One of the many reasons heel strike running is bad is that its the only cause of lower leg chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) whereas forefoot running completely prevents the condition. This is because distinct impact forces are produced and hit the lower leg harder in heel strike running. The main reason for the unusually high forces in heel strike running is the result of the over-extended stride that is naturally accompanied when landing heel-first. This elongates the distance between the center mass (upper body) and initial foot strike position, and consequentially, causes the body to brake longer with the ground at landing. This intensive brake period produces the impact shock-wave directly involved in increasing lower leg intramuscular pressure beyond tolerance. Read more here!
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.