I went for a little jog at lunch time, in the fresh powder, an out-and-back. Running back along my fresh tracks, I was intrigued with the angle that my feet make on impact. As I understand it, I'm a neutral runner, with cushioning shoes. I didn't have a protractor, but I'd guess I was striking at approximately 20° angle. Interestingly enough, my heels were almost perfectly inline (x = 0).

My intuition tells me this angle should be less. Are there generalities on foot angles or x and y measurements as below? Would I benefit from a motion control shoe - or is that totally unrelated?

Triathlon Conversion Calculator: http://www.tricalc3.com
iPhone / iPod / Android Optimized: http://www.tricalc3.com/tricalc3app/
I was doing the same thing, only with just my right foot. I never noticed it til my dr. pointed it out that I walk the same way. I spent 2 weeks focusing on not pointing my toes out, and it seems to have gone away. I've got some really ugly pictures of my marathon with that foot landing that way. I never felt anything odd, and I'm in a motion control shoe(mizuno alchemy) so I would have to say that it doesn't control that outward pivoting. I don't know if its a detriment, or does anything one way or another, but I have a guess, that unnecessary twisting is bad.

Steve
Steve Cram (Olympic gold medal winner at middle distance) had a large angle of toe-out and seemed to do o.k.! I remember reading an article about running technique many moons ago that used him as an example of a non-ideal running style regarding his foot-plant. I don't remember much detail, but the authour estimated that if he had 'corrected' his running from to a 'straight' foot-plant he would have effectively finished 9 feet earlier over 1500m. (sorry, that is an awful sentence - I hope you get the idea)

I don't know for sure if this is complete bunk or if it is possible or wise to 'correct' a running style in htis way and am not suggesting that you should try. I just thought it would be an interesting example.

(Based on no scientific knowledge at all or claiming any expertise) I don't think you should stress about this as long as you are injury-free running as you are.
The overall impression I have gotten from medical types is that mucking about with run mechanics is regarded as high risk unless you have a current injury.

Coaches on the other hand are more willing to help with such things.
LOL!

"Normal" angle of gait in an adult is about 15 degrees abducted, so you aren't too far off. If you have a child under 3, check out their foot prints!

____________________________________
Fatigue is biochemical, not biomechanical.
- Andrew Coggan, PhD
Ok - Thanks, and everyone else.
It was the first time I ever really noticed my own tracks. It looked like I was a duck doing skate skiing.
No injuries with this style so far.

Triathlon Conversion Calculator: http://www.tricalc3.com
iPhone / iPod / Android Optimized: http://www.tricalc3.com/tricalc3app/
Check out videos of Dave Scott running before you try and change anything :)

"Are you sure we're going fast enough?" - Emil Zatopek
BX3: This has absolutely nothing to do with your original question, but ... what tool/technique did you use to produce the diagram? I'm firmly in the "picture is worth a thousand words" crowd and I was very impressed with your use of graphics. How'd you do it?

Dan
A bit of hijack and I'm sorry, but I have a question for anyone with knowledge on this topic.

I seem to have external femoral torsion in my right leg. I have more pronation in my right foot (at least what I believe to be pronation...I walk/run more on the inside of my right foot) than my left. I've been diagnosed with tarsal collusion (?) in both feet/ankle systems and struggle with a lot of pain if I'm on my feet alot (standing around...running marathons...playing golf...anything). It's worse in my right foot. Does this sound about right? Is there any correlation between femoral torsion and tarsal collusion? I'm asking because it seems my daughter (1 yo) may have inherited my flawed skeletal system and I worry about her going through the pain that I do. I realize that most toddlers will have some torsion, but will likely grow out of it...at least that's what I've found on the web and hoping for.

The ortho doctor I saw said there's a corrective surgery technique, although not recommended. He said to take anti-inflammatory meds when I plan to be on my feet. Sound about right?
There is no correlation between a tarsal coalition and lack of internal femoral (or excessive tibial) torsion that I'm aware of.

If you have a true tarsal coalition (usually the middle facet of the subtalar joint, possible a calcaneo-navicular bar), running or weight bearing sports would be very difficult. If bone, will show easily on an X-ray. Cartilagenous or fibrious require and MRI to diagnose. Surgery is the only ultimate "cure", but it is a pretty rough surgery with a very long recovery period. After surgery, your rearfoot will be fused (most likely) and still "stiff", but likely less painful. This type of procedure is generally reserved for people that have severe lifestyle limitations because of their pathology (i.e. can't walk).

____________________________________
Fatigue is biochemical, not biomechanical.
- Andrew Coggan, PhD
BX3: This has absolutely nothing to do with your original question, but ... what tool/technique did you use to produce the diagram? I'm firmly in the "picture is worth a thousand words" crowd and I was very impressed with your use of graphics. How'd you do it?[/quote]

Thanks. It was done with Photoshop (10 minutes, using about 0.1% of Photoshop's potential) - although one could probably do it just as easily in Paint.

Triathlon Conversion Calculator: http://www.tricalc3.com
iPhone / iPod / Android Optimized: http://www.tricalc3.com/tricalc3app/
It was definitely tarsal coalition and I remember it being described as bones fusing together. Is that right? It's very painful whe my ankles stiffen up it hurts like hell to flex my foot upwards.

Thanks. I was curious as to whether there was a correlation. What would you look for as early signs of coalition in my daughter?

It's not lifestyle debilatating as I still race triathlons (even long course)...but it's difficult getting around for a couple of days.
Usually, tarsal coalitions are diagnosed in children. Depends on her age, since all kids look to have a "flat" foot until about age 4-5. after that, a flatfoot foot with the child complaining of pain laterally is usually the start. If there is no heel eversion/inversion is another clue. lateral lower leg (peroneal) pain or muscle spasms often are present as well as the peroneals try to pull/stabilize the foot to compensate for the fusion deformity.

____________________________________
Fatigue is biochemical, not biomechanical.
- Andrew Coggan, PhD
This reminds me of a related question I was meaning to ask. While running laps on a snowy loop I noticed that my tracks had a 'negative angle theta'. Probably in the range of about 3-5 degrees pointed inwards for each foot. I always remember my mom yelling at me to walk with my toes pointed out when I was younger, I thought I've worked passed this problem (if it is a problem).

I consciously have to remind myself to keep my toes pointed out, however I guess I don't really pay that close attention. I also noticed that when I do kick-sets in the pool, they have the same tendency. However when correcting during kicksets all efficiency in my kick goes to hell so I just let it slide.

I'm not hoping to hijack this tread either; just to hold it hostage in exchange for some wealth.
Funny, this is the second time I've come across 'toe out', I'd never heard of it before but came across this in RW
http://runningdoctor.runnersworld.com/...0the%20Running%20Doc

"Every time I transition from outdoors to treadmill and then back to outdoors (in December and March, because of weather), I end up in physical therapy! "

The RW running doc ascribes it to restricting your toe out.

Jim_n_La
...what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but only until it kills you - Cousin Elwood
It's funny, since I have the same problem (if it is a problem). :)

Any comments would be appreciated here too.

-cj