In the world of running, rearfoot strikers and midfoot/forefoot strikes are like the Montagues and the Capulets. Each camp has its own devotees convinced their running stride is superior, but a recent study conducted by the University of Spain indicates that one style may indeed be better than the other.
Researchers gathered a group of half-marathon runners to conduct the study. Runner’s World has the methodology:
The researchers ran a group of 20 runners through several treadmill tests. Half the group were rearfoot strikers, and half midfoot/forefoot strikers (It has become common to lump these two together). All were allowed to use their normal training shoes, as long as the weight of each shoe fell between 8.8 ounces and 10.6 ounces.All subjects had completed a half marathon within six weeks of the testing, with the rearfoot strikers averaging 1:10:59 and the midfoot strikers 1:10:21. Both groups had been running for an average of 12 years, and covered about 55 miles per week in training. They also had the same body builds, equal vo2 max scores, and nearly identical stride lengths and stride rates.
[Source: Runner's World]