Biomechanical Differences Between Different Foot Strikes
Why do Different Foot Strikes Matter?
Here we focus on the difference between heel striking and forefoot striking (see bottom of page for more on midfoot striking which is often intermediate). In heel striking, the collision of the heel with the ground generates a significant impact transient, a nearly instantaneous, large force. This force sends a shock wave up through the body via the skeletal system. In forefoot striking, the collision of the forefoot with the ground generates a very minimal impact force with no impact transient.
Therefore, quite simply, a runner can avoid experiencing the large impact force by forefoot striking properly.
The explanations below illustrate how and why a large collision is generated when heel striking and why such a small collision is generated when forefoot striking. Continue reading…