Relationship between foot strike pattern, running speed, and footwear condition in recreational distance runners

Tsz Hei Cheung, Rodney Y.L. Wong, Tim K.W. Chung, R. T. Choi, Wendy W.Y. Leung, Diana H.Y. Shek

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Compared to competitive runners, recreational runners appear to be more prone to injuries, which have been associated with foot strike patterns. Surprisingly, only few studies had examined the foot strike patterns outside laboratories. Therefore, this study compared the foot strike patterns in recreational runners at outdoor tracks with previously reported data. We also investigated the relationship between foot strike pattern, speed, and footwear in this cohort. Among 434 recreational runners analysed, 89.6% of them landed with rearfoot strike (RFS). Only 6.9 and 3.5% landed with midfoot and forefoot, respectively. A significant shift towards non-RFS was observed in our cohort, when compared with previously reported data. When speed increased by 1 m/s, the odds of having forefoot strike and midfoot strike relative to RFS increased by 2.3 times and 2.6 times, respectively. Runners were 9.2 times more likely to run with a forefoot strike in minimalists compared to regular running shoes, although 70% of runners in minimalists continued to use a RFS. These findings suggest that foot strike pattern may differ across running conditions and runners should consider these factors in order to mitigate potential injury.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-247
Number of pages10
JournalSports Biomechanics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017


  • Minimalist
  • pace
  • shoe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship between foot strike pattern, running speed, and footwear condition in recreational distance runners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this