Midfoot vs Forefoot Landing

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Rusinque, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Rusinque Barefooters
    1. Texas - Austin

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    Well...Is there a difference?
    Pros and Cons?
    I land midfoot most of the time and want to know if thats bad or not
  2. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I don't think that's bad. I think ball of foot landing is good for some folks while a midfoot landing is better for others. Just so you are not running on your toes or heel-striking. Just try to find what works for you.

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  3. rickwhitelaw Barefooters
    1. Utah

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    I am striving for a forefoot landing. I think it gives me the least amount of impact and the most return of energy. It has taken me a while to develop the calves and forefoot for this type of strike. I do notice that I still midfoot land when the conditions are rough like gravel and rough chip and seal.

    One trick Micheal Sandler had us do at a clinic was to stand on a step barefoot. Jump down and land on your heels if you dare. Then try again midfoot. Then try again forefoot. Which one gave you the least shock?

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  4. Barefoot Bess Barefooters
    1. Rhode Island

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    I went from mid-foot to forefoot and now back to mid-foot. I'm prone to medial tibial stress syndrome and forefoot striking caused more strain. If I can get my lower leg sturdy enough though I'll probably try forefoot again.

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  5. BarefootGburg Barefooters

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    This might be a stupid question, but don't we all land on our mets and then bring the heel down? If that's the case, is there a difference between a forefoot and midfoot strike? Seems to me that mid foot would be your arch, and you can't land there, because your heel and mets stick out. :)

    I land on my fifth met and then my second/first met (damn you, morton toe) and heel land at the same time, so my heel is bearing about half my weight. On sharp uphills, my heel doesn't touch at all.

    I guess you'd call that "midfoot"?
  6. JosephTree Barefooters
    1. Pennsylvania
    2. New Jersey

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    I think that if you aren't consciously attempting to land on your toes you're going to be moving through the landing so quickly and fluidly that it would be really hard to tell just whee exactly you are landing. In Ken Bob's book he wrote that without 500 frame / sec photography he couldn't even tell how the landing moved.

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  7. BarefootGburg Barefooters

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    Agreed. I've watched that Cucuzzella video many times and you can convince yourself he's mid/fore/outside/inside/heel landing.

  8. Barefoot Everett Barefooters
    1. New Jersey

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    I think as long as it's not heel first yet all 3, ball toes heel do indeed touch your good. I don't usually know for sure which order I land because it changes with the terrain, incline, decline, ormy acceleration or decceleration. I concentrate more on lifting the front of the foot first.

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  9. BarefootGburg Barefooters

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    Lift the front first, huh? I'll have to try that.

  10. Rusinque Barefooters
    1. Texas - Austin

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    See, I try to fully land forefoot, but I feel like im tippy-toeing. Its weird.
    My heel does touch the floor for quite some time when I run.
  11. BarefootGburg Barefooters

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    I'm much more comfortable with my heel making significant contact. If you feel like you are on your heels too much, maybe pick up your cadence a little?
  12. BFwillie_g Super Moderator
    1. Deutschland-Ger...
    2. New York

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    one of my pet peeves: the foot landing is an analytical tool (and not a very useful one at that) and not a goal in itself. Just relax the feet and let them land how they land.

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  13. talonraid Barefooters

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    I just try to land on the bottoms of my feet and it seems to work out for me.

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  14. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Doesn't it matter how fast you're going?: walk = heel strike; run - midfoot/flat strike; sprint = forefoot strike.

    That's what I thought too, Lee, and I still do, but I spoke to Ken Bob on the phone a few weeks ago, and he said he prefers the "ball of foot" landing. I totally get that.

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  15. rickwhitelaw Barefooters
    1. Utah

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    I agree with BFwille also. Often, I try to concentrate so much on my form, I don't relax enough. My last runs have been run by feel. No watch, no pace, no distance goals. Some of my best runs that I have had lately. No soreness or pain anywhere, so I must be doing something right.

    Comment on the walking = heel strike. I might look like a monkey, but I have been doing most of my walking and hiking with a mid-foot landing. It just seems to be easier on my knees. It's also fun to sneak up on my kids in stealth mode. Hard to do with a heel strike walk.

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  16. NickW Guest

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    Doing the heel strike walking is when my heel started hurting Rick. When I first transitioned to barefoot I walked flat or midfoot and ran forefoot/midfoot. Several months back I decided, stupidly, to try walking heel strike while barefoot on pavement. I didn't feel it at the time but I am beginning to believe this is what caused my heel injury and has me sidelined right now. I've been walking with a midfoot landing again and lately my heel is starting to feel slightly better.
  17. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I think most people tend to walk with a heel-strike, whether shod or barefoot, but not everyone. I think mechanics, injuries, and age will force someone to walk a different way. You should see me now when I walk. I look crippled.

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  18. NickW Guest

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    TJ, you're still in the healing stage after your surgeries... You will get better. In fact from what you've described, you have gotten tremendously better. It's all a matter of time TJ. You'll continue getting better.
  19. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    It can also be a matter of experience. If you're new to walking barefoot, it might take a while for the heel to get used to it, even if you've been running barefoot. Every spring when I'm in northern climes my heels get a bit sore when I start walking outside regularly again, and I usually get an over-developed callous that peels off a month or so later before a smaller, smoother one takes its place. It's part of the cycle.

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  20. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I think I am regressing, actually, getting worse. I will be seeing a neurologist on the 19th and then after that, they will schedule an EMG to test my nerve function. I have developed severe pains in my wrists, fingers (mostly the thumbs), and the muscles in and around my thumbs and the palms of my hands. I can't open a jar or a can anymore without great stabbing pains. My hands cramp all the time. My son handed me a loaf of bread last night at dinner, and my wrist felt like it was nearly going to snap off. It could be carpal-tunnel (which is also a nerve disorder), but it doesn't feel like the carpal-tunnel I had before. It's certain movements of the wrists that trigger the pain. Strange I can type though with very little pain, although the pain is still there. I guess it's because I have my wrists lying down in front of my laptop's keyboard.

    My feet are not getting any better. I thought they were a couple weeks back or so. I tried to walk a little outside about three nights ago, and I got about four houses away and decided to turn back. My toes are not burning and throbbing as much at night as they were, since I have been to massage therapy to have the scar tissue broken up. Over the past week and a half, I've only had two bad nights of burning and throbbing in the toes (always on both feet, at night while trying to sleep), which is good, but since she's been working out the scar tissue, we have now discovered two more neuromas (on the left foot, of course, as that's always been the worst foot!) I don't know if the massage therapy is setting the neuromas off or creating them. I now feel like I have lumps under my middle toe (and now starting on my right middle toe too) where there is no nerve, so how is that possible? I don't know if they are being reformed or if the doctor didn't take out as much of the nerve as he possibly could. I can't sit Indian-style or the tissue in my toes and balls of my feet hardens up, and I can't sleep on my tummy for the same reason. My toes, even when idle, feel as though they could "pop" under pressure, like there's a lot of compression going on. Understandably, the scars on my skin itch, but that's not a problem. But when my toes touch one another, I can feel them scratching one another. I was getting where I could be on my feet for longer periods of time before pain and numbness became really uncomfortable (unbearable after too long), but now, if I just take two steps, the nerves are firing. In many ways, it's a lot worse now than it was before the surgery. I'm screwed. Now, I'm just trying to come to terms with it. Will I be crippled for life? I've been through so much, I just don't see a light at the end for me.

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