Good Form Running Webchat

Lunchtime Webchat Friday 12th July

21 to 27 of 27 messages
21/07/2013 at 23:09

I bought into the old New Balance way of running heel-striking with supportive shoes with medial posts (1226, 1260 and 905).  Now, the new 4-step programme from New Balance is telling me that this 'path' was wrong and I should be changing to midfoot-striking in minimal shoes.

I am worried that if I change to this style and invest in the new style of shoes, New Balance might change their mind again and tell me something else.  How do I know that this isn't a 'flash in the pan' and is actually the 'real deal' this time?  Thanks

24/07/2013 at 23:52

Just lost my post. Still nevermind. I only said that you're asking a question on a 12 day old webchat thread. It's been and gone.

Having said that, you may be interested to read up a little on the history of the running shoe.

Cushioned running shoes for heel striking have only been with us since the 1970's. They were developed in a response to injuries sustained by running in the new running craze that was occuring. However, in the last 30 years or so injury rates have not reduced as a result of these shoes.

You were happy to jump on the heel strike 'bandwagon' up to you if you jump off or stick with it. Just try to inform your choices.

You might want to read this. Brief but interesting.

This is also very interesting.

25/07/2013 at 09:15

BTW - I wasn't sure if you were serious or not, hard to tell the tone of something typed.

Only thing I would say is that those who have transitioned from heel striking to mid or forefoot striking have found it very hard on their lower limbs. Feet and calves. You use different muscles in your feet depending on which part of your foot you land on. 

There's also a useful description of why it hurts your calves more somewhere if I can find it.
When m or ff landing you are stretching the calf muscle a lot more than when you heel strike if you are using more minimal or zero heel drop shoes, if you still use shoes with a raised heel then there is less stretch as the heel of the shoe hits the ground earlier. Some runners find it useful to stick with a 'traditional' shoe while transitioning or when coverring high mileages.

As I said, bottom line is, it's up to you and what feels better for you. 

Of course it's always useful to inform yourself of all the options before you make the choice. As you found, going blindly down one ally only to find that there have always been different options isn't very useful if you're already a long way down that ally.

25/07/2013 at 15:26

"With Good Form Running we promote a midfoot strike over a forefoot strike, the difference being that on the midfoot you come into total ground contact and the forefoot you land on the tips of your toes. Landing on your forefoot can put strain on your calf and Achilles".

Landing on the forefoot is to land on the ball of your foot and letting your heel kiss the ground. Landing on the tips of your toes is, er, landing on the tips of your toes!

Edited: 25/07/2013 at 15:27
25/07/2013 at 20:02


26/07/2013 at 09:09

The point is not to TRY and land on one particular part of the foot, as that can lead to all sorts of problems. The aim should be to land under your hips, and in doing so you'll very very likely land on the ball of your foot

27/07/2013 at 22:18

Sorry, I was actually being faecetious - I have nothing against barefoot/minimal running (I have and occassionally use Brooks Green Silence and New Balance 101s) and I think that it's good to have options.  I like changing my style for different distances and surfaces.

I just get annoyed at the statements from both corporate entities and barefoot bores who constantly use superlatives, such as "it's the best way to run" or "it's safest".  They also use opinions as facts -  "Heel-striking is bad"  "Midfoot-striking will prevent injury".

There is no more evidence to favour midfoot running than there was for heel-striking, but every shoe company is doing the same things it's always done - jumped on a fashion bandwagon and trotted out BS, thinking we are all stupid enough to swallow whatever their marketing departments say.

If you are going to sell supportive and minimalist shoes, don't advertise both as the 'only correct way' of running; you look like frauds.


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