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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.


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    Here is an interesting short article in Lower Extremity Review where Joe Hamill, PhD, was asked about his thoughts on what the best running style was for the majority of runners. Joe will be lecturing on this same topic at the Biomechanics Summer School in Manchester, UK, next week.

    http://www.lowerextremityreview.com...ot-strike-pattern-reduces-runners-injury-rate

    By the way, why did the author call it a "natural forefoot strike pattern" and did not call rearfoot strike pattern "natural" also, when every study done on the subject clearly shows that the vast majority of runners are rearfoot strikers? There are many barefoot runners who heel strike while running on softer surfaces......are they unnatural?
     
  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Articles:
    6
    Its because they are showing their preconceived biases! Its the 'natural fallacy' that gets used a lot in debates and when people are trying to make statements in support of their position or cause and it is easy to see through. The fallacy is that if you call something natural or imply something is natural, then its better as something that is natural is supposed to be better ..... NOT. That is the fallacy! Arsenic is natural .... and thats not good for you. Most pharmaceuticals are not natural ....and they are good for you.

    To label something as natural to imply that its better as its "natural" is a fallacious argument and does not stack up to scrutiny

    HOWEVER, that does not mean that its not better or not ... it just means to argue that something is better because its natural is not a good argument .... for those that think it is, why aren't you talking your arsenic pills?

    To label a running technique as "natural" is to use the fallacious argument of implying that something natural is better ... when in reality it may or may not be.
     
  3. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  4. Twooms

    Twooms Member

    He may call it a "natural forefoot strike pattern" but at least he is not spouting the premise that forefoot is for everyone, seems to make sense to me, after all there has always been different strike patterns and never one universal to all. Am I right in thinking he will also be giving this talk at the ISBS conference in ACU Melbourne next month? Craig I would be interested in attending one of your discussions also, have you any planned talks at Melbourne this year?
     
  5. :bang:It Depends!!!
     
  6. Given the incidence of running related injuries to the lower-limb, I would say: none of the above. Rather, try aqua-aerobics instead.
     
  7. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    Or golf...
     
  8. That's just madness. People who make suggestions like that can only be a "minor head injury away from eating their own sh!t". Right, Griff?
     
  9. Grahamc

    Grahamc Member

    When I read "an avid runner who runs with a natural forefoot strike pattern", I understood it to mean that it's a natural pattern for him, i.e. he's not changed from his innate foot strike. Other people will naturally run with other foot strikes.
    The other reference to 'natural' in the article is "when natural forefoot strikers switch to a rearfoot strike pattern". Again, I think the word natural is being applied to define how these people naturally run, not the natural way to run per se.

    But, regardless of the semantics, doesn't foot strike depend a lot on speed, and other factors such as fatigue?
    I know that when I run faster I tend to land midfoot, but undoubtedly towards the end of a marathon (assuming I'm still actually running by then) the heels are usually (and naturally) grounding first.

    So, at what point during the marathon (or any run for that matter) is a runner more at risk from injury?
    Without science to back me up (and without resorting to the obvious 'when he's crossing the road'), I'd say it was when the system was getting overloaded, but of course this might not necessarily be at the end of the race.

    Is too much emphasis placed on the importance of foot strike both in terms of injury prevention and speed improvement?
     
  10. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Articles:
    6
    You may be right about that in the context that it is being used. However, the term 'natural running' is being used by those promoting forefoot striking/minimalism as a marketing term to imply its better as natural is better (see my debunking of that above). For example, in my comments on Larsens book, Tread Lighlty in this this thread, it was books link Danny Abshire's Natural Running that I was referring to when I said:
    The whole book falls into the natural fallacy trap, reads like the second coming of the messiah is full of rhetoric and propaganda and is a nonsensical use of the science ...yet the party faithful love it! .... that does not mean it not a good way to run or not ... its just the fallacious use of "natural".
     
