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What Part of Your Foot Hits the Ground When Running?

Running Technique: Where Do You Strike?

Runners have an ongoing debate about technique and what part of the foot is better to land (strike) on.

Some say landing on the heel of the foot prevents injury to the calves and Achilles tendon, and is great if you're running long distances. Other runners say that landing on the ball of the foot is easier on your knees and other joints and that it makes you feel lighter, which is great when you are sprinting or trying to run faster. Others land on the middle of their foot, because that's what comes naturally for them.

So I want to know about your running technique. Where do you strike?


Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I strike with my heel and I know this because my heels always feel the pain after a long run. I have plantar fasciitis that developed from the running, so I use special memory foam heel inserts in my shoes that really help out.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
kcboyer... thanks for the link! that video was useful, but they should have given some of the girls a better sports bra, the girl in the black tank top was porn-ish! :)
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
i do heel-toe on my right foot and land in the middle with my left! it is the weirdest thing ever and makes buying shoes a pain.
ohbaby7 ohbaby7 9 years
im a cross country runner right now...and while its important to strike on the balls of your feet when going up a hill, it really depends on how it feels for you.
kcboyer kcboyer 9 years
There was a great article in a recent Self Magazine that talked about running style. You can see the video on their site. Here's the link:
gal321 gal321 9 years
ball for speed, heel toe maybe for distance?
laluna27 laluna27 9 years
Im STILL trying to perfect my strike - help!
Calimie Calimie 9 years
I've always done heel to toe, it comes naturally. It would be difficult for me to run for a long time using the balls of my feet; but then again, I've never tried.
JudyRie JudyRie 9 years
I don't know. I'm not a runner, but when I run alongside my son on his bike (great, fun exercise), I know my husband, who was a runner when he was younger, always tells me I'm doing in wrong. Partly it's because I'm usually wearing sandals with no backs, which I know I shouldn't be running in, and so my feet do weird things. I'd like to start running, so I guess I should pay attention!
rumpel2 rumpel2 9 years
I was always told that I should run on the balls of my feet, so it comes naturally to me. but sometimes if i do that a lot my calves hurt...will have to try the heel to toe method.
stone_soup stone_soup 9 years
I find that if I land on the ball, I exert too much force on my foot. Makes my feet ache after a run.
dubyah dubyah 9 years
I got Tendonitis by 'just running' and not paying attention to my foot. Every since consciently landing on the heel of my foot, my running and foot have been virtually pain free.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I'm not quite sure, I think the middle.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Thanks DosThtComInMySiz, that helped!
DosThtComInMySiz DosThtComInMySiz 9 years
I used to run competitively and its true, if you are sprinting, you are supposed to land on the balls of your feet. Technically, you are never even to let your heel touch the ground....but i mean, really, how many of us are out there running 100 meters anymore? i haven't done that for 5 years... so for the vast majority of us, it is best to run heel to toe, pushing off on your toe. The correct technique is all in the shouldn't hear anything when you run! And make sure your shoes are new every three months if you run alot to avoid any more injury!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I just was thinking about this the other day when I was running; where am I suppose to strike! I naturally strike on the ball of my foot, but sometimes it gets sore (espeically if I'm running 4 days in a row) so I switch it up and try to run on the heel. I find it tough it strike in the middle, epseically when I have an incline. If there's no incline I can strike in the middle, but I always have an incline.
SummerBaby SummerBaby 9 years
middle.. it just happens! haha
mrsgrillo mrsgrillo 9 years
I always walked on my tip toes, even since I started walking,and when I my heels never hit the ground. I was a sprinter though, so it was ok. Everyone makes fun of me for it though, but oh well. My poor niece does the same thing too.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
i'm not a real runner, but I just pretended to run in the house and trying to land on the ball of my foot made me look like I was running in high heels and I was glad that no one is home
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