Going Wide: The Role of Stride Width in Running Injury and Economy

Stay the CourseA few months ago, I had a pair of patients suffering from lateral ankle sprains. As with all patients, I watched them walk. As usual, I looked at several factors, but what struck me most was how narrow they walked: the one with bilateral ankle problems walked as if she were toeing a thin, straight line in front of her. The other woman, with unilateral ankle sprains, stepped normally on one leg, only to land quite narrowly on the affected side.

Each person exhibited hip weakness – difficultly stabilizing on the narrow side and pushing off on the opposite side. Addressing this weakness corrected the issue and resulted in full recovery.

About two months ago, in my road-marathon buildup, I began to experience lateral foot pain. It’s been a recurrent issue for me for the past year, but kept in check with diligent focus on forward trunk engagement and efficient foot placement beneath my body. However, this just didn’t seem to be enough. Finally, on the tail end of a gloomy Eugene afternoon run, it occurred to me: “Could I simply be landing too narrow?”

So I hopped onto the treadmill and this is what I saw: In the first shot, I ran what was comfortable (far left of the three images below). Then, I switched to “running wider” (two right images below). (How I “ran wider” warrants further discussion below.)

Run All 3

My right leg always landed beneath me, and at a relatively low angle beneath my pelvis. However, my left leg – the painful foot side – was consistently narrower than the right. When I corrected, they were roughly equal.

After that day, I began to “run wider,” and what I found was that my lateral foot pain went away within only a couple days.

I thought long and hard about this: “Okay, this may be taking my pain away, but is it the right thing to do, or is it merely a simple – or even asinine – fix?”

In my years as a runner and coach, I came up with a number of these hair-brained ideas, only to have them, at best, unravel. (Or, at worst, implode.) As a result of those errors, I now thoroughly test any new intervention against the following Uhan’s Rules of Running Mechanics:

  1. Any intervention should enhance – not detract from – the efficient Synergistic Neuromuscular Gait Pattern.
  2. Don’t re-invent the wheel. What are other people doing? Is it helpful in other sports or disciplines? Is there evidence to support it?
  3. Any intervention that relieves running pain should always result in faster running (improved running economy) – eventually.

So, where does “Going Wide” lie within those rules? Let’s take a look:

Stride width and The Pattern

In last September’s column on trunk alignment, I alluded to the optimal leg action in the running stride: “Flexing and extending the extremities in synergistic neuromuscular movement patterns – where the end result is more powerful and efficient than the sum of its moving parts.”

While this is a subject for an upcoming post comparing different schools of run-mechanics philosophy, I think most of us will agree that running involves the leg flexing up and extending down. Beyond that, opinions diverge. But what most people would agree upon is that we do not run like robots, arms and legs going straight forward and back; rather, we move in subtle diagonals and spirals.

According to the Synergistic (or, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) Model, the more precise pattern for the push off includes not only hip extension but hip abduction: an outer push. Conversely, the hip drive phase includes adduction (an inner drive). Therefore, a degree of outward, lateral action is appropriate in the stride – and the best time to do so is in the push-off, not the landing – an important distinction to make a sustainable, efficient change.

Looking more closely, the abduction action at the hip, an outward push in the extension phase, actually aids in propulsion. Most runners know this implicitly, if: A.) they’ve ever been injured and Googled their injury, or B.) read Runners World, or Letsrun.com: “Strong hip abductors are important to running!”

So what do hip abductors do in running? One idea is that it makes use of stabilizing muscles such as the gluteus medius – and turns it into a forward propeller. Moreover, when accessed, the hip abduction force results in a slight outward push of the foot off the ground. The result is that the opposite leg lands slightly wider.

Re-Inventing the Wheel: Is a Wider Push-off Helpful in Other Disciplines? Is There Evidence to Support It?

Humans are humans. Anything that requires either maximum speed or maximum endurance will, in theory, contain fundamental similarities of movement. That said, mechanical concepts – such as “Going Wide” – if optimal, should appear across other disciplines.