  11. Grahamc

    Grahamc Member

    That's good then, because that is what I was commenting on: KK's original point.
    I thought it was interesting to see how the standpoint of the reader influences the interpretation of what has been written.
     
  12. If the author of the article wanted to avoid confusion and ambiguity, then the term "self-selected" forefoot striker rather than "natural" forefoot striker would have been much better to use within the context of the article. I am a "natural" forefoot striker when I sprint and a "natural" rearfoot striker when I run slower....what does that tell us?.....really nothing.

    I agree with Craig that the term "natural" in regards to running kinematics is a poor term to use and should be avoided at all costs since it is ambiguous, vague and non-specific. In addition, "natural" has that "feel good" meaning that the barefoot/minimalist runners love to sprinkle into their arguments to help bolster up their reasons for why traditional running shoes must be bad for you.

    Just to refresh everyone's memory, here the author of the semi-fiction novel "Born to Run", Chris McDougall, made full use of the term "natural" in a vain attempt to strengthen his discussion about that "angry podiatrist" of his.

    http://www.chrismcdougall.com/blog/2010/02/but-what-about-glass/

     
  13. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    I find the now generalised term/use of "forefoot striking" a bit ambiguous personally... as well as tend to help create confusion within many dabbling in this area. Should the term "forefoot" be a collective term for any strike contact other than the heel? Or should there be an official breakdown of forefoot region striking into two classifications with the use of "midfoot"... with subsequent established guidelines to distinguish between the two - would this make things more confusing (i.e. to assess/distinguish)? Thus we then primarily have three types of strike patterns: heel, midfoot & forefoot (which is sort of already present)... with the later two harder to differentiate (particularly in distance running). The act of sprinting for most individuals would be easier to determine "forefoot striking".

    Personally, I think midfoot running is best because I do it... it is natural for me as I seemed to had naturally self-selected this strike pattern as a youngster. Maybe the fact that I have been running for most of my life is the reason why I have retained this strike pattern as opposed to someone who may have been considered a midfoot striker as I child, then 30 years later in an attempt to gain fitness & lose weight decided to start up a running program & find that they are a "heel striker"... the shoes he/she is running in may also be an influencing factor as well (as no doubt other factors). Hence what is naturally “natural” for someone/anyone is rather ambiguous I feel.
     
  14. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    There are many factors affecting foot strike pattern. Depending on the influence of multiple interacting conditions placed on the runner, these conditions will encourage a certain strike pattern. The strike pattern that emerges while the runner does not try to consciously alter that pattern could be called "self-selected" or "natural". I would say that these terms also are a bit ambiguous.

    Is the best foot strike pattern the one that occurs unconsciously to the runner that is affected by the multitude of variables placed on the runner? What if one of those variables clearly is affecting foot strike but not necessarily the most healthiest?

    It seems obvious that the best foot strike pattern is the one that leads the individual to the healthiest outcome. This may be what is natural to the runner, what is self-selected by the runner, may not be part of the runner's consciousness or may be directly influenced by the runner.

    In addition to not being able to designate one type of foot strike as best, how the runner gets there can't be designated as best either.

    Over the past 40 yrs, I have let my natural instinct, subconscious, self-selecting decision making guide me about foot strike and it hasn't steered me wrong. I question the need for an individual to think they should change their foot strike pattern because of some magazine article says one type of foot strike is better.

    The out soles of my running shoes tend to wear very evenly. There is some slightly heavier wear at different locations of my shoes but it depends on the shoes. The wear patterns definitely differ depending on the weight and heel height of the shoe. It is obvious to me that there is a different strike pattern depending on the shoe I wear and I suspect the best foot strike pattern is heavily influenced by the type of shoe the runner is wearing.

    I have to laugh about those who hang their hat on the statistic saying that 80% of runners are heel strikers. That's certainly possible, especially if 80% of the runners used to derive this statistic were wearing shoes that encourage heel striking. What would be more interesting are the statistics that tell us about the relationship between foot strike and shoe type.

