heel strikes are not created equal

We humans like tidy little categories. With running shoes we like to take the diversity of options out there and categorize things as neutral, stability, motion control, lightweight,Nike Air Max 1 Hombre minimal, etc. without considering that shoes Nike Air Max 2017 Womens within each category are sometimes so variable as to make the category as a whole meaningless. For example, the business world includes both the Nike Free Run+ 5.0 and the Vibram Fivefingers in the same category (minimal/barefoot), which makes little sense either structurally or functionally (it’s a marketing category if anything).The same approach is applied to the running foot strike – we www.dannywinstanley.co.uk classify foot strikes as forefoot, midfoot, or heel, but the reality is that there is a huge amount of variation within each of these categories. For example, some forefoot strikers bring the heel down after contact, others don’t. The distance of the foot from the center of mass at initial contact varies. Joint angles vary.I’ve long said that all heel strikes are not created equal. Some people land Nike Roshe Run Femme with the foot angled 45 degrees to the sky Nike Dunk Sky High Mujer with a virtually locked knee, others touch down just slightly back toward the heel with a more or less vertical shin. There are lots of variants in between.Below is a photo compilation of foot strike variation from slow motion video (300 fps) that I shot at the 2009 Manchester City Marathon. You can see variation from heel strike down to midfoot as you look from top to bottom (I trimmed off the Nike Air Max Zero Femme forefoot strikers to reduce the image size) – all are at the first moment of foot contact with the ground:What you can see above is a lot of variation in foot dorsiflexion at contact, shin orientation, knee angles, and so on.What we’ve lacked until now is a good sense of how the different flavors of heel strike differ in terms of the way forces experience during running. I was reading through a summary Nike Air Max 90 Femme of studies to be presented at the Adidas NMD Mujerupcoming ACSM meeting on Steve Magness’ blog (great post, check it out here) and came across a study titled “Influence of Different Rear Foot Strike Strategies on Impact Force During Running.” This study was conducted by John Mercer and Sarah Horsch at UNLV – it is currently only an abstract, so one must keep that in mind, it has not been published in a journal yet.What Mercer and Horsch did was Adidas NMD Womens instruct runners to run over a force plate with either “an obvious heel strike (OHS) or subtle heel strike (SHS).” Instantaneously forced stride change studies like this need to be interpreted with caution, but what they found was that at a constant speed the runners exhibited an impact force in both conditions about 85% of the time, but that impact force was significantly higher in the obvious heel strike condition (1.68±0.54 BW for OHS Nike Air Max 95 Hombre vs. 1.55±0.44 BW for SHS; p<0.05). They conclude that “The unique observation of this study was that impact force was influenced by foot strike patterns that would both have been considered rear foot strike patterns.”
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