Forefoot strike, rear foot strike or running shoes. Does it matter?

David Janoušek, Pavel Stejskal


The main aim of this article is to provide some insight into evidence-based data in running. The prevalence of a rearfoot strike (RFS) pattern is much more usual than a forefoot strike (FFS) even among elite distance runners. There has been significant pressure on runners to change their running style from RFS to FFS in recent times. Usually, this has been justified by the statement that FFS relates to a lower injury rate. Recent studies have shown however, that this statement is probably not true. Different types of strike pattern have an influence on loading different structures of the lower limbs, but the total incidence of running related injury is the same regardless of the type of foot strike pattern.

We want to provide not only an objective view on running technique but also an evidence-based view on the choice of running shoes. There are many recommendations to consider when choosing running shoes, especially in running stores, but only a few of them are supported by research.

This article is not a meta-analysis but it provides some evidence based information about running styles and running shoes.


forefoot strike; rearfoot strike; running; running shoes; foot strike pattern

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