A Harvard study of competitive cross country runners concluded that runners who habitually rear foot strike have significantly higher rates of repetitive stress injury than those who mostly fore foot strike. The study measured foot strike patterns of middle and long distance runner’s feet.
What I found interesting and a little shocking is that every year 74% of the runners suffered moderate to severe injuries. Within the 74%, twice as many rear foot strikers had injuries than fore foot strikers. Now this is a small sample and they were competitive cross country runners but it is interesting to note.
Here are a few links to learn more:
Sweat Science – Lieberman on foot strike and injuries on Harvard’s XC team
Free Thy Feet – Harvard Study Supports Minimalist Running
Here is the study at the US National Library of medicine National Institute of Health.
Foot Strike and Injury Rates in Endurance Runners: a retrospective study.