Forefoot Strikers

Are there any other forefoot strikers out there? Visited a running specialist shop at the weekend and I was told I was "weird" for landing on my toes first! Humph.


  • Hi Lycra,

    I forefoot strike when sprinting, mid foot when running long distance. You should be complimented; I have read that forefoot striking is the elite runner's usual approach!

  • Hooray! I was beginning to feel a bit paranoid. I prefer the sound of "elite" rather than "weird". I am obviously not at my full potential yet! Thanks for the reply.
  • Lycra -

    I brought this up a while ago on the training forum, chiefly because I had the same "unhelpful" (shall we say?) comment about my unsuitable forefoot footstrike.

    As noted there, I think it's right to say that most Elites run as you do (midfoot or forefoot rather than heelstrike), though a small percentage land on their heels first.

    The only thing to be aware of is that forefoot strike can contribute more to injury (supposedly), and in particular if you land excessively on your toes this is not a good thing as it can bring on "Achilles" (!) tendonitis.

    You might find as Dalya comments, that when you're running really slow, you're landing more on your heels - and I believe this is natural and desirable.

    It surprises me that the subject is not more discussed - and it's oddly worrying to get such a comment from a running shop who you think would know better. Mine was from a common or garden physio who didn't really know about running, so he could be excused -though quite frankly at the rate I was paying him, I don't feel like excusing him at all!!!!

    best. s.
  • Hey Lycra,

    Have always ran on my toes and it has not caused many problems too date - occasionally stiff achilles but nothing bad. I have tried to run more on my heels, but it seems so much harder. I always seem to revert back to running on my toes without thinking....

    It definitely must be the elite runners way though - Steve Cram ran very much on his toes I seem to recall...

    Do you have a problem with shoes..... I need shoes with as much cushioning in the front as the back... too many cushioning shoes assume everyone heel strikes, and the cushioning in the front is not always enough.. The main cause of my injuries seem to be when wearing shoes with insufficient cushioning? What shoes do others wear?
    Have always wore Nike due to the air cushioning, esp. in the forefoot of the Air Max, but my last 3/4 pairs have all had the plastic bubble split after not long, and hence lost the cushioning..... not good...
  • Hi, I remember when.....I'm on my second pair of Mizuno Wave Creation -they seem to have a nice pad of forefoot cushioning right where I need it. I used to use Nike Air Exeter but the Mizuno's are definitely more er.. squidgy? under the forefoot. Definitely give them a try if that's what you're after.
  • Thanks Puffer...

    ... the squidgier the better always seems to work. I like to feel as though there is an enormous amount of cushioning - feeling the road is definitely not for me... I'll give the Wave Creation a go - currently got a pair of Wave riders on the go, which are ok for speedwork, but the forefoot is too firm for me....

  • I'd agree that Mizunos generally tend to be better for the forefoot strike thing, chiefly cos they don't have the massive heels that seem mandatory on most other shoes (especially Nikes?!?), and the wave plate thingy seems to keep the midfoot nice and stable, which I think is especially useful for this style of running. The Wave Creations are probably the best bet for "squidginess" but I've never tried them personally.

    Having made a positive effort to alter my running style after the bad advice I got, I'd say however you run, stick to what's naturally comfortable and try to get the best out of that - listening to half-baked advice on matters like this can be very dangerous. As much as anything, as soon as you start thinking too hard about what your feet are doing, you stiffen up and that's precisely when you get injured.

    One other interesting thing I remember reading somewhere is that when we run barefoot almost all of us practically use a forefoot strike - I don't know what that means actually???!!!! but there you go. s.
  • My husband is a forefoot striker over all distances - runs very fast, gets very injured :(

    I only run on my toes over shorter distances and I've noticed that it's the only comfortable way to run when running barefoot.
  • Wow - thanks for all the information guys. Touch wood I haven't had a serious injury for a couple of years now.

    I've been wearing Adidas Cairos as they have cushioning right up to the toe box but I fear they are a dying breed! I'll check out the Mizunos when I need to replace my trainers.

    Its nice to hear I'm not alone!
  • Yeah, I'm a midfoot striker and need loads of forefoot cushioning but got a very different reaction from my running shop (Up&running) who said that mid/fore-foot strikers tend to be fast, when I said I wasn't he said well you have the potential to be fast! Given I am a lardy arse, I was touched by this positive comment, so don't worry, not all running shops are so negative and half-baked!!
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