    Dana
     
  15. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    I find this an interesting recurring theme- the suggestion that the shoe tends to encourage heel striking.

    Why do most running shoes have a raised cushioned heel? The most obvious answer is because running shoe companies realised that most people are heel strikers and intuitively thought that a shoe that provides shock attenuation would be popular...

    Now there is this school of thought that most people heel strike because of the shoe!!!

    By this reasoning, then heel striking would be almost unheard of before the modern running shoe... then why would footwear companies start to build shoes with cushioned heels???

    I did a quick search and found this footage from the 1948 London Olympic marathon (well before the 'modern running shoe')-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nggdLX2LML4

    I downloaded and had a closer look with kinovea- sure looks like a lot of heel striking to me...

    On the topic- great video of the 1960 Tokyo marathon...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAOGnxzCqUo&feature=related

    Abele Bikila heel striking in his minimalist shoes... nothing wrong with his form though!

    I think the debate about footwear characteristics is healthy for sure, but there are a lot of arguments that are recurring that really don't stack up.
     
  16. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Craig, here is question that I could use your help on.

    In the 1990's, trail running became the flavor of the day. Consequently, the running shoe companies flooded the market with "trail running" shoes. In addition to providing the shoe in the color gray, adding a lugged outsole, a toe bumper and later, a plastic rock plate, a primary differentiating characteristic of a trail running shoe from the "road shoe" was that it had a "low profile". "Low Profile" was defined has having a thinner mid sole and less height difference between the heel and forefoot than the traditional "road running" shoe.

    Why do you suppose that the running shoe companies designed trail shoes with a "low profile"?

    Dana
     
  17. I don't remember them as having a "low-profile", I do remember them generally being in a drab colour and having a more aggressive outer-sole.

    If by lower profile you mean height from the mid-sole to the top-line of the shoe, it may have been to do with some notions regarding the need for increased ankle complex motion required for traversing inclined terrain. If this was simply achieved by reducing mid-sole thickness, it may have been due to some notion that less cushioning should be needed due to the more compliant terrain. I really don't recall this as being a feature of these shoes anyway- I just recall them being pretty much identical, in a different colour way and a more highly ridged outer-sole to their road running counter-parts. Maybe Bartold can add more?

    EDIT: thanks for adding the definition of low-profile to your post, Dana.

    I also recall that early on, many of the manufacturers only offered "neutral" trail shoes with the idea that the variation in terrain negated the need for a multi-density mid-sole for off-road running. But then you started to get exceptions to this in shoes like the Saucony omni-trail, which if I recall, was identical in mid-sole characteristics to the regular Saucony omni.

    Manufacturing a road and trail version of the same shoe, with a different heel height differential would require the use of different lasts for the two variants of the shoe, in addition to modifications of the upper pattern. This is expensive for the manufacturer. I can't imagine they did this, rather I suspect the two versions employed the same last, but I'm happy to be corrected- what do you say, Bartold?
     
  18. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Hi Craig; so are you saying that a shoe with a heel to forefoot pitch of say 10 - 12mm (or whatever the average heel to forefoot pitch is within the conventional training shoe) does not play any role in potentially influencing/exacerbating "heel striking" (& the degree thereof)? Can we honestly say for sure how influential this shoe trait has had on runners over the years? I feel it has certainly played a role... as well as adversely affected primordial foot function... I think I’ve just come up with a new phrase... “primordial foot function” (for want of a better term this time in the night/morning).

    Note - the following Craig is not a reflection on your point of view – just that of the ‘high’ heel running shoe concept (this writing medium can be ambiguous of intentions at the best of times thus the need for this side note).

