I’d been reading a lot over the past couple of years about “Natural Running.” The best way to describe “Natural Running” is that it is how you would land on your feet if you weren’t wearing shoes. To get a feel for what this is, put on your shoes and pay attention to what part of your foot strikes the ground first. For 75% of runners, it’s their heel. Now take your shoes off and try running barefoot across your lawn. Pay attention to how your feet strike the ground. You will find that you land on your forefoot or your midfoot NOT your heel. Your heel will eventually touch the ground, but not initially. So it is natural to strike with the forefoot/midfoot.
By landing on your forefoot or midfoot, the impact gets significantly distributed to your muscles so it does not transmit the full impact to your joints. Advocates claim that this reduces injury and down time, AND increases your speed, because some of the force of the impact can be returned to you during toe-off because it is not absorbed by the heel shoe where it is lost. You also don’t need a big high heel to absorb the impact. Most shoes have a heel that is about a half inch higher than the forefoot.
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