Introduction: It has been suggested that striking on the midfoot or forefoot, rather than the rearfoot, may lessen injury risk in the feet and lower limb. In previous studies, a disparity in distribution in footstrike patterns was found among elite-, sub-elite, and recreational runners. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the footstrike patterns among novice runners. Methods: All runners were equipped with the same conventional running shoe. Participants were video filmed at 300 frames per second and the footstrike patterns were evaluated by two observers. The footstrike was classified as rearfoot, midfoot, forefoot, or asymmetrical. Results: A total of 903 persons were evaluated. The percentages of rearfoot-, midfoot-, forefoot-, and asymmetrical footstrike among men were 96.9%, 0.4%, 0.9%, and 1.8%, respectively. Among women the percentages were 99.3%, 0%, 0%, and 0.7%, respectively. Conclusion: Nearly all novice runners utilize a rearfoot strike when taking up running in a conventional running shoe. Hereby, the footstrike patterns among novice runners deviate from footstrike patterns among elite and sub-elite runners. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
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