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Purpose and Background:
Recent research has begun to focus on foot strike patterns as they relate to injuries in runners. Runners who employ a rear-foot strike (RFS) pattern (in which the heel lands before the ball of the foot) are more likely to experience repetitive stress injuries such as tibial stress fractures, patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), and plantar fasciitis. Conversely, runners demonstrating a forefoot strike (FFS) pattern (defined as the ball of the foot-usually the 4th and 5th metatarsal heads-landing before the heel) are more susceptible to Achilles tendon, plantarflexor, and metatarsal injuries. Several systematic studies have concluded that barefoot runners employed a FFS pattern while shod runners used a RFS pattern. The purpose of this systematic review was to determine the effects of transitioning from traditionally shod running to barefoot running on self-selected initial contact patterns in long distance runners.
Self-selected Foot Strike Patterns in Runners when Transitioning from the Shod to Barefoot Condition: A Systematic Review of the Literature, Department of Physical Therapy, Thomas Jefferson University, capstone posters
Fisher, SPT, Jarett; Fraind, SPT, Thomas; Girardot, SPT, David A.; James, SPT, Erin; McCoy, SPT, Mary; and Pitts, PT, DPT, Carl, "Self-selected Foot Strike Patterns in Runners when Transitioning from the Shod to Barefoot Condition: A Systematic Review of the Literature" (2016). Department of Physical Therapy Capstone Posters. 11.