My first A-Hah!/Duh! moment came from recalling how both sprinters and jumpers stride out. Ever seen a long jumper take off down a runway? What do they do? They run wide! They begin by taking excessively wide, side-to-side, bounding strides that gradually narrow as they gain speed. Why, exactly, they do so is unknown to me, but I believe they maximize stride power and top speed by engaging the hip abductors.

Going beyond that, I thought of our Nordic brethren: the skate skiers and speed skaters. They both utilize a long, low-friction blade to alternatively push wide and glide for maximum speed and efficiency.

The evidence for a wider, hip-abduction-based run intervention was gaining steam…

But all this was intuition. What did the research say?

A quick search of the literature came up with some recent, quality studies examining stride width and various leg stresses. Coincidentally, a trio of studies conducted at my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, by Stacey Meardon and colleagues, have demonstrated a relationship between step width and tibial stress and iliotibial band strain, when comparing runners with varying stride widths. Namely, those who exhibited a “crossover” gait style – where one foot lands to the inside of the opposite leg’s previous position – had over 20% greater IT band strain than those with wider (zero to three centimeter) stride widths.

While no study has yet to directly associate stride width with injury, they have demonstrated that the narrow stride width puts increased angular stresses on tissue. Here is a comically-simplified diagram explaining those stresses:

Narrow vs Wide stride width

Besides IT band stresses, a narrow foot strike has potential to cause other issues, including:

Lateral foot painThe outer foot and toes striking the ground, first
Plantar foot/heel painSets up the foot for pronation and torquing through the plantar foot
Bunion/great toe painExcessive lateral foot strike inhibits push off through big toe/ball of the foot
Shin splintsOuter foot strike overstresses the shin muscles, which must control the pronation
Lateral hip/lumbarOverstretching of lateral hip and pelvic tissues

Back to the clinic, I began to re-examine several of my runner patients and found that many of them with other pain complaints also exhibited a narrow strike: and always asymmetrically so on the affected side. They presented with a variety of conditions beyond IT band or lateral foot pain. And each of them has improved with an emphasis on a wider step width – via increased hip abduction in push-off.

Step Width and Running Economy

Finally, I assessed the impact of increased step width – via a stronger, wider push-off – and running economy. The feedback, both personal and professional, is that increased abduction push-off results in faster running: both on easy running and top-end track intervals speeds.

The physiological, evidence-based and cross-sport rationales support this:

  • hip abduction is a known element to a strong, stable push off in walking and running;
  • mounds of research link hip abduction strength (and lack thereof) to running economy;
  • other sports (skiing and skating) support an element of outward propulsive push; and
  • sprinters and jump athletes employ a lateral push off for speed and power generation.

Diagnosing and Treating a Step Width Issue

If a runner suspects step width might be an issue, the first step would be to have some simple video analysis performed. A simple rear shot of treadmill running is all that is needed, but even running in a straight line toward/away from the camera will suffice. In absence of a camera, try this: find a long sidewalk crack or narrow painted line and see if you can simply land each foot directly beside it – without landing on it, or crossing over. The line needn’t be wider than 3 centimeters – the distance noted as “preferred” in the Meardon study.

What exactly constitutes a pathologically narrow stride is thus far unknown; but a simple definition may be:

Any stride where there is no spacing between foot placements, or when the feet crossover the previous foot placement.

The presence of a narrow or crossover landing pattern, concurrent with past or present leg pain in one or both legs, suggests that a wider step width may be helpful.

Increasing stride width, sustainably with maximum efficiency, requires an emphasis on a wider push-off. Simply “running wider” – in my clinical and personal experience – is ineffective because it focuses on the landing (where hip abduction is not natural), instead of the push-off. Running wider in this way may make you look like you’re running to the restroom!

Drills/Techniques for Creating a Wider Stride

Here are drills and techniques that you can use to develop a slightly wider stride:

Lateral hopping

Find a small object – or line on the ground. Start standing beside it, the outside foot on the ground, the foot beside the object, elevated. Hop to the other side, landing on the outer leg, the inner leg, again, elevated. Alternate, quickly jumping side to side. Your goal is to keep your trunk positioned in the middle, over the ball. This is a common soccer quick-feet drill.

