thought that recreational runners should be initially in a shoe that doesn't change anything for them as 'natural' is likely better. I don't buy the 'its natural' line for the simple reason that there is nothing natural about running on man made surfaces... no matter what you have (or don't have) on your feet.

    I have had recreational athletes in who have all sorts of different shoes that I have regarded as not suitable for them (I am sure I am not alone)- they may be too flexible, too heavy, too soft, have poor 'balance' (soft lateral midsole combined with a very hard medial midsole), too flat... I can't honestly say I have criticised a running shoe because of its heel pitch.

    Have you ever had a patient who has had their symptoms improve simply by changing to a flatter pitch shoe??? (without doing coaching or techniques training....)
    If yes- in what instance do you recommend a shoe based on a low heel pitch and do you have an specific instructions with them???

    As an aside- my number one recommendation to decrease injuries in recreational runners is to train on natural variable terrain... irrespective of shoe or foot type.
  33. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    I would stick to my stated criteria... unless they were overweight with poor lower limb function - in which case a more careful holistic approach needed (i.e. adaptation routine, exercises, drills) & likely need for orthotics within my stated shoe criteria (??? with regard to greater midsole thickness for the very heavy runner – haven’t had one visit me thus far).

    You would think so wouldn't you... yet a shoe with a 12-10mm pitch does feel quite a bit different to a 4mm pitch shoe (greater still on a 0mm). After all, it is only at the least 6mm difference from the conventional training shoe but it feels quite a bit different with some reports of greater calf muscle strain (DOMS) after the first few runs in a lower pitch shoe.

    The shoes I am running in (Free 3.0 & Saucony Hattori) would likely have less, whilst there have been others (i.e. Saucony Kinvara) which I have only tested for short periods would likely have similar to the Asics GT (possibly also the Brooks – Pure flow could be similar ???).

    Agree, hence we need to accommodate for the synthetic hard surfaces of asphalt & concrete if any large degree of running (depended on the individual) is to be done on this surface. I feel barefoot runners constantly training on this type of surface in bare feet or say a Vibrams would be asking for problems if most of their running was done on this type of surface.

    Well, I would never recommend the stated criteria of shoe without advising on some element of coaching & technique related principles (if this counts). However, I have had one report of Ant. Shin Splint resolvement thus far. I haven't had the opportunity to inform too many as this has been a fairly recent inclusion to therapy/shoe advice & only about 4 patients have fitted the criteria to receive it (two of which have come to me on word of mouth that I have been doing this). Thus for the other three it has been too early to tell (give it about another week).

    Yes, good point. Funny you should say that... I have just submitted a post relating to Sebastian Coe on another thread & this concept was the first time I heard of this whilst reading one of his books back in the 80's (I was a kid back then). Seb use to run on "natural variable terrain" (including “ploughed fields”) to help ward off injuries & condition lower limb (kept it in mind ever since).
  34. Charlotte Darbyshire

    Charlotte Darbyshire Active Member

    I recently had a patient who attended my clinic. He was and has completed a number of Iron man events with no symptoms to report. However, 12 months later after reading an article on the efficiency of midfoot-forefoot running. The patient decided to change his usual style of running (described by him as heel-toe running) to forefoot (midfoot) running.

    He presented 12 months down the line from his initial change in running style with symptoms I can only feel are in keeping with medial tibial stress syndrome. He has since returned back to his heel- toe style and has now managed to complete his training for three marathons painfree. He is yet to try the distance required for an iron man event.

    His question to the Podiatry community was 'should I return to midfoot-forefoot running?'

    Interestingly (as a mini experiment) returning to the gym I decided to attempt the midfoot running style that has been posted on a number of video based blogs. Its a challenge. I am wondering whether our patients are truely adopting this style completely.
  35. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Here is the female footstrike data from the U.S Olympic trials 10 000m...


    Apparently the data is collected by a BYU biomechanist Iain Hunter.
  36. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Charlotte, I'm not a "medical professional" but I do know a few things about running. I personally use both heel striking and mid foot striking forms when I run. What determines which running form depends on many factors and I believe that a given set circumstances will dictate the best form to use. If your client read an article that states mid foot striking is more efficient that heel striking, I would say sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't and the article is weak at best for missing the whole picture.

    A lot of good that has come out of all of the hype lately regarding running footwear or the lack of it. The good has less to do about what people actually wear but rather with the attention or focus on good running form. The problem is that in a given magazine article, they often try to come up with the magic formula that is going to turn a mediocre athlete into a world class performer. It just isn't going to happen and there is no magic formula. Instead, it will probably just be bad advice that leads to injury.

    By trying to force yourself into performing one type of foot strike over another without an understanding of the factors that best favor a given form is nothing more than an injury waiting to happen.

    I would encourage your triathlete to learn about and understand the factors that contribute to good form before just trying to force himself into a certain foot strike. Just one small example, if his stride length and frequency does not predispose mid foot striking, yet he is trying to force it anyway, he will just be headed for injury again.

  37. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    The research data on this is mixed, so I assume that the article was propaganda and rhetoric and did not deal with the evidence. Some people are gullible enough to believe!
    Of course things like that happen! Different running styles overload different tissues. It is a zero sum game (ie one of Newton's Laws). You can not reduce the load on one tissue without increasing it in another.

    Heel stiking --> greater impacts; greater ankle plantarflexion moments
    Forefoot striking --> greater rearfoot eversion moments; greater ankle dorsiflexion moments; greater forefoot dorsiflexion moments

    Each of those loads have an increased injury risk associated with them and if the tissues can not adapt and that load exceeds what the tissues can take --> injury
    Why would he want to change if he can run 3 marathons without an injury? Look at the photos linked to above of the foot strike patterns of the mens 10k trials for the USA olympic team. The heel strikers are running just as fast as the forefoot strikers.
  38. Really? Define "impacts", if you will?
  39. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    I recently was sent some information from Brooks about their newish range of "minimalist" running shoes. Called the "PureProject" range they all have a heel-forefoot differential/offset of 4mm. Yet, unlike other minimalist range, they do appear to address various (support/control) needs within this 4mm differential/minimalist type framework...


    I think the above approach is good for the running shoe industry (& interesting) - not exactly sure how valid/effective it is - but nonetheless... a positive step in the right direction. Particularly when it comes to advising on a possible appropriate ("minimalist" directed) running shoe for our various running patients.

    ... I also found the wording of the following advertising material of... "An Ideal Philosophy" interesting i.e....
    Yes... a loaded statement, of which some would take issue with. Be that as it may... couldn't help but wonder... by stating the above/following, what are they then subsequently saying about their traditional range? ...


    I haven't ran in many Brooks shoes in the past but they are now starting to grow on me. They are at least thinking outside the square so to speak & coming up with some innovative concepts... more so than other companies. I have just recently ordered the Brooks PureConnect (lesser profile model) so will be interested to see how this compares to the Nike Free 3.0 & Saucony Hattori. I suppose it would make sense to also compare the running of the PureConnect (Neutral) & the PureCadence (Support) models.

    Then there is the Brooks PureDrift...

    PureProject Just Got Even Lighter: Introducing the PureDrift...

    The names of the above researchers rings a bell.

    Anyway, something to think about... & look forward to.
  40. phil

    phil Active Member


    Is this what Craig meant? The heel impact before the active peak?

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