forefoot striking

which shoes?

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22/04/2004 at 12:44
Been giving forefoot striking a good go now, gradually builing up distance and time. Thing is I've been using my inov8 mudroc, and am a bit concerened about wearing the studs down too much, and don't fancy splashing out 60 quid again when I eventually start getting out in the hills again (currently doing most of my running around a park, so majority is on pavement. Are any type of light performance shoes ok for forefoot, such as nike skylon, addidas boston. Also are the tigerpaw without laces any good?
22/04/2004 at 13:40
The one model I keep hearing about in this context is the New Balance RC150.

I'm sure Pantman or one of the other POSErs will be able to give you details - I think the shop's caleed 'Fast Feet' or something like that.
22/04/2004 at 14:27
The 150s are available from Fast Feet sports for £25 a pair - go 1/2 size bigger than your normal running shoes.
Phone number is @ www.fastfeet.co.uk
22/04/2004 at 16:56
Aren't the RC150s a pretty minimalist racer? i.e. not the best thing for everyday running.

I'm a forefoot striker too. I find i need a bit of cushioning under the forefoot if training on pavement.

Shoes i've used:

Adidas Gazelle - the first shoe they did with full forefoot adiprene+, a comfortable but zippy performance trainer. I imagine that later lightweight neutral adidas trainers with adiprene+ forefoot would be good too.

Fila Flow - lovely simple responsive lightweight trainer for fast running. They feel too firm if your light on your feet and running slowly, but the cushioning feels perfect when your pushing the pace. I use these for fast reps on hard surfaces. Dirt cheap (30quid) from StartFitness at the moment.

New Balance 1022 - A couple of weeks to break in, then wonderfully responsive for a cushioned shoe. Also a lower heel than most brands, so feels very natural to run on the forefoot. Durability of forefoot cushioning was the only down side.

Asics 2090 - Not quite as responsive as others, but good cushioning and more durable. i use them for steady runs and long reps on road.

Hope this helps you choose your shoes.
22/04/2004 at 16:58
If you can run forefoot in 2090s then you are severely over pointing your toes or landing on them - there is no room to run properly due to the HUGE heel.

I do all my miles in 150s - by far the better option - let the legs get strong rather than weak...
22/04/2004 at 18:00
Disagree w.r.t. comment regarding 2090s. Heel looks bigger than it is. Heel of foot only sits marginally higher than forefoot.

Had Pegasus a few years back - now there is a high heel - that did interfere with forefoot striking.

As long as you're not reaching out in front to strike, it is comfortable to forefoot strike in 2090s. If you naturally run on your forefoot, 2090s won't stop you from doing so.

However, I would not reccommend 2090s as a responsive trainer to heel strikers as that heel is quite soft.
22/04/2004 at 18:05
I'm a recent convert to 150's, prior to that I used Saucony Team Taya which are a lot bigger and more of a performance trainer.

I had a few aches in the calves for the first few miles in the 150's but now not a twinge. I've not had this level of ache and pain free running since I started - hopefully one day all running shoes will be made this way.
22/04/2004 at 18:07
Regarding 'letting legs get strong,' i completely agree. Too many people rely on very protective shoes rather than decent technique and strength.

I still think that doing all your runs in racers is a bit extreme for most people. If your strength and technique allows you to do that without injury then thats fantastic for you. But i'd not be willing to advise 'moor man' who hasn't been forefoot striking for very long to go out and do his regular training in racers.

If i'm mistaken and RC150s are a performance trainer and not a racer, then i take it all back!

22/04/2004 at 18:10
Tom,

So are you using these for all your runs or just fast sessions and races? And what surface? Much road or sticking to the Old Forest?
22/04/2004 at 18:39
Tom, unfortunately I cannot see that ever happening... :-(
In fact almost none are made that way now. 150s have been discontinued and NONE of the other shoe companies make a shoe as minimalist (I have checked them all).
The only way to get decent shoes post-150s is from fashion shops where retro trainers are back in. sad, but true...
22/04/2004 at 20:53
Pantman, and anyone else interested

Had a quick look at the POSETECH site. I am in agreement with the general argument that technique is overlooked by many runners (and coaches!), and that good technique (which includes a forefoot strike) is the way forward if you want better performances and fewer injuries.

To doubters i point out that this is not a strange new idea - just a largely forgotten one. This is how the top runners have always run. In the days when only plimsoles were available, it was a case of run with this technique or get injured!