Lateral skipping

Skip with alternating legs, but instead of purely skipping forward, add a lateral force: imagine standing in a track lane, skipping from the inside (left) line to the outside (right) line. Work on forward propulsion with this slight lateral action.

Lateral stride-outs

Begin with the lateral skip, then go progressively faster and narrower until you take-off into a sprint. Emphasize the lateral push-off as you transition into full speed. Be the sprinter and jumper!

“Straddle the Crack”

Out on the run, fine the occasional sidewalk crack – the more narrow the better – and practice “pushing wide” and landing just to the outside of the line.

Again, simply avoiding the crossover should significantly reduce leg strain and improve running economy!

Side Effects!

Any time you change your run stride, even this mild adjustment, can result in aches and pains. Here are some common findings:

Increased medial foot soreness          

You are now more actively loading the ball of the foot and inner margin. This is a good thing, even if you have a pain history in the arch. It’s like the difference between “walking the dog and dragging the dog:” actively using a muscle is healthy; passively torquing and stretching causes injury.

Increased medial calf and shin soreness

A narrow stride overuses the lateral calf and leg, and under uses the inner muscles. Again, “walking versus dragging:” the medial muscles will start to work more, causing temporary soreness.

Increased glute soreness

Great! That means you’ve picked up a valuable new motor!

Tightness in the groin and adductors

A narrow stride results in tight adductors, running wider stretches them. Simple hip and groin stretches will generate the range of motion and alleviate this perceived tightness.

You run faster

This is a nice problem to have. Cherish it, even if you’re initially working harder.

Implications for Ultrarunners

Ultrarunners are especially prone to a narrow stride width for two reasons:

  1. We run slow, and get really tired! The slower pace (and decreased demand for the hip abductor motor) results in stride narrowing.
  2. Singletrack! Narrow singletrack often does not allow a normal, comfortable stride width. So we run narrow, and tend to stay there.

Improving stride width, besides alleviating injury pain and improving speed, also provides better stability (provided the track is not too narrow) on uneven terrain, and aids in uphill propulsion by adding the help of the hip abductors.

That’s a lot to consider. But if you’re dealing with chronic leg pain, step width represents a new frontier of exploration, for both pain relief and more efficient running!

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • Do you know any narrow striders or are you a narrow strider?
  • Has this article given you any food for thought on your stride and possible deviations within it that could be causing you pain?


Sports Biomech. 2012 Nov;11(4):464-72. Meardon SA, Campbell S, Derrick TR. Step width alters iliotibial band strain during running.

Joe Uhan

is a physical therapist, coach, and ultrarunner in Eugene, Oregon. He is a Minnesota native and has been a competitive runner for over 20 years. He has a Master's Degree in Kinesiology, a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, and is a USATF Level II Certified Coach. Joe ran his first ultra at Autumn Leaves 50 Mile in October 2010, was 4th place at the 2015 USATF 100K Trail Championships (and 3rd in 2012), second at the 2014 Waldo 100K, and finished M9 at the 2012 Western States 100. Joe owns and operates Uhan Performance Physiotherapy in Eugene, Oregon, and offers online coaching and running analysis at uhanperformance.com.

There are 53 comments

  1. astroyam

    Hi Joe,

    As usual very interesting article. Couple questions/comments:

    – How wide is too wide?

    – It seems having one longer leg ~might~ cause the shorter leg to land narrow for a couple reasons. Have you noticed this and are there any recommendations if this is the case?


    1. OOJ

      Thanks for the comment!

      1.) "Too wide": That's a difficult question to answer. There's very little research to even suggest how much is too much. However, I will cite the Meardon study by stating that "preferred" width was 3cm, and anything with a zero or negative width (crossing over) caused greater tissue stress.