    Well if the above is the actual answer (& the sole answer) - then that is pretty lame (bordering on moronic) reasoning in my view... in fact the reasoning annoys me (particularly when we are referring to what I would think are educated researchers probably being paid handsomely). I thought there was another reason - something to do with ankle equinus??? (which is still poor reasoning) Anyway, whilst we're on the topic - can someone out there tell us (or at least me) once & for all why there has been a heel to forefoot pitch of up to 12mm (any higher reports out there???) added to running shoes? Thanks.

    Well it doesn't surprise me that some have this narrow minded view, in fact we all here know that this view is out there... perpetrated frequently by those of a certain persuasion (i.e. you know... the type that refer to the conventional shoe via that classic term... “foot coffins:rolleyes:).

    Your subsequent evidence following the above quote would tell us that this isn't the sole reasoning... but I feel it certainly is an influencing/exacerbating factor, particularly by those who do not know how to run properly (relative to their physiology).
     
  19. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Simon, re-read my post, I defined "low profile" as the running shoe companies defined it in the 1990's when trail shoes became popular. The definition and the term "low profile" is from the running shoe companies, not me. You'll need to look up what the shoe companies were thinking at the time if you'd like more background.

    I was just asking Craig T. a question since he seemed to know the reasoning behind the shoe companies products.

    I agree, some of the shoes labeled as "trail running" weren't much more than a gray or brown version of their road shoe with possibly more aggressive tread.

    Yes, the supporting surface of the shoe was sometimes cut deeper around the ankle to provide more mobility but that was NOT what the shoe companies described as "low profile". I know from experience, in spite of the material cut lower around the ankle, I often still had a problem with the shoes rubbing when I was running on really rugged terrain.

    Some "trail shoes" were also stiffer, more ridged than road shoes to provide more protection from rocks and provided more stability on uneven surfaces.

    Sorry, you can't remember "low profile" as a characteristic, it was actually used ad-nauseum to describe a given pair of trail shoes. Almost as excessive as we hear heel drop today.

    Speaking of Bartold, I recently bought a pair of Asics Fuji Racers. They are an outstanding pair of trail shoes, especially for longer trail runs over 25 miles or so. They even have a low "heel drop" of 6mm! Amazing!

    Dana
     
  20. I noted you changed it to include your definition of "low-profile" above. I note again that you have edited since my response. Since it is your contention that the running shoe manufacturers widely used the term "low-profile" to market their trail shoes in the 90's it might be more appropriate that you evidence this contention rather than to suggest that I "look it up". Since you are suggesting that this is what the running shoe companies were saying at the time, perhaps you could evidence your own statement rather than suggesting that I look it up for myself? Is this really what they were saying or have you just made that bit up, Dana? Any evidence?

    What is the heel-height differential of the road version of the Asics fuji racer? Let me guess.... 6mm. 'cause it built on the same last because lasts are expensive.

    Anyway, lets await the view of someone who actually works for a running shoe manufacturer. Unless of course you already have all the answers, Dana and were trying to teach Craig here?

    Here's an interesting point that arises from Dana's post: he seems to believe that a lower heel height differential is "amazing", what advantages might a lower heel height differential offer over a shoe with a higher heel height differential? It's not as simple as weight, since we could have a shoe with a higher heel height differential that is lighter than a shoe with a lower heel height differential. So what is the advantage, if any? Moreover, if you're a forefoot strike runner, does it matter at all?
     
  21. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Simon, what are you talking about? I'm not going to get into a urinating contest with you over the FACT that running shoe companies used the term low profile to describe the stack height and heel drop of their trail running shoes. Are you kidding me? Here is some evidence that I don't give a crap what you think. If you don't believe me, oh well.

    Regarding the edit I made, it was to fix a grammar error. At least one of the many that I caught. Sorry, hard for me to see mistakes in the post in the little message window. Do you have a problem with people fixing grammar mistakes?


