Do you forefoot strike while walking? There is a lot of emphasis placed on how our feet land when we run, but what about when we are walking? Developing a forefoot walking style has numerous benefits including improving our running foot strike and posture.
Most of us don't pay any attention as to how our foot lands when we walk and we tend to land on our heels and over stride (stepping too far ahead) while walking. This style of walking places stress on our bodies and can be painful especially in minimalist shoes!
Notice how most people walk such as in the picture above. They are over striding and landing on their heels. You can see the entire bottom of their shoe as they walk towards you. All their weight rests on the back leg, making a forward movement more difficult. With a forefoot strike, their weight would be distributed evenly over each foot as they softly and quickly touch the ground rather than an abrupt stop each time.
Walking with a forefoot strike can be very fluid and graceful if done properly, but there are many other benefits to walking this way.
I like to go barefoot as much as possible (especially when I am at home) to build strength in my feet. I ditched my house slippers a number of years ago as I like my feet to have complete freedom of movement. When it is too cold for bare feet, warm, cozy socks keep my feet warm while still allowing my feet to move freely. However, my heels began to feel sore at times especially when I was on my feet a lot. This caused me to question how my foot lands when walking which was mostly on my heels.
To resolve this, I begin practicing a technique called "fox walking" which promotes a forefoot strike while walking, which is easier in bare feet or in minimalist shoes. I practiced this technique regularly not just around the house, but also outdoors while wearing minimalist shoes. It felt really great once I mastered the technique. I felt taller and I began walking faster without any extra effort. It has also helped me become more aware of how my foot lands when running.
This style of walking will feel a bit unnatural at first, but as you get the knack of it, you will love it!
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Flat shoes (minimalist shoes) are best for practicing this as your foot has more freedom of movement. I found a great minimalist walking shoe that I absolutely love. It has a flexible and comfortable Vibram sole which allows maximum freedom and connection with the ground. They have zero heel drop so they are also perfect for practicing fox walking.
It's the Merrell Glove Vapor and it's vegan friendly!
Need more support in transitioning to minimalist footwear? Check out Whole Body Barefoot: Transitioning Well to Minimal Footwear by best selling author Katy Bowman. This book lays out the steps necessary to restore lost foot function, and improve health naturally.
So what about you? What's your opinion on a forefoot strike while walking? Will you give it a try? Have you noticed just how many people over stride when they walk? We would love to hear from you. Please share your opinion in the comments section below.
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