forefoot striking

Been giving forefoot striking a good go now, gradually builing up distance and time. Thing is I've been using my inov8 mudroc, and am a bit concerened about wearing the studs down too much, and don't fancy splashing out 60 quid again when I eventually start getting out in the hills again (currently doing most of my running around a park, so majority is on pavement. Are any type of light performance shoes ok for forefoot, such as nike skylon, addidas boston. Also are the tigerpaw without laces any good?

Comments

  • The one model I keep hearing about in this context is the New Balance RC150.

    I'm sure Pantman or one of the other POSErs will be able to give you details - I think the shop's caleed 'Fast Feet' or something like that.
  • The 150s are available from Fast Feet sports for £25 a pair - go 1/2 size bigger than your normal running shoes.
    Phone number is @ www.fastfeet.co.uk
  • Aren't the RC150s a pretty minimalist racer? i.e. not the best thing for everyday running.

    I'm a forefoot striker too. I find i need a bit of cushioning under the forefoot if training on pavement.

    Shoes i've used:

    Adidas Gazelle - the first shoe they did with full forefoot adiprene+, a comfortable but zippy performance trainer. I imagine that later lightweight neutral adidas trainers with adiprene+ forefoot would be good too.

    Fila Flow - lovely simple responsive lightweight trainer for fast running. They feel too firm if your light on your feet and running slowly, but the cushioning feels perfect when your pushing the pace. I use these for fast reps on hard surfaces. Dirt cheap (30quid) from StartFitness at the moment.

    New Balance 1022 - A couple of weeks to break in, then wonderfully responsive for a cushioned shoe. Also a lower heel than most brands, so feels very natural to run on the forefoot. Durability of forefoot cushioning was the only down side.

    Asics 2090 - Not quite as responsive as others, but good cushioning and more durable. i use them for steady runs and long reps on road.

    Hope this helps you choose your shoes.
  • If you can run forefoot in 2090s then you are severely over pointing your toes or landing on them - there is no room to run properly due to the HUGE heel.

    I do all my miles in 150s - by far the better option - let the legs get strong rather than weak...
  • Disagree w.r.t. comment regarding 2090s. Heel looks bigger than it is. Heel of foot only sits marginally higher than forefoot.

    Had Pegasus a few years back - now there is a high heel - that did interfere with forefoot striking.

    As long as you're not reaching out in front to strike, it is comfortable to forefoot strike in 2090s. If you naturally run on your forefoot, 2090s won't stop you from doing so.

    However, I would not reccommend 2090s as a responsive trainer to heel strikers as that heel is quite soft.
  • I'm a recent convert to 150's, prior to that I used Saucony Team Taya which are a lot bigger and more of a performance trainer.

    I had a few aches in the calves for the first few miles in the 150's but now not a twinge. I've not had this level of ache and pain free running since I started - hopefully one day all running shoes will be made this way.
  • Regarding 'letting legs get strong,' i completely agree. Too many people rely on very protective shoes rather than decent technique and strength.

    I still think that doing all your runs in racers is a bit extreme for most people. If your strength and technique allows you to do that without injury then thats fantastic for you. But i'd not be willing to advise 'moor man' who hasn't been forefoot striking for very long to go out and do his regular training in racers.

    If i'm mistaken and RC150s are a performance trainer and not a racer, then i take it all back!

  • Tom,

    So are you using these for all your runs or just fast sessions and races? And what surface? Much road or sticking to the Old Forest?
  • Tom, unfortunately I cannot see that ever happening... :-(
    In fact almost none are made that way now. 150s have been discontinued and NONE of the other shoe companies make a shoe as minimalist (I have checked them all).
    The only way to get decent shoes post-150s is from fashion shops where retro trainers are back in. sad, but true...
  • Pantman, and anyone else interested

    Had a quick look at the POSETECH site. I am in agreement with the general argument that technique is overlooked by many runners (and coaches!), and that good technique (which includes a forefoot strike) is the way forward if you want better performances and fewer injuries.

