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Why do different foot strikes matter?

Why do different foot strikes matter? Derek H. Kim DPT

Daniel Lieberman’s study on the difference between heel striking and forefoot striking shows why a large collision is generated when heel striking and why such a small collision is generated when forefoot striking.


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. (Daniel Lieberman et al.)

Heel strikes and Ground reaction force  V.S. Forefoot Strikes and Ground Reaction Force

(http://www.barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu)

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