    Since you didn't give the road version of the fuji racer, I'll assume you have no clue. I'll fill you in, the road version is the Asics Gel-Hyperspeed. I'm also not surprised that your guess is wrong about heel height differential. It is 7mm on the hyperspeed not 6mm and it has a different toe AND heel height configuration. On the fuji racer, the forefoot is 16mm and rearfoot 22mm. On the Hyperspeed, the forefoot is 14mm and 21mm.

    Being built on the same last has nothing to do with the mid sole or the heel height. The last is the mold of the foot that the upper is built on which determines the shape of the upper. It is later attached to the mid sole which determines the heel height. Got it?

    My use of the word amazing had nothing to do with the advantages of lower heel height. It was referencing that one of the MOST conservative shoe companies with respect to design has come out with a shoe that has a heel height of only 6mm. I applaud Asics for finally having enough backbone to come out with a trail shoe that doesn't put you to sleep.

    Simon, I suspect you've done little or no running on trails. If you had, you would understand the implications of wearing shoes with high heels. I never claimed to be a forefoot striker, where are you getting that from? Regardless of what type of foot striker you are, with trail shoes, heel height differential makes all the difference. The last thing you want is to have big heels getting in your way, catching rocks, twisting ankles, affecting balance, etc. Of course, a little experience and common sense would tell you that. Or, you could take a look at the heels on a pair of fell running shoes, you might learn something.


    Dana
     
  22. Dana, it's not all about you. And as for a difference of 1mm in heel height differential....... I bet that significantly alters things, not. I guess you could account for that with a slightly different outer-sole design. Or, if your were a leaning backwards a couple of degrees more than the guy standing next to you in the same shoes. Lets not even go into variance in terrain. You are an amateur runner that works at IBM, for the record; not a foot health professional, nor a shoe designer, nor a biomechanics researcher, why are you still here? In my honest opinion, you know absolutely nothing that is worth knowing here and bring absolutely nothing to this forum. As soon as you are challenged in any way you react exactly as you have done in the posting above.

    The reality is, you stated that when they were introduced, trail running shoes had a smaller heel height differential than their road running counter-parts. I don't believe you- because you have no expertise in the subject what-so-ever. So I'm calling you on it. Evidence? None forthcoming; so you go on the offensive. So, what was the difference in heel height differential in trail shoes versus the road running versions of the same shoe in the early 90's, can we hear from someone who actually knows, rather than from someone who makes the coffeee at IBM, has no friends, smells of sweat and weighs trainers as a hobby, please?

    Sure, I've run on trails Dana. I just don't find the need to masturbate over this in the same way that you seem to need to. Have you ever played rugby, Dana? Have you ever smoked a Cuban cigar? Have you ever been to Butlins? I suspect you've done little if any of these things, Dana. These questions are about as relevant here. And shoes with a 10mm heel height differential are not really "high heels" in anyones book, other than obsessive compulsives, like you. I bet that 4mm difference really stokes your run, Dana. And that I don't keep up to date on every single model of shoe that every single manufacture produces makes me very happy to know that I have a life. Thanks, Dana. The fact that you can tell everyone the weight of all of these running shoes in Oz's doesn't make you superior to me, it just makes you sad; for the record. Which event are you running in the olympics this summer, Dana? In your fantasies you may live out this idea that you are some sort of great athlete, with profound knowledge of running biomechanics and sports shoe design, but in reality, you are a no-one who works at IBM, making the coffffeee.

    So, for anyone who actually understands lower limb biomechanics and can conjure an ounce of respect around here, what might be the advantage of a smaller heel height differential?
     
  23. This one gets my vote for best quote of 2012, Simon.

    I'm sitting here at Terminal C6 on an 8 hour layover at Dulles Airport in Washington, DC, on my way over to Manchester for Biomechanics Summer School. Pam is asleep on the benches next to me and I'm killing time on my laptop. So...all of a sudden.... I read this statement you just made on "trail running" and let out this loud laugh in the terminal...... everyone turned around to look at me to see what was going on. Pretty funny...even with the extra long layover.:morning:

    I'll be remembering this one for years to come. Thanks mate!:drinks
     
  24. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Simon, whatever. Predictability is boring, as is all of your discussions, which all eventually degrade into immature, unprofessional, repulsive name calling. I have to wonder about the respect you expect to gain from lowering yourself to the level you do in your posts.

