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GW researchers find variation in foot strike patterns in predominantly barefoot runners
Date:1/9/2013

landed on their forefoot. This contradicts the hypothesis that a forefoot strike characterizes the 'typical' running gait of habitually barefoot people."

Some Daasanach individuals switched to a forefoot strike when running at high speeds but a forefoot strike was not the typical foot strike pattern at any speed.

The analysis of running gaits within the Daasanach is only the second study of its kind and its results differed significantly from those of earlier research, which had suggested that, when running at endurance speeds, habitually barefoot people tend to land on their forefeet instead of their heels. Given that humans were barefoot for millions of years during which our foot evolved its current shape, the research also has implications for hypotheses regarding the running gaits that would have been used by our ancestors.

Mr. Hatala said the results of the study suggest that running speed, alongside other factors such as the firmness of the running surface, may have similarly influenced variation in the running gaits of early man, rather than one gait being preferred in all circumstances.

"The challenge ahead is to identify the most important factors that influence how barefoot people run and the healthiest style for today's runners," said Dr. Richmond, a co-author of the research.


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Contact: Latarsha Gatlin
lgatlin@gwu.edu
202-994-5631
George Washington University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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