      2.) Leg length: I haven't noticed a correlation of leg length difference (LLD) and step width difference. However, a significant LLD can cause a myriad of other issues.

      LLD is very complicated, and often not a true anatomical difference; rather, an issue of asymmetry in the spine/pelvis/hip. If you feel (or have been told) you have a LLD, consult with a PT or other health care professional to determine where, exactly, it's coming from before trying to fix it (e.g. heel lifting) yourself.

  2. Gump

    Joe, I've been having pain on the outside of my right foot for months now ever since I decided to shorten my stride due to over-striding which was causing hip pain. Maybe I have been going narrow without realizing it. Great article…Thanks!

  3. Jeff Faulkner

    Thanks for another very informative article, Joe. Are there any sites with video footage of the drills/techniques you mentioned to help with the narrow stride? I'm pretty sure I am a candidate for this and I'd like to try to fix it ASAP.

  4. Samantha

    Great article! I used to have a narrow stride and the thing that helped me was running in snowshoes. They have just enough material on the inside of the snowshoes that you are forced to run "wide" or fall on your face. I will be using the other exercises mentioned above during the warmer months when my snowshoes go in the closet.

  5. eric hodge

    great article, as always. i wonder if road/trail camber would cause you to narrow one half of your stance (at first just due to basic physics, but then through muscle development)?

    not sure if this is my issue or not, but it sure sounds like something i should look into. i've been experimenting a lot with this type of thing in my form lately. i notice when i land on the balls of my feet more, i tend to run a bit wider. that seems consistent with what you've written, although possibly a different order of cause and effect. i also find this tends to lead my to turn out my left (the bad one) foot a bit more. i tend to run a bit pigeon toed, as a walk. this slight bit of turnout seems to give my foot a bit of relief, but then tends to tweak my knee a bit.

    the chain of it all is an ever frustrating balancing act.

    regardless, i sincerely appreciate the very clear writing, and very clear corrective suggestions.

  6. Dee Makepeace

    "The Gait Guys" have three instructional videos on this subject (well, on cross-over gait) on Youtube. My husband and I have been working, for about the last four months, on their assertion that the glutes should be in charge your foot's on the ground (which widens your gait), and abdominals should be in charge when your foot's in the air. It's very useful to add these exercises to our repetoire. Another useful thing they say is…STOP THE POWER LEAKS!

    1. OOJ


      GREAT post! I have seen those videos (I even watched the crossover video this morning).

      As for gluts and abs: LOVE It. I think they're DEAD on, 100%. This will be the topic of a spring/early summer column on "the running pattern", in which I'll compare the Pose and Chi schools, as well as that gluts/abs concept!

  7. UtahRunner

    "Going wide," like "going narrow," may present problems of its own. For example, a stance that is overly wide may result in a stride where too much energy is spent on side-to-side, rather than forward, motion. Such inefficiency can be problematic over long distances where energy conservation is important. A professional gait analysis may be worth the $$ if you have access to a facility that performs those.

    1. OOJ

      You're right. However, because of gravitational (and reciprocal) forces, excessive stride width is extremely rare. However, forcing it too wide will waste energy.

      You're right #2: spending some $$ – OR, simply having a friend video you and looking, yourself – is absolutely worthwhile.

  8. Luke Garten

    After two IT band injuries I have started strength training. Focusing on single leg squats, lunges, hip abduction etc. I have noticed my knees seem further apart (never rubbing) and feet landing slightly farther apart. I am assuming having stronger Gluteus Medius has helped that.

  9. MonkeyBoy

    Always enjoy a well researched and though out article from you, Joe. I think between your articles and the work contributed by Ian Torrence, folks have some outstanding resources as they continue to grow within the sport.

    Nice work.

  10. trail running

    I'm just curious but don't elite racewalkers use a "narrow" stride where they step along a line to generate more power with the hips? I've also seen videos where pro runners "run along a line" with their footstrike in the straightaway at the end of the race. I'm thinking it does engage the hips more for power but is metabolically costly strategy. If everyday people do it its probably a sign of compensating not any kind of attempt to generate more power, especialy if it is only happening in one leg. It is probably a good idea to get it corrected.

