Confused yet? It can be hard to determine what kind of strike you naturally have, unless you watch yourself run on tape or have someone with a trained eye observe you. That’s why, if you’re serious about running, it’s important to get shoes based on your foot strike—or the kind of strike you’d like to develop. It’s not something to lose sleep over—as long as you’re wearing good shoes and being conscious of your body you probably won’t get injured—but it is something to think about the next time you’re on the trail.

In studies done on Olympic athlete runners, they actually haven’t found that one type of foot strike necessarily makes you faster than another, and that athletes vary in the types of strikes they have.

So what’s the verdict? Is there one right foot strike for everyone? The answer seems to be no. One thing experts can usually agree on is that you should run in the way that feels natural for you.

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  1. Just run around barfoot for a while and feel what your feet automatically do…landing on the heel is very painfull because there is nothing smoothering the impact of your weight.

    Landing on the toes/midfoot will be smooth because the foot and leg can ‘roll out’ the power of the impact.

    Same when you make a Judo/Karate jump and roll..if you roll and ‘roll out’ the impact of your landing you can endure a much harder impact than when you land straight on your feet..ouch…

    Spreading the force of the impact over a larger area, no matter if over the foot during running or over the whole body when making a jump and roll, is the ‘secret’ to less pain.

    Shoes will always change ‘the impact’ and running on the toes may not feel comfortable with some shoes, so better try them out in the shop.

  2. The “Girl on Trail” series is great, especially this story! Thanks Frugivore!

    When I was training for the marathon 2 years ago, I got injured around mile 15. I see now that it probably had something to do with the WAY I was running (ie my foot strike). I can’t wait to start running again, now properly.

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