    Simon, believe it or not, you have a lot to learn.

    Dana
     
  25. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member


    Simple minds are easily entertained.
     
  26. efuller

    efuller MVP

    A low heel height differential might be advantageous when one considers horizontal forces or walking/ running on a side slope. The higher the heel the longer the lever arm horizontal forces will have on the STJ. A lower heel might, emphasize might, reduce the chance of inversion injuries. Looking at sports with side to side movement, basketball or tennis, the shoes usually have low heels. In basketball, where additional height might be an advantage, they still tend to use low heels. It's been a while since I tried playing basket ball in running shoes. I do recall not really liking it. However, that added leverage might come into play on slanted trials as opposed to running on flat tracks or relatively flat roads.

    Eric
     
  27. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    Personally this Spooner gem gets my vote for 2012 Kevin.
     
  28. Twooms

    Twooms Member

    Is there any research examining the biomechanical differences between running in a 12mm drop running shoe as opposed to a lower 0-4mm drop shoe? I posed a similar question on another outdated forum so hopefully someone here may respond. I know Ben-Hur has strong opinions on the issue and I am interested to see what the general consensus is? As I mentioned earlier I work in a specialist footwear store and I am looking to better understand the dynamics of the shoes.
     
  29. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    Hi Matt
    Influencing?- perhaps. I think it would more likely that a raised cushioned heel doesn't discourage heel striking... which is different to encouraging!
    I don't know about you , but I rarely advise someone to choose a running shoe because of its high level of 'cushioning'over another running shoe. I have, however, suggested footwear changes for many people due to my belief that the shoe they are in is too soft.

    I don't think we can say with any certainty either way.
    I have been in the Middle East now for 5 years (!!!). I regularly see athletes running in shoes which are very flexible and have no heel- they can be cheap shoes from the supermarket or often indoor football shoes - apart from the price tag, they could be minimalist!. The simplest thing I often do is advise on better footwear and have positive results...
    I believe if there is a negative effect on 'primordial foot function' in the 21st century, then it is the environment, not the shoe. The vast majority of runners run on a surface that does not vary, so the tissues are stressed in virtually the same manner with every step. Some people may have the right adaptations to be able to handle this load, other will benefit from some help...


    I am only speculating.
    However I think it is interesting to think of who the original versions of modern shoes were made for- I would think they would be regarded as higher level athletes than most recreational joggers nowadays.
    I am not sure where I heard this- perhaps Jack Taunton at PFOLA- the average age is higher and average time is slower in the major marathons than it was 30 years ago (as well as more participants). This needs to be remembered when people highlight that there is a 'continued high injury rate in runners despite advances in shoe technology' (would like to be able to reference those figures...)

    Lets think hypothetically-
    Take 2 groups of novice runners and tell them to start training for a 10km race. They are not to be coached or advised about anything. They are either given a zero drop minimalist shoe with no torsional stability or a stability running shoe (I personally would suggest an Asics GT 21XX series as a 'suit most people without doing much harm shoe).
    Which group would more likely be injured?
    I personally would not be comfortable making a broad recommendation of a minimalist shoe without a lot of caveats...
     
  30. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    [QUOTEIn the 1990's, trail running became the flavor of the day. Consequently, the running shoe companies flooded the market with "trail running" shoes. In addition to providing the shoe in the color gray, adding a lugged outsole, a toe bumper and later, a plastic rock plate, a primary differentiating characteristic of a trail running shoe from the "road shoe" was that it had a "low profile". "Low Profile" was defined has having a thinner mid sole and less height difference between the heel and forefoot than the traditional "road running" shoe.