Most running shoes are designed to accommodate bad technique rather than encourage good technique. I agree with PANTMAN that the ultimate shoes for all your running once you've mastered the technique would be minimalist racers. Whilst learning and practising the technique however, a good performance trainer that encourages / allows proper technique yet still provides some cushioning may be the best option.

Would you like to add to or disagree with any of this pantman?


22/04/2004 at 23:13
I started running first time ever last Aug as a heel striker. I soon converted to forefoot(Pose) and am a big fan of the NB150s. I do all my training and races in them. So far I've covered over ~650miles in my original pair.

IMHO, I'd advocate using the minimalist shoes immediately to help master the technique and as Pantman states: let the legs get strong rather than weak.


23/04/2004 at 08:04
thanks for all the feed back. Does anyone else run at all in the mudrocs, as they allow your foot to bend and flex more naturally due to the metarflex? technology, at first this gave me quite a lot of grief with foot pain but once my feet got used to it they have been fine. Problem is my soleus is still giving me bags of grief on my runs, and shin splints on my left leg have made an unwelcome return, but then I prefer this pain rather than illiotibial band problems. Now been doing forefoot striking for 7wks tried doing pose for a while but couldn't quite get the knack, so decided to carry on with forefoot, small cadence landing foot directly underneath and bent leg landing. still finding it difficult with the breathing though, feels as though my fitness has took a big dive, also feels as though I'll never get back to my past mileage and bigger runs, and my times are still down.
23/04/2004 at 08:29
moor man: Don't feel disheartened. Pose is only a method/approach for you to gain an efficient individual style. Your description seems to indicate a good style but surely you mean small strides with high cadence? Are you bent forwards at the waist or is your body straight perhaps with a slight lean forward?

When I converted to pose my weekly mileage took a dive however I was able to build it up to higher then what I did as a heel-striker. And my case is not unqiue.
The fitness will return and hence times will improve (since your style is better).

Are you doing any specific calf/hamstring stretches or strength exercises?

As for breathing, I tried the old breathe in 3 steps breathe out 2 steps. Very hard with high cadence. I try to belly-breathe with a natural period.

If you are close to London, then a group of us meet at St James Park to practice Pose running. These informal sessions have been invaluable for me to hone my technique though I still have a looooong way to go.

Good luck!
23/04/2004 at 08:56
sorry, got cadence mixed up with stride length. I won't be able to get to st james park as I'm from up North, but thanks for the invite. I've tried both leaning slightly forward and keeping body straight (after reading Gordon Pirie's guide to running injury free)currently running with body straight. I do the usual calf and hamstring stretches and do squats, or dumbell deadlifts (unfortunately only once a week)
23/04/2004 at 10:23
I've got a pair of mudrocs moor man and I agree that they are lovely to run in. In fact my first time out in them was a 90 minuter round Richmond Park and I had no problems at all. It's hard to resist not using them far more often - even just to walk around in. They are definitely doing something right with their construction.
23/04/2004 at 11:19
chaos, have you seen that inov8 have brought out a lighter version of the mudrocs and also that they have brought out two versions of trail shoe? Might be tempted with the trail shoe later this year, if you've seen it what are your views on thickness of sole in regard to forefoot striking?
23/04/2004 at 11:45
Alex - like NRG-B, I went "cold turkey" and swopped straight away, but I was injured at the time and so I picked up the mileage very slowly.
Having a "halfway house" has worked for some, but I think that it allows you to get away with insufficient adaptation.
But any progress in the right direction must be a good thing...
23/04/2004 at 12:23
No, hadn't seen that moor man. I'll have to find out who is going to stock them and take a look. However I think their philosophy of shoe construction leads to a fairly low profile heel so likely to be ok.

Not that I need any new shoes just yet...
23/04/2004 at 12:42
Chaos: I bought some very cheap rubber surf-shoes from the local Decathlon for about £6/pair. The rubber is only a few mm thick everywhere (ie no heel) and quite resilient. Perfect for teaching the kids about barefoot/forefoot running but with added protection when running outside.

You can never have too many shoes ;-)

RunnerWorld: It seems every few weeks this sort of thread crops up about pose/forefoot running. And a number of us provide some "standard" responses - which is perfectly fine by me. RW, if you're monitoring this how about an article on Pose/forefoot running and I mean a PROPER article?

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