    1. OOJ


      I believe racewalkers do that out of necessity of keeping both feet on the ground, per rules. A narrow stride is a longer stride, or more power generation *for them* without ever leaving the ground.

  11. tom wilson

    A few weeks back I had serious tightness in my right hamstring, glute, lateral shin, ITB and also noticed excessive wear on the lateral side of my right shoe. I set a mirror in front of my treadmill and watched the torque in my knee, shin and foot as I landed laterally and rolled through to big toe/ball-of-foot toe off. I changed the impact point by widening slightly and leveling or flattening out my foot to land centrally or slightly medially. Almost immediately all tightness was gone.

    1. OOJ


      I'd also look closely at trunk alignment. Often (usually due to a chronic injury on the other side) a trunk will shift over to one side and cause overload, which sounds like what you're describing.

      This is an issue that I, myself, am working through, as the result of trying to train-through multiple injuries (don't do it!).

      A narrow stride width + a trunk shift is very complicated and requires a PT/biomechanist intervention, for sure.

  12. John

    Thank you for this article, I'd never considered the issue, but I am now, and was interested to note that the word "pronate" came up a couple of times. Although I don't suffer at the moment from any injuries, I do pronate on one side, so I'm wondering if this could be due to bringing the stride across from that side, and if that's the case, might it be worth experimenting with bringing that side's foot-strike out slightly?

  13. sharon

    I made it as far as seeing the pictures of you running with the angles laid over, when I had to jump up and test my walking, and yes, my left foot landed much more narrow than my right. When I corrected my foot placement I automatically walked much faster. Even more excited I came back to read the rest of the article, and I believe it may really, really help me.

    My first running pains ever (~ca 7 years ago) were from a really tight and cramping right hip and upper hamstring. I was told then that my abductors were REALLY weak, but deep down did not believe my PT because when I looked in the mirror, my abductors looked big enough.

    The last 2.5 years I have not had so many problems on my right side, while I have had a never ending string of large and small problems on my left side, a list of which you have made above. I have been told to land more on the inside of my left foot, but thinking about how I land has never been a good idea. Using my right push-off to dictate my left landing is SO much easier.

    After work yesterday I had a 400 m interval session on a indoor track, so it was a great time to try using my abductors to force my feet to land further out. Two-hundred meters into the warm up someone behind me yelled out, "Hey! was this supposed to be the warm up?". Interval training was fun again.

    1. OOJ


      Thanks for the excellent feedback. I think you're right-on with the R push off impacting the L stance. Your long-term focus should ultimately be on symmetry: both hips pushing equally, so keep that in mind.

      Also: be aware of 'side effects' noted above: increased soreness or tightness as the body adjusts. Take caution!

      But overall, that's terrific feedback!

  14. Andrew

    Hi Joe,

    Wow really interesting article, this makes a lot of sense to me.

    I guess that if there are muscle imbalances / weakness in adductors / abductors this could lead to a narrow stride as it puts the standing leg right below the centre of gravity meaning that these muscle groups are put under less stress in the short term (but predisposing the lateral kinetic chain to injury).

    Do you think that is the reason that the body would make this adjustment?


    1. OOJ


      That's a pretty accurate theory as to *a* cause. However, stride narrowing – especially if it's *only one side* – can be very complicated, and involve issues of trunk symmetry, as well. This is an issue I, myself, have been struggling to get under control.

      But, awareness of the difference – and some active adjustments – is a great start, and, at the very least, a great management tool for pain or dysfunction that can arise from a narrow stride.

  15. Wayne

    Thanks Doc. I have been struggling to pinpoint my problem with my right leg pain. I bet a dollar to a donut that this insight will take care of my issue. Thanks for the priceless information.



