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Last Appointment: 4:00pm

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When the Foot Hits the Ground, Everything Changes

Heel Strike

Study after study has shown that repeated impact between the foot and the ground can cause a wide range of injuries, from stress fractures to cartilage breakdown, from shin splints to low back pain.

Force impact on the body, created by each heel strike, equals:

  • 3.5 times a person’s body weight while running
  • 2.5 times a person’s body weight while walking
  • 0.5 times a person’s body weight in the neck


This  means  that a person  weighing 160lbs  feels  560lbs  of  force while  running  and  400lbs  while  walking, and 80lbs  of  force  in the neck  on  each  heel  strike.



At mid-stance, the foot 'flattens’ and is prone to pronation or hyperpronation. This   is  the  optimal  part  of  the  gait  cycle, at which point  excessive pronation can be seen and  measured.


An  untreated  foot  rotates (most often internally), which  in  turn rotates  the  tibia  and  femur,  and  then  the  pelvis. This  translates into the  sacroiliac  joint,  which  can  create  low  back  pain. This  is also  the portion  of  the  gait  cycle  that  can  create functional  leg  length  inequality.




In this phase, the foot becomes a lever. However, if the gait cycle is dysfunctional during heel strike and mid stance, toe-off (or propulsion) can be ineffective. In fact, a recent study found that foot flare prior to and during toe-off can cause a runner to run up to the equivalent of an extra half mile during the course of a marathon.


Foot Levelers Can Help


Foot Levelers custom functional orthotics help the feet and the kinetic chain throughout all 3 phases of the gait cycle.


  • Shock-absorbing materials, such as Zorbacel and MPAX in the heel of the functional orthotics, help alleviate force impact during heel strike.
  • Patented 3 arch corrections help maintain the structure of the arches and correct pronation and hyperpronation seen during mid-stance.
  • By addressing heel strike and mid-stance, stabilizing orthotics help make toe-off more efficient.