Feeling heelstrike on walking?

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Hiking' started by Spinningwoman, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Spinningwoman Barefooters

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    I'm posting this here as it is about walking, nor running. I am testing out a pair of xero huaraches I won in the July giveaway and noticing that weirdly I find them very comfortable for running but less so for walking. First thing is that walking seems to push them forward on my feet slightly so that I feel as if my heel might spill over (though actually it doesn't quite) whereas running pushes them the other way, so they fit slightly worse for walking. Secondly, I just feel a bit jarred while walking, as if I am coming down too hard with my heel in a way that I don't if completely barefoot. But I want to wear them for casual daily activity outside where I don't currently feel I want to go barefoot. Any ideas about how I could improve the way I walk in them, or why I feel like this?
    Thanks.
  2. Longboard Chapter Presidents
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    Listen to your body!
    Your Xeros are tools to be used when necessary, but they are and always will be compromises and are obviously interfering with your gait.
    I never paid attention to people's form while walking before I took up running, but now that I do and even point out examples to people questioning me when out in a crowd the difference becomes obvious.......walking is definitely labored in footwear and even more so in sandals.

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  3. Vampire Barefooters
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    I've noticed this exact thing when walking in my Vivobarefoot Ra shoes in the office, a slight jarring as my heels strike, and I can hear my footsteps are noisy/heavy compared to when I run.

    I haven't had chance to watch it yet but I googled and found this page which has a video about barefoot walking, I'll watch it later when not in an office full of people.

    http://trainingclinic.vivobarefoot.com/proprioception/barefoot-training-videos.php
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  4. Ahcuah Barefooters

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    I just go barefoot all the time so I'm not entirely sure about the Xero, but it looks like it does not have a raised heel at all. So I'll eliminate that as the problem.

    Try lowering your torso about 1/2 inch to an inch while walking. (This will mean that your knees are bent a bit more all the time, and it'll also make sure you don't lock your knees while walking.) I think this will help you place your feet closer to straight up and down and remove the forward-scuffing.
  5. Scratch Barefooters
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    I've got a pair of Xeros and I notice that I can tend to heel-strike when walking with them on clear terrain. I think that bit of protection to the soles leads me to taking longer strides and throwing the foot out in front of me. When I've used them walking on rocky trails, I stick to shorter strides and using the balls of my feet to probe forward.

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  6. NickW Guest

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    I've noticed for me when walking barefoot I tend to have a pretty flat footstrike, but when walking in any type of footwear, mostly sandals because I don't really wear much else most of the time unless required for school, I tend to walk with more of a heelstrike, which feels more jarring. I have one pair of sandals that I walk just about the same as I do barefoot, but the laces take forever for me to put the sandals on, so usually I just like to slip my luna sandals with the ats laces on for ease and quickness.
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  7. Spinningwoman Barefooters

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    Thanks for all the input. It's interesting because I suspect that the xeros just show up the issue because my other shoes, though minimal soled, do encase my heel and so allow a bit of absorption of heel strike, whereas when barefoot I presumably walk with a flatter foot placement or something.
  8. paulbeales Administrator
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    I have this trouble with my Vivobarefoot Breezy Lites. They are going on eBay this week

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  9. Spinningwoman Barefooters

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    Really? They look like the male equivalent of my Lucy Lites, and I find them phenomenally comfortable for walking. If I could buy a second pair I would because I'm trying to keep the ones I have smart for work. Just goes to show we are all different.
  10. paulbeales Administrator
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    Yep, I don't know what it is about them but I can't seem to walk in them without jarring my heels. I couldn't run in them either

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  11. Hobbit Barefooters
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    A lot of the question comes down to walking gait: do I usually heel strike or do I have a forefoot gait whilst walking?
    Personally I'm used to walking on my forefeet as well, at least when I'm skin to ground. With minimal sandals it depends: With the 6mm Xeros I encounter the same problem as Spinningwoman: forefoot strike walking becomes a bit awkward and sometimes I feel my heels painfully strike first. I think this is partially due to the sturdiness of the 6 mm, as this is less of a problem with the 4 mm Xeros and non existent with my homemade supernewflex huaraches, which are a lot more flexible than even the 4 mm xeros.
  12. scedastic Barefooters

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    I never got a chance to relace my xeros, so lately I've been wearing the unshoes, but kind of the same idea.
    I never really liked the xeros for walking, but for running they were perfect.
    For walking, I always felt like they were slipping around and slapping the ground (even when my feet didn't feel like it).
    Honestly, for walking, I find cheapo flat but stiffer soled "fashion" sandals (you know the ones with virtually no heel and a huarache look) work much better for just walking around on flat surfaces.
    Vibram soled huaraches with more flexiblility seem to work better when laced snugly and when I am on uneven or hilly terrain.
  13. Tristan-OH Barefooters
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    Not sure about the Xeros, but I think heel striking is fairly common for walking gait. Some still do midfoot or forefoot, and I sometimes do midfoot too but generally land ever so slightly with my heel first, for walking.

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  14. paulbeales Administrator
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    With thoughts of winter ahead, I've been experimenting with wearing toe socks with my Sockwa for work. The socks didn't stay on for long, as the little bit of extra padding under my foot sent me straight back into heel striking, and my heels have been hurting again! This was exactly the same with my Breezy Lites. It seems I am now destined to be forever barefooted or wear Sockwa. (Sounds good to me :))


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  15. ArcticDuplo Barefooters

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    Well, I am no expert, but I have never had much of a heel strike issue leading to pain when walking.
    My natural walking pattern is actually a light roll from heel to toe on flat/smooth surfaces and more of a mid/forefoot gait in terrain. I do that barefooted and I do that when wearing shoes like the vivo Gobi/Ra or my fivefingers (el-x for day to day use)
    Running I have a normal flatfoot (read: slight mid/forefoot) strike regardless of whether I am barefooted or in my seeyas or spyridons.

    That said it took me a few months getting used to walking all day barefooted, but now my walking gait is back to what I think is natural for me.
    I just took it for me having to relearn my natural walking form, not unlike what I had to do with my running and that it was a matter of me "forgetting" my natural barefoot walking form as soon as I put something on my feet, thus falling back into the shod walking form previously normal for me.

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  16. paulbeales Administrator
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    I've decided today that, when I have to wear something on my feet, wearing @Sockwa (on their own) is the ONLY way I know that I can walk and run exactly the way I do when I have bare feet. Even wearing toe socks with them changes the way I walk!

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  17. Sid Barefooters

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    What about moccasins? This company makes custom shoes using tracings of your feet. They use leather soles. I'm going to order a pair myself at some point for use at the office.
    www.itascamoccasin.com/category/leathergoods.moccasins.men/
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  18. Spinningwoman Barefooters

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    The soles look wedged to me?
  19. Sid Barefooters

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    [IMG]
  20. mokaman Chapter Presidents
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    For good moccasins I have liked these...I even ran my only marathon in the cold winter with the Two Eyed Tie Moc version...they had been my work shoes for 5 years then trail running shoes for 2 winters then my son wore them for 2 more year's until his dog chewed one of them up...now they are going to be huarches next spring. There are other good ones these are just the the thickest best one's I know of. I'll be getting another pair this winter. If you buy these get them custom made to your feet by tracing your feet correctly...follow the directions for that. Since many barefooters are used to extra wide footwear it is worth getting moc's made to match your feet.

    http://www.arrowmoc.com/

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