Mid-foot striker...should I try a forefoot strike?

edited September 2012 in Running Form

As I said in the title, I consider myself a midfoot striker: I land with both the ball of the feet and the heel al the same time. We can say I land with the whole outside of the feet. This happens with standard shoes like Saucony Ride 4 or Mizuno Elixir 7, or even with the 8mm Triumph 9 (in this case, just more smoothly).

Thing is, I changed to a forefoot strike when I started to run in my Invo8 f-lite 195 (2-3mm offset). I began the transition with them some moths ago. At the beggining is was very nice: feeling of the terrain was lovely; landing was clearly smoother (or softer, I don`t know how to define it).

But after some running seassons I started to experience calf pain. Finally, I developed a plantar fascitis that has only been removed some weeks ago.

Question is: do minimalist shoes worth another try for me? or may I consider my gait is good enough to risk another injury triyng the Inov8 again? A third way maybe to start another trnsition but steping on kinvaras or brooks pure first.

Thaks for reading this :D


P.S.: Pete, I am reading your book at this moment. Very interesting so far, I mean it. Do you consider to translate it into spanish language? Here in Spain there would be a demand, and I guess in South Amenrica there will be even more.



  • edited July 2013
    The calf pain is there because you put more stress on your calves/achilles moving from midfoot to forefoot strike. Plantar fascitis is also common with the extra load. After a brutal start from heel strike to 10k barefoot with 2 weeks injury I took the long transition and used 2 years before I could run only in shoes like Merrell Vapor Glove. I started with sawing off the heels on my Asics Nimbus! Slowly adding in barefoot, FiveFingers, Trail Gloves.

    When you run barefoot you understand what is "natural". Try to convert that form to when you put on shoes. You should feel what is natural for you. Maybe a midfoot strike is right for you. What is natural when your cadence is around 180? Peter gives often good advice as to how to find "your" perfect form. I can run 15k with my Vapor Gloves. Two years ago that would have left me on crutches for a week. 

    Everyone should have a foam roller (RumbleRoller is best!) and use it daily. Personally I have found out that a wide toe box is essential for me. I am amazed at how a wide enough toe box effects my running form and balance. Barefoot running when the ground is predictable. Vapor Gloves when I need protection. Altra The One on longer runs (nice wide toe box). Be honest if you feel you need cushioning! For me it is zero-drop and good ground feel. It may be different for you. Number one -> I want to run a lot and avoid injuries. It is a constant trial and error. My reviews of running shoes would be far different from e.g. Peters reviews. I know more now what works for me and wish you luck in injury free running! 
  • I am a mid-foot striker.  I tried changing to fore-foot and strained my left Achilles tendon.  It took six weeks to recover.  I am back to mid-foot and staying there.  Mid-foot works fine with 0-drop and low-drop shoes.

    Running is supposed to be fun.  Don't do something that hurts. 


  • Mike's post is all you need to know.

    Do what works and what lets you run as far and fast as you like.  If you are happy now, don't feel like you have to change up.
  • I rarely ever suggest changing foot strike in the clinic when working with a gait client. My basic take is midfoot or slight heel or forefoot is the range to aim for, and if you are in that range don't mess with things. I'd much rather look at bigger issues like stride length, hip extension, hip stability in the frontal plane, excessive thigh adduction, etc. If midfoot works well for you, stick with it! The best form is the one that lets you enjoy running and avoid injury.

    I think your story is pretty common - forcing change to a forefoot strike too quickly can really hammer the calves, and I think this can be a culprit in the development of PF. I'd attribute my bout with PF to calf tightness due to my transition and a lack of maintenance (e.g., regular foam rolling).

    Thanks for reading my book! Would love to see it in other languages, but that's up to the publisher, not me. Not confident they will push it to other countries.
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