    To doubters i point out that this is not a strange new idea - just a largely forgotten one. This is how the top runners have always run. In the days when only plimsoles were available, it was a case of run with this technique or get injured!

    Most running shoes are designed to accommodate bad technique rather than encourage good technique. I agree with PANTMAN that the ultimate shoes for all your running once you've mastered the technique would be minimalist racers. Whilst learning and practising the technique however, a good performance trainer that encourages / allows proper technique yet still provides some cushioning may be the best option.

    Would you like to add to or disagree with any of this pantman?


  • I started running first time ever last Aug as a heel striker. I soon converted to forefoot(Pose) and am a big fan of the NB150s. I do all my training and races in them. So far I've covered over ~650miles in my original pair.

    IMHO, I'd advocate using the minimalist shoes immediately to help master the technique and as Pantman states: let the legs get strong rather than weak.


  • thanks for all the feed back. Does anyone else run at all in the mudrocs, as they allow your foot to bend and flex more naturally due to the metarflex? technology, at first this gave me quite a lot of grief with foot pain but once my feet got used to it they have been fine. Problem is my soleus is still giving me bags of grief on my runs, and shin splints on my left leg have made an unwelcome return, but then I prefer this pain rather than illiotibial band problems. Now been doing forefoot striking for 7wks tried doing pose for a while but couldn't quite get the knack, so decided to carry on with forefoot, small cadence landing foot directly underneath and bent leg landing. still finding it difficult with the breathing though, feels as though my fitness has took a big dive, also feels as though I'll never get back to my past mileage and bigger runs, and my times are still down.
  • moor man: Don't feel disheartened. Pose is only a method/approach for you to gain an efficient individual style. Your description seems to indicate a good style but surely you mean small strides with high cadence? Are you bent forwards at the waist or is your body straight perhaps with a slight lean forward?

    When I converted to pose my weekly mileage took a dive however I was able to build it up to higher then what I did as a heel-striker. And my case is not unqiue.
    The fitness will return and hence times will improve (since your style is better).

    Are you doing any specific calf/hamstring stretches or strength exercises?

    As for breathing, I tried the old breathe in 3 steps breathe out 2 steps. Very hard with high cadence. I try to belly-breathe with a natural period.

    If you are close to London, then a group of us meet at St James Park to practice Pose running. These informal sessions have been invaluable for me to hone my technique though I still have a looooong way to go.

    Good luck!
  • sorry, got cadence mixed up with stride length. I won't be able to get to st james park as I'm from up North, but thanks for the invite. I've tried both leaning slightly forward and keeping body straight (after reading Gordon Pirie's guide to running injury free)currently running with body straight. I do the usual calf and hamstring stretches and do squats, or dumbell deadlifts (unfortunately only once a week)
  • I've got a pair of mudrocs moor man and I agree that they are lovely to run in. In fact my first time out in them was a 90 minuter round Richmond Park and I had no problems at all. It's hard to resist not using them far more often - even just to walk around in. They are definitely doing something right with their construction.
  • chaos, have you seen that inov8 have brought out a lighter version of the mudrocs and also that they have brought out two versions of trail shoe? Might be tempted with the trail shoe later this year, if you've seen it what are your views on thickness of sole in regard to forefoot striking?
  • Alex - like NRG-B, I went "cold turkey" and swopped straight away, but I was injured at the time and so I picked up the mileage very slowly.
    Having a "halfway house" has worked for some, but I think that it allows you to get away with insufficient adaptation.
    But any progress in the right direction must be a good thing...
  • No, hadn't seen that moor man. I'll have to find out who is going to stock them and take a look. However I think their philosophy of shoe construction leads to a fairly low profile heel so likely to be ok.

    Not that I need any new shoes just yet...
  • Chaos: I bought some very cheap rubber surf-shoes from the local Decathlon for about £6/pair. The rubber is only a few mm thick everywhere (ie no heel) and quite resilient. Perfect for teaching the kids about barefoot/forefoot running but with added protection when running outside.

