Which part of foot do you land on when running?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 20, 2012 2:28 PM GMT
    It strikes me to know that I have been running with a terrible posture and landing all along. Talking to a friend two days ago, he said landing on the ball of the feet is the best. It minimizes impact to the knees and is more efficient than landing on the heels, which is what most people do.

    I have then found numerous discussions and articles online about landing on heels vs toes vs balls of the feet.
    http://myfitnessdepot.com/questions-answers/answers/whats-the-difference-between-running-on-your-heels-and-your-balls-of-your-feet/

    http://www.posetech.com/training/archives/000564.html

    http://www.sportsscientists.com/2008/04/running-technique-footstrike.html

    I have tried landing on the balls of the feet during my cardio on the treadmills, it give me more forward motion, but it also feels like I am somewhat tiptoeing for the entire run, plus it makes a lot more noise of the landing.

    So, how do you guys run, and what do you think is the best landing?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 20, 2012 5:03 PM GMT
    Personal anecdote only:

    I used to run on my heels too. That's just the way I always did it. Didn't cause any problems until around age 22, when I started getting pains in my shins.

    After looking into running technique a bit, I switched to landing on the balls of my feet more. It felt weird and was a little rough on my feet at first, but over a couple months the pain in my shins disappeared.

    I still use the same running shoes; I have friends who run in Vibrams to emphasize the 'natural' barefoot running style, but I don't think they're necessary.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Apr 20, 2012 5:14 PM GMT
    i land on the foot part
  • sun444

    Posts: 7

    Apr 20, 2012 5:38 PM GMT
    It is not necessarily bad to land on your heel when running. When running longer distances, it is difficult for most people to maintain their foot strike on the ball of their foot. This is because, generally speaking, most people don't engage their calves as much as they could/should and therefore have weaker calves. This is where the shin pain finds its origin. Shin splints are a result of high impact with weak calves, so, regardless of whether you ball-strike or heel-strike, if you have weak calves and a heavy stride you're going to experience shin pain. That being said, it is beneficial to pay attention to all aspects of your running style.

    To realize the least damage to your body, you want to try to run "light". Running heavy is a habit formed from laziness. It is difficult to run light because it forces you to engage not only the main muscle groups but also your stabilizer and support muscles. It also helps to have the right shoe.

    So many people ignore the fact that the shoes they wear when running are god-awful for their specific stride, foot, training regimen, etc. You may think its merely a piece of rubber that keeps your foot from getting impaled by all the debris in the road, but there is so much technology that goes into shoes these days that you could end up causing more harm by buying the wrong pair than if you went barefoot. You should pay attention to things like foot strike (as you mentioned and is the topic of this forum), posture, running style, distance versus speed training, and the shape of your foot itself when considering which pair of shoes to buy. Don't be afraid to annoy the hell out of the shoe guy at your running store, because, frankly, it's his job to help you find the right shoe. Try on a bunch; ask a lot of questions; and do your research.

    So to bring it back to the topic of the thread, it shouldn't matter whether you're a heal striker or a ball striker. Watch marathoners and triathletes; you won't see them striking on the ball of their feet, because their calves would tear off with that much distance. What matters is the build and strength of your leg muscles, the shoes you wear, and how conscious you are of your form while running.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 20, 2012 6:08 PM GMT
    I am a natural forefoot striker! I now try for a forefoot land to a roll to mid-foot then load and release from a midfoot position. I find this is the most natural and comfortable for my running. I will say I have never heel strike'd and it looks painful and counterproductive to the bio-mechanics of running. The impact is absorbed (through knees, shins, calves and hips) rather than distributed (absorbed at ball then redistributed at mid for a spring motion), or am I understanding this wrong? I will also say it has taken me over 10years of running to get to a point I am happy with. Good luck to everyone making the switch to forefoot.

    icon_redface.gificon_redface.gificon_redface.gificon_redface.gificon_redface.gificon_redface.gificon_redface.gificon_redface.gif
  • RunnerMD

    Posts: 157

    Apr 21, 2012 1:39 AM GMT
    When I started getting into running I was concentrating a lot on minimizing injury and foot placement on landing was one of the big topics. It seemed that landing mid foot, towards the front, rather than on the heel was considered proper form (among the other aspects of form). I've been consciously trying to do this as my natural inclination, like most people's I think, is to land heal first.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 21, 2012 1:41 AM GMT
    Heel, when walking or running, but the toe when I'm like ninja. icon_cool.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 21, 2012 1:48 AM GMT
    Photobucket
  • RunnerMD

    Posts: 157

    Apr 22, 2012 12:41 PM GMT
    Here is one of the videos...

    http://video.about.com/running/Proper-Running-Form.htm
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 22, 2012 12:51 PM GMT
    Run the stride natural to YOU and not what other pros and trends are telling how to run. I'll stop my rant here. icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 23, 2012 4:58 PM GMT
    Jogging = heels
    Sprint = toes
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    May 23, 2012 5:00 PM GMT
    I run on the balls of my feet. It's really the only comfortable way to run, considering I wear Vibrams.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 23, 2012 5:25 PM GMT
    HawkEyez saidJogging = heels
    Sprint = toes


    That, and there is a little more to it for jogging.

    the right feeling, for long distance run, is that you take contact with your heel, but don't put all you weight on it.
    It's when your foot is flat on the ground that you need to feel you support your full weight, and it's with the balls and toes that you impulse the next stride.

    Important : while your feet is flat on ground, weight should be both on heel and balls, not just on hell, you will end up with injuries on the long run.

    Calf act like a car shock absorber, if you don't use them to absorb part of weight and avoid vibration, it's your ankle bones bones and cartilages which will, and it will slowly destroy them.

    Good sport shoes reduce those vibration, but with good stride, you can even go without shoes, while with bad stride, it will just give you more time before injuries.

    Running long distance on balls only is very rare : some have to out of too short calf tendons, some other weight so little they can handle it.

    if you weight more than say 150lbs, long distance run on balls of feet might well end up in achille tendons inflamation
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 23, 2012 7:31 PM GMT
    minox said
    HawkEyez saidJogging = heels
    Sprint = toes


    That, and there is a little more to it for jogging.

    the right feeling, for long distance run, is that you take contact with your heel, but don't put all you weight on it.
    It's when your foot is flat on the ground that you need to feel you support your full weight, and it's with the balls and toes that you impulse the next stride.

    Important : while your feet is flat on ground, weight should be both on heel and balls, not just on hell, you will end up with injuries on the long run.

    Calf act like a car shock absorber, if you don't use them to absorb part of weight and avoid vibration, it's your ankle bones bones and cartilages which will, and it will slowly destroy them.

    Good sport shoes reduce those vibration, but with good stride, you can even go without shoes, while with bad stride, it will just give you more time before injuries.

    Running long distance on balls only is very rare : some have to out of too short calf tendons, some other weight so little they can handle it.

    if you weight more than say 150lbs, long distance run on balls of feet might well end up in achille tendons inflamation


    I'm going to fall if I'm going to think about this while running icon_razz.gif