February 18, 2019

 

Walking is a heel to toe gait.

The forefoot (P Sw) is often the area of most dysfunction in people, due to the shape of the toe-box in most shoes, and also the area of the highest force and longest contact time.

“How should I walk?” Is a common question we get. There has been an increase in popularity in forefoot-walking. However, this type of walking gait is only observed in healthy people when plantar sensory input is increased to point of pain through irregular surfaces. Forefoot walking demands more energy then a heel-to-toe gait, thereby making it a less desirable in nature. The morphology of the calcaneal (heel) bone is also testament to this as it is designed as a natural "rocker" to 'roll' your foot into mid stance with minimal energy expenditure.

There are many criteria to consider when assessing the functionality of ones feet. However, the main model of assessment used today is the 'pronation' model, whereby a visual measurement of the degree of pronation is made to asses the need of orthotics or pronation support, with very little to no consideration of the toes roll in steering and stabilising the whole foot. 

Image source: Gait analysis, Jacquelin Perry


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