Shelly and I ran the Dallas White Rock Marathon a few weeks ago. As I often do, I spent most of the time watching others’ running gait. I saw some people that ran with great form. I also saw a load of people that had horrid form. So goes road racing.
One particular brand of bad gait stood out, though. The vast majority of minimalist shoe runners (approximately 20) I saw were overstriding with a pretty heavy heel strike. This occurred from about mile 2 until the end of the race. There were only two that had good form- David, a RW/FB friend I ran with for a few miles and a Japanese dude.
This is significant because minimalist shoes aren’t designed for heel striking. Most of us agree heel striking is bad enough in traditional foot coffins, but it’s downright stupid in minimalist shoes. The forces created WILL lead to injury.
The worst part- these people running with terrible form will probably blame the shoes when they get injured.
Pete Larson discussed this problem after shooting video of the NYC Barefoot Run this year. It seems this is a chronic problem. Unfortunately, most of the people don’t seem to realize they’re heel striking AND overstriding.
I like to think we’re doing a great job educating the public, but it looks like we have a long way to go.
New to barefoot running? Start here!