Tuesday, February 16, 2010

on toe or heel

seems a lot is being published in the area of feet and running. i've commented before on this in regards to barefoot vs shod running. we have that choice, unlike our fellow land animals, and we've chosen, for the most part, shod. so scientists keep checking things out to see how economical it is, both muscularly and physiologically. this study - http://www.healthcanal.com/medical-breakthroughs/5659.html - highlights the differences between running on the heels vs on the balls of the feet, and makes all the right claims: faster runners don't hit the heel, but heel walking is more efficient. anthropologically, it makes sense: we're basically all day walkers - go to africa and note the masai walking with their herds all day looking for grasses and water. they can run, and we are designed to do so generally on the balls of our feet, to escape or capture for survival. note that efficiency differs from effectiveness: if you wish to hurry, you'd be more effective rapidly getting onto the balls of the feet; if you wish to get there, without getting winded or sore, heel-toe works fine.

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