Quick thoughts on “foot strike”

Foot-strike is as big a misnomer as midfoot or forefoot running. This has created countless foot injuries from runners re-learning to basically tiptoe through their runs, or land forcefully on the ball of their foot.

Your foot is designed to make full contact with the ground. But that said, this doesn’t mean slapping the length of your foot against the ground flat-footed is correct either.

Your foot is also designed to roll through contact and carry momentum from back to front, more akin to a wheel than a peg-leg. So the notion of foot “striking” is incorrect, not to mention the source of so many common runner problems (stress fractures, ankle injuries, knee problems, shin splints, etc).

Unfortunately, so many runners and coaches pay attention to what part of the foot hits the ground rather than, more important, how momentum moves throughout the foot before, during and after each step.

What many think of as forefoot striking should instead be a focus on making sure your momentum propels through the ball of the foot and forward, rather than through the heel and into the ground.

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