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Old 07-16-2010, 12:20 PM   #1
Brad Butler
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Heel striking when walking

Hi everyone,

I'm noticing more and more that I heel strike very hard when just walking, and I think it's being caused by a flexibility issue but I can't pinpoint what's off and where.

When I run I've been focusing on mid-foot/fore-foot strike, and I'm getting a little better at it, but my body still wants to heel strike even when barefoot. When walking, it's seems like it's just the way I walk, with very hard heel strikes. If I try to correct it I feel like I'm tip toeing around on my forefoot.

Is this just the way some peoples anatomy is, or is there a way to test for flexibility issues somehow to try and pinpoint what's going on?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:25 PM   #2
Andrew Schechterly
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Re: Heel striking when walking

I'm pretty sure that almost everyone makes heel strikes when walking. But not with any amount of force that would cause an issue.

Do your feet ever hurt or are there any other issues?

I don't think it's a big deal when you're walking. I'd like to see you walking around on your toes all day though.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:27 PM   #3
Shane Skowron
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Re: Heel striking when walking

It's perfectly normal and there's nothing wrong with it.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:49 PM   #4
Brad Butler
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Re: Heel striking when walking

Well it just seems to jar my knees kind of, and I feel like I'm walking funny, hard to explain.

Also, with barefoot running I heard that your body tends to correct itself from heel striking, I don't feel like I do that without a very conscious effort.
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:40 PM   #5
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Heel striking when walking

Spend as much time as possible barefoot or in minimalist shoes. I used to heel-strike when I wore heels to work. I've quit now that I spend more time barefoot, and have a more natural gait even when I do wear heels.

Also, try walking more slowly and/or taking shorter steps. A long stride relative to your leg length practically forces heel-striking. That's a particular problem for short people, since we have trouble keeping up with taller folks.

Katherine
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:13 PM   #6
Mauricio Leal
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Re: Heel striking when walking

Since I started using VFF, it's become more obvious to me that even walking, especially on hard surfaces, lends itself better to landing on your forefoot than on your heel. Then again, some people just smash their heels down recklessly because they're so used to padded shoes, others can probably do it more gently. I know it looks kindof silly to walk on your forefoot, and most of us heel strike while walking 90% of the time anyway, but if it causes you pain.. I'd consider switching.
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Old 07-16-2010, 03:18 PM   #7
Thomas Covington
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Re: Heel striking when walking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
Spend as much time as possible barefoot or in minimalist shoes. I used to heel-strike when I wore heels to work. I've quit now that I spend more time barefoot, and have a more natural gait even when I do wear heels.
I can vouch for this as well. Wearing my VFF's has completely changed the way that I walk, and now that has led to changing the type of shoes I buy for work.
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:01 PM   #8
Steven Low
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Re: Heel striking when walking

Heel striking is natural is walking.

If it hurts, try barefoot on pavement... your body will relearn real fast in most cases what to do because it hurts if you do it wrong. (If you don't have an injury of course....)
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:49 PM   #9
Aidan Macdonald
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Re: Heel striking when walking

When I was trying to learn forefoot running, I taped a penny in the heels of my shoes

It made me walk awkwardly. but it worked. Now I still walk on my heels, but softly
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:25 AM   #10
Ben Kissam
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Re: Heel striking when walking

If I remember correctly from Born to Run, the author says that walking and running are not the same thing, and one trying to run barefoot should not confuse the two when learning the midfoot strike. You should heel strike, but if your steps are extremely sloppy and slamming, then focus on a more 'natural' walk I guess would be the idea.
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