Barefoot Rick's Stride Analysis Video

Courtesy of
Stride Mechanics LLC
Jack Cady, Owner & Analyst

(Note: Frame speed has been slowed in places to allow analysis.)


Back in 2005, Jack Cady graciously offered his services to analyze my stride and form.  Jack wanted to compare my form as a barefoot runner to other non-elites and elites he has analyzed as well as give me a few pointers on how I might fine tune my stride, gait, form, etc.

First of all, the good news. My form is pretty good, according to Jack. I have a good hip tuck and I use not only the balls of my feet but also the mid-section of the sole for landing which allows the energy of impact to be dispersed more evenly ( like a tie-rod and strut system on a car). Then, there is an immediate heel touch after the mid-sole landing which sets me up for my leg lift.

Actually, the bad news is not all that bad. He stated that I could use a bit more hip flexion which would allow my legs to tuck a little more and allow them to come behind me at more of a 90 degree angle to my body. As he explained it, a higher heel kick actually shortens the lever arm of the swing leg which gives a runner better efficiency. This, according to Jack, will create more forward thrust with less stiffening of the legs. Ideally, according to Jack, a runner should have about a 25% knee bend. Most of the time I am at 20 to 25% knee bend, which is good.

Also, notice that my right arm swings a little more than my left. I conjecture that my right side is trying to push my left side a little faster. I have always struggled with sciatica in my lower left back and have experienced not as good of circulation on my left side. So, I may be trying to overcompensate on my right side by pushing the left side to conform.

Note: As we all know (as runners), it is difficult to get in our "zone" by just running a few meters on a track. Form, in my opinion, will improve after a runner has warmed up and "settled in". Jack explained that the transition can happen a lot quicker by knowing what components of form need to be worked on and then going through a mental checklist in your mind when starting a run.


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