Unfortunately, many components of the conventional running shoe was found to literally tear away at the functional strength of the arch in ways that causes long-term damage, including collapsed arches and chronic plantar fasciitis as compared with running barefoot or in minimalist (barefoot-like) shoes.
Heel strike running in zero drop shoes will get you injured fast because heel strike running naturally produces a heavy burst in collisional impact at landing, whereby a lack of padding at the heel was fond to cause more rising tides of high impact that severely burdens the heel bone and even the shin! Whats worse, running shoes with a thick cushioned heel was found to cause heel strike runners to plow their heel harder into the ground. This is because the foot tries harder to push through all the compressible cushioned materials in efforts to reach a more stable surface. But bigger than that, the key to preventing and avoiding these highly injurious impacts is to land with a forefoot strike because its on record for preventing the kind of impact that cause injuries, especially long bone injuries.
Prior to 2014, Meb Keflezighi was a Nike athlete who ran with a heavy heel strike and struggled endlessly with injuries. In 2011, Meb signed with Sketchers, which markets their running shoes as ‘anti-heel striking’ footwear because the shoe has a rocker-designed underfoot that encourages a mid-foot to forefoot strike. It was the change in foot strike that enabled Meb to train more because he was injuring less, allowing him to bank more meaningful gains in performance whereby in 2014 he became the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since 1983! Foot strike matters!
One of the many reasons metabolic costs in running is lower when a forefoot strike is employed is due to the improvements in upper body posture and knee-joint angles at landing. These key improvements were found to prevent a force-intensive over-stride and excessive bouncing which reduced muscle force generation, while making the ankle better at translating more kinetic energy as compared with heel strike running, which was consistently found to produce shockwaves that can damage the shin, knee, lower back and energy economy!
The hard impact from heel striking was found to overload the arch, resulting in forces acting on the arch that are stronger than the forces acting on the arch in forefoot running. At the same time, the burst in high impact that always occurs at heel strike forces the foot into extreme positions (hyper-pronation), resulting in more bending and twisting strain rippling onto the leg and into the knee! What’s worse, there’s little indication that shoe cushioning is a quick fix for this. The best course of action is to adopt a forefoot strike landing because it was also proven to make it easier for the arch to store more energy-saving elastic power, which is what the arch was designed for.