The Foot Strike Debate

I came across the following article on Facebook this morning (seems to be a common theme of late!). After all the ‘hype’ surrounding barefoot/minimalist running and the supposed benefits, this article would appear to suggest that rear foot strikers are more economical than midfoot strikers.

Who’s correct? Will we ever really know for sure? Regardless, it makes for interesting reading. Thanks to The Science of Sport Facebook page for bringing this article to my attention. Well worth a follow for lots of interesting articles.

The The Science of Sport Facebook post:

“This is a really interesting study finding that rear-foot strikers are more economical than mid-foot strikers across a range of speeds (in sub-elite runners). The rear-foot strikers had longer contact times, but shorter flight times than mid-foot strikers.

A few years ago, there was so much “Born to Run” induced hype about footstrike and form and performance and injury. One such promise was that mid-foot striking would improve RE. A few studies have now challenged that assertion, this being the latest one.

As seems typical in these wrongly polarized and simplified debates, the pendulum was swung all the way over to one extreme, but in time, ‘gravity’ brings it back towards the middle, where it is likely to settle, because there are so many ‘moving’ parts that anyone who generalizes, simplifies and polarizes all in one statement is either gloriously naive or just dishonest.