Self-identification by runners of foot type and foot strike pattern

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The foot strike pattern and foot type in runners are a common way of arriving at a running shoe prescription. Runners tend to assess their own foot types and foot strike pattern.

Runners Self Identification of Foot Strike Pattern:

Shorten (2014)"In the lab: of 17 runners that said they were heel strikers, only 14 really were; of the 20 that said they were midfoot strikers, not one them actually really were; of the 7 that said they were forefoot strikers, only 2 of them really were; ie 93% of those who said they were non-heel strikers were actually heel strikers"Not published (conference presentation)
Goss et al; 2012"Approximately 1/3 of experienced MS runners in this sample misclassified their footstrike pattern, and demonstrated a rearfoot strike pattern "Not published; conference abstract.
Goss et al (2015)"Only 41 (68.3%) runners reported foot-strike patterns that agreed with the video assessment"Used treadmill, but foot strike pattern is a parameter that has not been reported as being different between overground vs treadmill
Zdzarski et al (2015)"46.9% of runners correctly identified their foot strike pattern and 53.1% incorrectly identified their pattern"Presented at the ACSM Meeting; San Diego May 2015; not published.
Bade et al (2016)"The cross-country and recreational runners could correctly self-identified their foot strike pattern 56.5% and 43.5% of the time, respectively."

Runners Self Identification of Foot Type:
Hohmann et al (2012)"Forty-five runners (49%) identified their foot arch correctly. Eighteen of the 41 flat-arched runners (44%) identified their arch correctly. Twenty-four of the 48 normal-arched athletes (50%) identified their arch correctly. Three subjects with a high arch identified their arch correctly. Thirty-eight runners assessed themselves as overpronators; only four (11%) of these athletes were positively identified. Of the 34 athletes who did not categorize themselves as overpronators, four runners (12%) had clinical overpronation."Runners had poor knowledge of overpronation
Ramírez, 2022"Just 18.5% of the sample were able to identify their Medial Longitudinal Foot Arch, as 67.2% stated they did not know, and 14.3% erred in their self-diagnosis. Combat athletes had the highest percentage who correctly identified their Medial Longitudinal Foot Arch (25%)."
Son et al 2017"There is significant disagreement between patients' perception of their feet and actual test results. Many people may have an incorrect assumption about their own foot conditions that may be reflected in improper management."Not in runners
Ramírez & Suárez-Reyes (2022)"Just 18.5% of the sample were able to identify their MLA, as 67.2% stated they did not know, and 14.3% erred in their self-diagnosis."
"The ignorance about MLA by the athletes studied is presented as a problem of which consequences are unknown."
Some were runners; others combat athletes


  • Runners are generally poor at self identifying their own foot types and foot strike pattern.
  • Providing runners with running shoes based on the self identification of foot type and foot strike may lead to wrong choices if these are valid parameters for the prescription of running shoes.
  • The reasons for the poor self-identification of foot strike pattern is not known. It may be due to a sensory dampening from the shoe or an actual lack of understanding of just what the different foot strike patterns should feel like.

External Links:
How many runners who think they don’t heel strike actually do? (Run Research Junkie)
How poor are runners at self-identifying their foot strike pattern? (Run Research Junkie)
Self awareness of arch height and foot structure (Podiatry Arena)

Related Topics:
Overuse Injuries With Different Running Techniques | Foot Type and Running Injury | Foot Strike Pattern and Running Injury

Page last updated: @ 7:41 am

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