    You can never have too many shoes ;-)

    RunnerWorld: It seems every few weeks this sort of thread crops up about pose/forefoot running. And a number of us provide some "standard" responses - which is perfectly fine by me. RW, if you're monitoring this how about an article on Pose/forefoot running and I mean a PROPER article?

  • NRG, I doubt that there's any chance of a decent article in RW. I've been reading it on and off for 3 years and I don't think there's been a single new article in the last 2 years they're either old ones or obviously just press releases.

    To do the article justice you'd need a proper journalist with a scientific slant that could read the several studies (not just the abstracts) that have been published recently on this subject and look at case studies (I'm sure there's plenty of volunteers here). I noticed that Tim Noakes had started doing this in the latest revision of the Lore of Running. Perhaps RW could commission Tim Noakes to do an objective article on this. The article could be published in both the US and UK versions of the mag so it would be money well spent.

    I don't need convincing since switching to the 150's I doubled my weekly mileage without even a twinge, although I did have a blister on my toe after a 15 miler.

  • TB: I think the Journo should also be a runner who has given forefoot running a good go. By that I don't mean a day reading Pirie or the Pose website but perhaps at least 8-12 weeks trying the technique with some of us.

    The 150s are slightly tight (ie buy half-size bigger). I use (used!!) LockLaces (elasticated laces) which soon got rid of the blister I had on my little toe.
  • Anyone know where I can try on some NB150s?

    I have weird feet and while I note the recommendation for half a size bigger, it wouldn't necessarily be right for me.
  • XFR: I don't know of any local shops. Fastfeet are in Bishops Stortford though.
    I've ordered some small pairs for children on the basis that if they don't fit I can get them exchanged.
  • Haven't been on these forums for ages, just looked at some of my old threads/posts. How times have changed with the whole forefoot/barefoot topic. Glad to say I'm still doing it. after years of puma h streets, gave up on them due to build quality with the uppers tearing from the soles after a few hundred miles (used to get 1200 miles out of them) I'm now wearing puma roadracer with the insoles removed, quite a high heel but doesn't seem to cause any issues.

  • moor man,

    I'm from Chicago, IL, USA.  I've posted a little on the Paris Marathon thread in Events.  Starting back in late April, I've been gradually shifting over to minimalist shoes.  I've become more of a midfoot/forefoot striker during the past 10 years, so I was curious as to how minimalist shoes would work for me.  I bought a pair of Nike Free Run +3-5.0 first, the a pair of Nike Free 4.0 V2 and New Balance Minimus 1010 about a month ago.  I started out just wearing the shoes to walk around at work, and then gradually putting running miles on them.  I was still rotating in my "normal" running shoes.  Three weeks ago I had a sudden twinge in my right knee, and the next 2 days my runs had to be cut short due to knee pain.  The 3rd day the pain started immediately, and I took 5 days off running.  When I started back running, on a hunch I went cold turkey over to all my runs in the minimalist shoes.  Right away I could feel the improvement.  Each day I could feel my knee getting stronger, as well as my calves and feet.  Eighteen days after my injury I ran 15 miles at the fastest pace I've managed in 3 months.  The Nike Frees are very lightweight and the soles are very flexible.  I have a much better feel of the road in them.  I do a lot of my mileage on concrete and seem to have adapted well.  I hope you have good luck in your shoe choice.

  • I forgot to mention that the Nike Frees are about 75% the cost I'd been paying for my "normal" shoes.  I was paying up to $125 US per pair for "normal" shoes and I'd only get about 350 miles on them before the mid-sole cushioning would start to wear out.  The Nike Frees are around $80 US and I've heard of people putting up to 1,000 miles or more on them.  It sounds like I may end up saving quite a lot.

  • Royboy, I've generally always stuck to puma as I have a very narrow foot and heel and they always seem to be the best fit. It also seems that recently my off road/trail shoes have become a lot more minimal. I've been wearing the nb minimus and the nb 110 for trail races. both seem to have worked really well for me. If anything I've gone for a bit more cushioning than I used to with the roads as the puma h street used to have next to no cushioning and the puma roadracer has that bit more.

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