Have you ever noticed how a lot of athletes are pigeon-toed? No seriously, if you really pay attention to them as they run, for many their feet don’t hit the ground straight. And yet they are faster. It makes you wonder if being pigeon-toed is an actual advantage for you, rather than just an amusing sight for everyone else.
I was so curious I actually looked it up. I mean it would be a great way for the pigeon-toed of the world to get out there and run in public more often, without feeling ridiculed for the way their feet move. Yes, admittedly there are people with this affliction that would rather play on the latest iPhone game than go for a run along the beach, but some might be inspired to run somewhere that isn’t the gym.
It turns out that there isn’t any scientific proof that pigeon-toes make you a good athlete. Although many coaches in sports like basketball and football actually seek out pigeon-toed players. So what is going on with our feet when we run?
The average runner will land on the outside of their foot and roll towards the inside as they go. People who are pigeon-toed have less of a roll towards the inside. Due to this, their foot and ankle joint is often stiffer as it contacts the ground. It is this stiffness that gives them an advantage over other athletes, because the stiffer your foot is when in comes into contact with the ground, the less energy is absorbed by the impact.
This means that a pigeon-toed person’s foot is a bit like a bouncy ball. They bounce back off the ground without losing much energy, quickening their pace. By comparison, people who are not pigeon-toed are more like a deflated ball, with less of a spring to work from.
So tell me, are you pigeon-toed … or did you used to be? If so, what did you do to change your running style?