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Did The Army Just Help Disprove The ‘Heel-Striking Myth’?

By on Jun 6, 2014

New research suggests that runners who strike the ground heel-first are no more prone to overuse injuries than those who do not, writes Laird Harrison for Medscape.com.

Results from the new study, based on US Army personnel, were presented at the 61st Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine. The conclusion is clear, according to Dr Bradley Warr, co-author of the paper (Footstrike Patterns do not Influence Running Related Overuse Injuries in U.S. Army Soldiers).

The bottom line is that we need to be very cautious changing someone’s running style.

A similar conclusion was reached by Craig Payne at RunResearchJunkie.com, given the results from other studies on the heel-striking issue.

There are no systematic differences in the injury rates when comparing heel vs midfoot/forefoot strikers or barefoot/minimalist vs shod when running.

An end to the ‘heel-striking myth’?

Other experts were less convinced. Harrison notes the thoughts of Irene Davis, director of the Spaulding National Running Center at Harvard University. The advocate of barefoot running questioned various aspects of the study, such as its retrospective nature and the fact that the injuries were self-reported.

She also was unconvinced by the sample involved, given that many of the soldiers did not run a great deal.

I think that’s a big flaw of that study.

More reading on heel-striking and running injuries

More on this story below; click here for daily running new updates and click here for breaking news.

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