    Why do you suppose that the running shoe companies designed trail shoes with a "low profile"?][/QUOTE]

    I have to agree with Simon that most trails shoes that I saw were running shoes with some slight modifications. I think that the specific trail running designed shoes would have a low profile for the exact reason that Eric stated.
     
  31. That's From Justin Halpern's dad.
     
  32. I beg to differ, the heel height of footwear is determined largely by the shape of the last. http://www.shoeschool.com/shoeschool/lasts/shoe_lasts_what.html Got it?

    As I intimated you can manipulate it a little with mid/ outersole configuration, but you then start altering toe-spring and heel pitch etc.

    Here's a last for a high heel shoe, sure you could put a midsole with a 4mm heel-height differential on the lasted upper, but you'd end up with one hell of a toe-spring and a negative heel pitch at the heel seat. Shoe-manufacturers wouldn't do this because it screws up the geometry of the shoe.

    You ever worked for a shoe-manufacurer and/ or in last design, Dana? Well I have, so you can keep your bullsh1t answers for someone else.
     

    Attached Files:

  33. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Simon, keep trying and I'll keep laughing. Are running shoes built on lasts made for high heels? I thought we were talking about running shoes. Just so you know, the bulk of running shoes are built on a flat last, your photo does remind me somewhat of the Nike Shox which actually do have a little bit of a slope to the last. The Shox are certainly the exception and are somewhat of a dead technology at this point.

    Regarding your question, "what might be the advantage of a smaller heel height differential?" Is there a reason your question presumes there might be an ADVANTAGE to a smaller heel height differential? Do you think there is an advantage or is it just a poorly written question? If you can clarify the question, so that it makes sense, I'll give you an answer.

    Dana
     
  34. And you know that from working for a computer manufacturer? Wow. Here's a picture of a running shoe last, it isn't flat. Look at the posterior last and particularly the angle of the heel seat to the supporting surface, now rock this last forward in your mind such that the heel seat and supporting surface approach a parallel relationship. Yep, that'll be the heel height of the last. Here's some research which examined variation in last design from different running shoe manufacturers http://www.staffs.ac.uk/isb-fw/Abstracts/PARK_A_STUDY.pdf , note how there is variation in variable No. 21 between manufacturers, if they all used "flat" lasts there would be no variation. Indeed if the last bottom was "flat" we wouldn't have measure of, nor variance within variables No. 22 nor No. 44.

    It's a perfectly written question. I wanted to know what might be the advantage of a smaller heel height differential. If I wanted to know what might be the advantage of a larger heel height differential, I'd have asked that. Are you just a poorly written question, Dana?

    BTW, in my previous post, I attached an image of a high-heeled shoe last so that the concept was blatantly obvious, even to those who have no working knowledge of shoe last design. Since you had said:
    This statement is not true. The last shape governs the finished shoes geometry, which includes heel height.
     

    Attached Files:

  35. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Simon, the study your referenced is well over 30 years old! In the world of running shoes, 30 yrs is an eternity! We are obviously not communicating, I think we have wasted enough of each others time on this.

    You have twisted what I asked about your question so it is pointless for me to try to answer. You really don't want an answer as much as just a response. Being as predictable as you are, I know why you asked the question, too bad I'm not going to give you any satisfaction by responding to this one. Besides, the response I would give you would just frustrate you into spewing vulgar insults.

    You have spent a lot of time studying and reading about the biomechanics of running but it is obvious to me that in spite of knowing the mechanics from what is written in books, you know little about running. It is obvious when you speak of running how little you really know. I doubt you even understand what I'm even talking about.

    What I don't get is that you have spent so much time getting your degrees, then making a profession out treating and trying to heal people whom many of which are runners. Why the interest in running? You are not a runner and you obviously have a great disdain for runners, yet you've made a career out of healing them?
    what? I can understand why prostituting yourself to help people you hate would make you angry. Maybe a new profession would help, how about making coffee?