  16. Adam Gentzler

    Stabilizing and strength are tricky things. Strength is measured by pure cross sectional area of a muscle, and I've found true "strength" issues fairly rare. Almost half of muscle fibers tie into fascia, not a musculotendinous junction. If you have fascial distortion in any group of synergists or along the fascial train, it can lead to "weakness". Training coordination is just as important as strength. Neuromuscular coordination training paired has been shown to give better results. And even then, removing fascial problems can lead to "strength. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC35374

  17. Kix

    A few things just came together reading your article. I have trained martial arts for many years while also participating in triathlon and now ultrarunning. My run coach insisted that I give up martial arts to avoid injuries and focus on running. I gave it try. In hindsight, what I gave up were the strengthening/flexibility sessions. Ok, so I was no longer bruised and showing up with broken ribs but, my hips tightened right up and led to very painful 50 milers. With the hips tightening up, the gait became narrow. I noticed that when I got tired running, my hips dropped and gait became narrow. I know focus a lot on hip strength and foot placement. Great article. Thanks.

  18. Matt Newell

    Damn you Joe!!! Now I'll be analyzing my gait in my sleep until I can get into the clinic tomorrow. Great article! Good stuff Sir!

  19. OOJ


    Thanks for the post! Snag a camera and set it up on a stool behind you on the TM. Also be mindful if there's any trunk deviation – this has been my "cross to bear" for at least 5 years (and my pet project for two).

    Clinically, if you see a unilateral narrow landing, there's nearly always a trunk deviation involved. Side-skipping really brings it out (see video above).

    Good luck!


  20. Dom

    Hi .. Thanks for such an interesting article. I'm a 100m sprinter and my problem is an excessive wide stride. I also walk and run like that. Ultrarunner has touched on this subject and as you both suggest my concern is that I am wasting energy to the side. I am trying to correct this by emphasising a narrower width consciously (even when walking). Would you know of whether any strength imbalances are causing this? Any correctional exercises that you suggest?


    1. OOJ

      Hey Matt-

      As with any dysfunction, motor control plays a huge role. Drills and strength can help – how much varies. For most – if not all – runners, there must be some conscious focus when running. That means, being mindful of a strong, somewhat wide push-off. This really begins at the foot (emphasis ball of the foot, big toe loading). But be careful: if you're not used to engaging the medial arch, plantar foot pain awaits!

      Good luck!

  21. Matthew

    But in the article you say "simply 'running wider' – in my clinical and personal experience – is ineffective because it focuses on the landing (where hip abduction is not natural), instead of the push-off." I have been sticking to just the drills because you said that focusing on a wide push-off was ineffective.

      1. Matthew

        Sorry, I'm still a bit confused though. Wouldn't focusing on pushing-off wide cause too much side-to-side movement rather than forward movement?

        1. OOJ

          Yes. I'm uncertain there's any data to suggest an optimal force vector, but I would guess it's about >90% pure extension with <10% lateral push.

          Consider this: find a painted line (thinner the better) or sidewalk crack. Push-off wide, just wide enough that you can feasibly land (within millimeters) of either side of the line.

          You'd be shocked how hard this can be, for someone with a narrow/crossover stride problem.

          Good luck!

  22. advancingrehab

    Before googling I had discovered accidentally that my stride width on the right is far more narrow than my left. I have been struggling with lateral knee pain and heel pain on the right for a year almost. I know I have a chronic right hip weakness.. I just thought I'd got to grips with it! Seems not. I can definitely agree that glutes soreness and medial shin / calf pain are a side effect, however I am back up to running 5k now (almost) pain free from only 1k. More work to be done, very grateful for some more advanced drills to work upon from this article. Thanks.

  23. Shay

    I just found this article after suffering with continuous adductor pain after a pelvic stress fracture and pregnancy. I found my post-pregnancy gait is now a cross over gait. Super helpful article. Can you help me understand a little better what you mean when you say to push off wide?

  24. mookie

    I think I am an underpronator. I get pain on the outside of my feet when running about an hour. I have neutral cushioned shoes which should help, but its still the bottle neck from running further. I now think this is my real problem.

