THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF DEBATE GOING ON BETWEEN BLOGGERS AS TO WHICH IS BEST, HEEL OR FOREFOOT STRIKE!
Back in the 80's most long distance coaches use to recommend a heel strike in the belief that it was easier on the calf muscles!
As a result Nike and the other shoe manufacturers started making shoes with more and more heel padding, the Nike Air Max being a good example, unfortunately these shoes were like running with jelly fish on your feet. Result; many injury problems as the runners feet wobbled all over the place!
So next Nike and the rest start inventing stability bars and roll bars etc to correct there unstable shoes, They even had the nerve to charge us extra for all these gadgets, which after all were designed to correct there own shoe faults. Man, how gullible are us runners!
Thankfully the African runners came along and showed us the natural way to run, years of bare foot running gave them a beautiful biomechanically perfect running action and it all starts with a forefoot strike with the toes up off the ground.
At long last shoe manufactures have started to make changes to there shoes and even some of the shoe makers now admit they got it wrong in the past/
Sadly some runners still cling on to the mistaken believe that heel striking is best, maybe one day they will see the light, maybe after chronic knee or foot pain brings them to a grinding halt!
Reason why heel striking is bad for your body;
1/ THE HEEL CAN NOT ABSORB SHOCK, try running bare foot on a dirt path landing on your heels!
You would never heel strike running bare foot so why do it when wearing shoes!
If you change from well padded shoes to light weight shoes for a race you stand to get hurt! without large amounts of padding landing on your heels will send shock waves up your legs, knees and back, ouch!
Reasons to forefoot strike;
your body was designed for forefoot striking.
By landing on the balls of your feet with toes up the arch acts as a natural shock absorber and spring giving you return energy.
landing on the balls of your feet will set you up for a natural smooth flowing stride. VIDEO
Tips for good forefoot running
1/ Keep feet, ankles and calf muscles relaxed.
2/ Keep your toes slightly up! pressing down into the ground with your toes makes your arch rigid and stops it working as a shock absorber and spring, lift your toes up slightly and feel your feet turn into loaded springs!
3/ land more behind your center of gravity, see GRAVITY RUNNING BELOW.
4/ Don't push off, once your foot touches down relax your leg muscles, let the road drag your feet back.
5/ start with just small amounts of forefoot running, slowly build it into your runs.
THE HUMAN FOOT