    Sincerely yours,

    Dana
     
  36. Again, you know that how? Because you work for IBM? I didn't spot a date on the paper actually. However, if we look at the reference list the oldest it can possibly be is from 1986, since this is the most recent reference in their list, the paper can be a maximum of 26 years old, Dana. So, that's not the same as "well over 30 years old". You might work for IBM, but you are clearly not gifted at computation.
    Perhaps its the way you ask, Dana. Moreover, I thought I'd made it pretty clear: I'm not interested in your opinion.

    Think what you like, you have no idea about me. Try running trails with no cruciate ligaments in your knee, up until this injury I ran three times a week. I've tried running with my Donjoy brace, but I find it gives me lower back pain. There, you've learned something new. I wasn't a brilliant runner, but I competed at county schools level in my youth and in adult-hood used it as part of my training regime. I was more gifted at high jump and pole-vault though as a kid. In adult-hood, I found team-sports more rewarding and focused on rugby through University and up until my injury 3 or so years ago. There, you've learned something new, Dana. I don't hate or have disdain for my patients, they sometimes frustrate me, they seldom make me angry as you intimate, and I've spent 25 years studying thousands of them and helping a good proportion of them, not just learning from books. As I've said before, it's just you I find objectionable, Dana. You and your n=1 anecdotes about yourself. I'll leave the coffee making and prostitution to you; I'm off for a pint.
     
  37. Simon:

    Why even bother trying to have an intelligent discussion with him? He isn't worth your time. He is just here, like a few others, to insult the intelligence and frustrate the few people who have called him out on his utter lack of medical education and total lack of clinical experience in biomechanics and treating patients, even though he has said a number of times he will never post here again on Podiatry Arena. Don't even respond to him....he is a nobody, both in running and in biomechanics.
     
  38. ianadamson

    ianadamson Welcome New Poster

    Claiming that most people heel strike is ignoring the human population as a whole. Having lived, worked and observed runners for 40 years across Asia, Africa, Europe, the US and Pacific rim my observation is that only one in seven humans on the planet (the affluent billion) heel strike "naturally."

    I believe humans adapt to their environment, including a soft surface and altered geometry under their foot. Watch old film footage of runners before cushioned shoes were available, or talk to the old guys. No straight leg, over striding gaits ("heel striking") unless braking. Or go and live in a habitually barefoot culture and you will see overwhelmingly that they do not heel striking.

    If you measure running economy, the heel strike style is very inefficient (mechanically and bio-mechanically.) There is nothing intrinsically wrong or bad about engaging the ground with the heel, it's the loading sequence and motor patterns that have the big effects.
     
  39. Thank you Mr. Barefoot Runner #3098 for coming on to this website expressly intended for medical professionals and giving us your opinions.

    OK, Craig, time to rename Podiatry Arena to.....

    Barefoot/Minimalist Know-Nothing Runner Blogsite:butcher::craig::deadhorse:
     
  40. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Ian, in quotes below is the sort of brilliance that was written yesterday in this very thread by one of the "Medical Professionals" on this website that Kevin is referring to. Kevin, another self described "medical professional" was so enthused about this line that he is going to do it the honor of making it his 2012 quote of the year.

    "Sure, I've run on trails Dana. I just don't find the need to masturbate over this in the same way that you seem to need to."

    These guys are actually proud of themselves, incredible.

    In reality, for anyone who finds the need to call themselves a "medical professional" is nothing more than an MD wanna be who failed to make it to being a real doctor.

    Kevin will also tell you 20 times over the next few weeks that he ran a 2:48 marathon over 30 years ago so that qualifies him to be a runner.

    In reality, Kevin can't run more than a few miles at a time at this point without becoming injured. A runner who lives in the past is nothing but a runner wanna be in the present.

    Dana
     
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