Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology and Health Science

Committee Chair(s)

Sydney Schaefer


Sydney Schaefer


Rich Gordin


Edward Heath


Eadric Bressel


Strike index (SI) quantifies how one’s foot contacts the ground at the beginning of the stance phase of gait. SI is reported as a percentage of the total foot length, with lower percentages indicating a more posterior point of contact, while greater percentages indicate a more anterior point of contact along the foot. Differences in SI may be related to running-related injuries, such that experienced distance runners who are rearfoot (posterior) strikers may have approximately twice the rate of repetitive stress injuries than forefoot (anterior) strikers. Previous research has shown that forefoot strikers, as opposed to rearfoot strikers, produce lower ground reaction forces. More specifically, forefoot strikers exhibit lower impact peak ground reaction forces and reduced vertical ground reaction force loading rates. Forefoot strikers also exhibit lower stress at the patellofemoral joint but greater Achilles tendon loading. The greater Achilles tendon loading may be attributed to a more plantar flexed position at foot strike, and may be of concern for a possible increase in injury risk. The lower ground reaction forces, lower loading rates, and lower patellofemoral joint stress associated with forefoot strike patterns may be beneficial in relation to running-related injuries, while greater Achilles tendon loading may not be