  25. Sean Sweeney

    Thank you, about two months into training for an Ultra. I’ve been changing it up with Fartlek, tempo, and hill runs. Was experiencing pain below the knee (tendon i think) and my pace has been so SLOW. Tried to run wider today on a tempo run- Could feel it in the glutes, pace increased, and less pain!!!!

  26. Doug G.

    I had tested running wider before ever reading this article because, while it felt unnatural, I could feel an immediate and noticeable reduction in hip pain when widening my stance to keep my foot more underneath my aggravated hip.

    However, I felt silly doing it as I had never read anywhere that stance width really mattered all that much. I did a quick search and found this article and my experience mostly lines up with what you explain here.

    After making a more dedicated effort to run wide, my hip pain almost immediately disappeared, though I now have some glute and ankle pain which I hope is temporary while my legs/feet learn to stabilize to a different stride width. My body still has a tendency to run narrow when I am extremely tired, so I have to watch out.

    Thanks for the article!

  27. Lew Harter

    I found this article after the fact. I had shin pain for years that I discovered after grudgingly going to rehab in May of last year. They quickly identified that I had severe peroneal tendon inflammation. The sorest area in my case was a couple of inches above my ankle. It was also quite sore at the insertion point under my foot. They did analyzed my running form by having me run on a treadmill while they shot video from multiple angles. They quickly saw the crossover foot strike. I had been doing it for years apparently. They applied steroid via Iontophoresis, and this brought relief almost immediately. They showed me some exercises to do, and I practiced a wider foot strike. I ran over 1,200 miles in the second half of last year with no pain. That is something I never could have come close to in the past due to my lower leg pain. You are spot on with your analysis. Wish I had found this article earlier. I think my issue was likely compounded by the fact that I have bowed legs.
    Thanks for publishing your article. Hopefully it helps a great many people.

  28. Karl

    This is so awesome, I recently discovered it for myself, it has really helped my running and basketball. My feet were in so much pain due to narrow running, widening my stance is a life saver!

  29. Neil

    Great article and addition to the Gait Guys. Did you have lateral foot pain during your runs or after/morning after (PF like)? My lateral foot doesn’t hurt while running although lower peroneal may tighten some. Big issue is lateral area of heel and abductor digiti minimi after sitting or getting up in the morning. Thanks again for the article. I worked on widening a couple years ago with good results but “lost” it. Like you, my problem leg is more narrow than good leg. Thanks again!

  30. Jefff

    Sorry but your assessment is 100 percent incorrect from the research I have done. Stride width is drastically affected by shoes any raising of elevation causes a coorodoonding widening of the stride.

    So any studies of gait should be first studied with barefoot runners but this is rarely the case. A wider stride really causes habit on the sacrum angle and this leads to lower back problems. Bill Bowerman first discussed these issues in 1965 but was told a low shoe would not sell.

    Shoe hieghts are so elevated that they must be considered in any gait study but rarely are.

  31. Robert Brownell

    Wow!!!! I have always noticed when I wear long pants they rub together at the ankles and make noise – I always wondered why my pants do that and other people’s didn’t. I have had chronic shin splints, to the point I had to stop running last summer to avoid stress fractures. I am looking at a couple pictures (taken pretty much straight on) from the run segment of a triathlon I did last weekend and guess what I see??? My feet appear to land directly under my center line. I just tried walking with a wider stance and feel like I am walking as if I just completed a long horseback ride. Thank you for this article I am praying it will help to eliminate my shin splints.

  32. Susan

    Hi just a question. Some one suggest that i run with an elastic band just above my knees to help with wider strides. Does this make sense

  33. Magnus

    There is an interesting parallel in swimmers hands crossover. It is considered one of main reasons for messed up shoulders. Instead of putting the hand in front of the shoulder you put your hand somewhere in front of your head because it “feels” straighter -putting unnecessary stress on the shoulder and destroying the streamlining.

    In swimming it is might bee caused by a desire to streamline and maybe bad body awareness.
    I wonder if it is the same kind of psychology in work here? It does feel bit more effective to run “on a line” .

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