Is the rearfoot pattern the most frequently foot strike pattern among recreational shod distance runners?

The goal of this study was to determine the distribution of the foot strike patterns among recreational shod runners and to compare the personal and training characteristics between runners with different foot strike patterns. Foot strike patterns were evaluated with a high-speed camera (250 Hz) and photocells to assess the running speed of participants. Personal and training characteristics were collected through a questionnaire. The inter-rater reliability of the visual foot strike pattern classification method was 96.7% and intra-rater reliability was 98.9%. 95.1% (n = 489) of the participants were rearfoot strikers, 4.1% (n = 21) were midfoot strikers, and four runners (0.8%) were forefoot strikers. There were no significant differences between strike patterns for personal and training characteristics.

This is the first study to show that almost all recreational shod runners were rearfoot strikers. The visual method of evaluation appears to be a reliable and feasible option to classify foot strike pattern.