[ExI] Human running

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Mon Jan 16 08:41:00 UTC 2012

On Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 5:06 AM, ddraig wrote:
> Okay this is weird.  Aside from the fact that I can't read the article
> - anyone want to post the full text in here?  Anyways:
> "HUMANS living millions of years ago were endurance runners, but how
> did they do it without air-cushioned soles? The secret might have been
> to land on the balls of their feet."
> Errrr, how ELSE do you run? How do Americans run?

New Scientist and Nature are now behind paywalls to stop people
reading *their version* of science news without paying money.

Nature has a longer abstract available:
Humans have engaged in endurance running for millions of years1, but
the modern running shoe was not invented until the 1970s. For most of
human evolutionary history, runners were either barefoot or wore
minimal footwear such as sandals or moccasins with smaller heels and
little cushioning relative to modern running shoes. We wondered how
runners coped with the impact caused by the foot colliding with the
ground before the invention of the modern shoe. Here we show that
habitually barefoot endurance runners often land on the fore-foot
(fore-foot strike) before bringing down the heel, but they sometimes
land with a flat foot (mid-foot strike) or, less often, on the heel
(rear-foot strike). In contrast, habitually shod runners mostly
rear-foot strike, facilitated by the elevated and cushioned heel of
the modern running shoe. Kinematic and kinetic analyses show that even
on hard surfaces, barefoot runners who fore-foot strike generate
smaller collision forces than shod rear-foot strikers. This difference
results primarily from a more plantarflexed foot at landing and more
ankle compliance during impact, decreasing the effective mass of the
body that collides with the ground. Fore-foot- and mid-foot-strike
gaits were probably more common when humans ran barefoot or in minimal
shoes, and may protect the feet and lower limbs from some of the
impact-related injuries now experienced by a high percentage of

But Google can usually find similar articles elsewhere.


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