Transition to forefoot strike

Hi all

Going to keep this post short since I couldn't post my full previous post.

I'm looking to transition to a forefoot strike to minimise stress on my knees and just wondered if my New Balance 625 cheapy running shoes are suitable? Or my Hi Tec squash shoes (old school I know) would be a better choice as they have a smaller toe-heel differential.




  • You are new to running (previous post) - what makes you think you need to change?

  • M...eldy wrote (see)

    You are new to running (previous post) - what makes you think you need to change?

    I have noticed that I strike quite heavily on my heels and this is causing me some knee pain, particularly since I have Osgood Schlatters. I am under the impression that a forefoot strike is less damaging to knees and hips?

  • How old are you?

  • Well it certainly isn't as easy as just getting out there and changing your strike... My calves hurt and I felt like I was prancing/tip toeing.

    I have found this video:

    Unless anyone has any specific recommendations I suppose I'll do these drills for a while (whilst continuing with my regular running for now).
  • XX1XX1 ✭✭✭

    I've not watched that video but I'd suggest cutting back on the distance so as not to stress your calves too much.

  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭

    There will be lots of different opinions but I think you shouldn't worry about heel or forefoot striking, but just try to avoid overstriding by having your foot land as far under your body as possible i.e. not stretching out in front. If you manage to do this correctly, chances are you'll have a midfoot or forefoot strike anyway. I have a light heel strike when running slowly and transition to a forefoot strike when I get to about marathon pace. I do paw-back type drills in an attempt to avoid overstriding.

    Just my opinion. Good luck.

  • Thank you for the advice guys.

    I'm about to order some New Balance Minimus shoes too.

    I'll concentrate on my feet landing under my centre of gravity and make sure I take the distances slow and steady.

    This morning I was conscious that when I run I am quite heavy on my strike so am looking to improve this to enable me to run more lightly and thus suffer less impact related knee pain.

  • find a park, football pitch, field or something like that, take your shoes off and have a run. That's how I reminded myself of "proper" gait after an injury. Once you get the feel you will be able to do it comfortably in shoes. Start slow, walk, jog, run then sprint in one stretch. You'll be surprised at yourself as your body remembers what it's meant to do.

  • Have you had the Osgood Schlatters recently diagnosed?

    And for what it's worth, significant amount of knee injuries are related to muscle imbalance problems.  It's always worth investing in a strength/conditioning and stretching program alongside the running (if you don't already).



  • I think you know if you have the Osgood Schlatters. 

  • Running flats are a good choice if you want to practice forefoot striking.  There's lots of information out there, try googling 'Pose running technique', 'Chi running' or Gordon Pirie forefoot.  Change in technique will hammer/stretch the calves at first so don't try to go too far or too long too soon.

  • So Ive been doing a lot of reading on the subject and it would seem that a focus on posture, stride and rhythm are the keys and the foot strike will come... Read a lot from Lee Saxby.

    Does anyone know of an inexpensive zero drop shoe? My budget is £60 or less, many thanks again guys,

    Yes my Osgoold Schlatters was diagnosed by a specialist a few years ago ????

  • Agree re comment re avoiding over striding and landing under your centre of gravity. The minimal shoes in themselves, in my view, don't make you run more naturally - it's a slow and gradual learning process.... i found the book the "the cool impossible" useful. I "learnt" by using 5 Finger shoes once a week for quite short runs..... After I learnt I've moved to minimal shoes...

  • I too would think minimal shoes are more likely to add to your problems short term than they are to solve them ... the transition to minimal as David suggests is gradual, if you are prone to heel strike you certainly meed to be careful with them

  • I went for my first run in my new Freet Meta AYR shoes this morning.

    Turns out when I run with them, I naturally don't heel strike. I know that I haven't been running with good form until now, I can really feel the different muscles being used as I land on my mid/fore foot. I kept the distance short and included walking intervals and I felt great.

    Just going to continue working on my form and increasing my run time and distance in my new shoes!

    Thank you for all of your comments image

  • I do feel like my ground contact time is small when I strike with my fore foot, but whilst it's protecting my knees, it causes quite a lot of stress on my achilles.

    I prefer mid foot!

  • Just a thought .... went for a great run in my Vibram 5 fingers this morning. 5.5 miles over fields, trail, stoney paths, bit of tarmac and felt as comfy as running in Hoka's - plus a great sense of freedom. Brill.

    Re comment above re forefoot v mid foot. Changing to natural running style does put extra strain on the calf and achilles during the transition. Hence  careful and steady transition. I reckon its taken me between 12 months and 18 months to fully transition. But as above its been well worth it.

    Also transition is not just about the foot landing - its also about being more upright, landing under centre of gravity, shorter strides and the "shape" of the stride. To get the real benefits......... in my view image 

    Now I've transitioned its 5 fingers once a week but otherwise low drop, 4mm seems great, neutral cushioned (not maximal cushioned) shoes.

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