Like forefoot strikers, midfoot strikers need to wear zero drop running shoes because doing so will help these runners avoid striking the ground on their heel first.
For instance, the best running shoes for midfoot running should look like this:
Think Twice About Midfoot Running
In my opinion, midfoot strikers run the risk of heel striking at touchdown, why? Because in midfoot running, the heel and the forefoot are supposed to simultaneously contact the ground , but I believe that in most cases, cushioned heel footwear will cause a midfoot striker to unintentionally heel strike, which generates higher impact peaks as opposed to letting the forefoot strike the ground before the heel (i.e. a forefoot strike landing). Because these impact peaks are very uncomfortable, wearing a running shoe without heel protection will encourage a midfoot striker to avoid the unintentional act of making initial contact with the ground squarely on the heel.
Discover why heel strike running will get you into trouble with injuries.
Always Remember, Footwear Influences Foot Strike
Running shoes act as a foot strike dictator and wearing the traditional running shoe can create downward spirals in performance and injury.
The research shows that barefoot runners land with a forefoot strike whereas most habitually shod runners run with a heel strike, suggesting that foot strike depends on sensory feedback (proprioception), which in turn, is directly related to what you wear on your feet [2-9].
To undo the negative action of heel striking when running, the best running shoes for midfoot strikers are those that increase sensory feedback and prevent skewed judgements in foot strike.
Now that you know a little about proprioception, click here to find out why you need to maximize your proprioception to run your best.
More From Run Forefoot:
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome – Many runners suffer this dreaded injury, but many runners don’t know why. This article covers the main cause of knee injury in runners.
Achilles Heel – Found out why heel strike running is such a daunting task for the Achilles tendon, resulting in injury to the tendon.
Eccentric Exercises – We often hear about eccentric exercises, but you can achieve them just by running barefoot; find out how.
Forefoot Shoe Review – Read my review on the FeelMax Osma 2, an under-appreciated forefoot running shoes that is a great tool to help you mechanically run your best.
. Hayes P, Caplan N (2012) Foot strike patterns and ground contact times during high-calibre middle-distance races. J Sports Sci 30:1275 – 83. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2012.707326 PMID: 22857152.
. Lieberman DE, Venkadesan M, Werbel WA, Daoud AI, D ’ Andrea S, Davis IS et al. (2010) Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. Nature 463:531 – 535. doi: 10.1038/nature08723 PMID: 20111000
. Nigg BM (2010) Biomechanics of Sports Shoes. Calgary: Topline Printing. 300 p.
. Gruber AH, Silvernail JF, Brueggemann P, Rohr E, Hamill J (2013) Footfall patterns during barefoot
running on harder and softer surfaces. Footwear Sci 5:39 – 44.
. Hamill J, Russell EM, Gruber AH, Miller R (2011) Impact characteristics in shod and barefoot running. Footwear Sci 3:33 – 40.
. Nigg BM (1997) Impact forces in running. Curr Opin Orthop 8:43 – 7.
. Hreljac A, Marshall RN, Hume PA (2000) Evaluation of lower extremity overuse injury potential in runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc 32:1635 – 41. PMID: 10994917
. Milner CE, Ferber R, Pollard CD, Hamill J, Davis IS (2006) Biomechanical factors associated with tibial stress fracture in female runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc 38:323 – 8. PMID: 16531902
. Pohl MB, Hamill J, Davis IS (2009) Biomechanical and anatomic factors associated with a history of plantar fasciitis in female runners. Clin J Sport Med 19:372 – 6. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181b8c270
BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
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