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Why Do Runners Kick Their Feet So High?

If you have ever watched a marathon or any long-distance race, you might have noticed runners kicking their feet quite high. I did some research to find out why.

The reason runners kick their feet so high is primarily due to centrifugal force when the hip flexis which causes a recoil effect, like a spring. The faster the runner is moving; the more power is loaded into this spring which pushes the foot higher resulting in a higher kick. This unintentional high kick improves the stride distance in turn making the runner faster.

Let’s take a look at the reasons behind this phenomenon and its significance in the world of running.

Understanding Running Technique

Before we delve into the reasons for high-kicking feet, let's take a moment to understand how running technique works. When we run, our bodies propel us forward by pushing off the ground with each step. This requires a significant amount of force, which is generated by our leg muscles.

However, it is not just about sheer strength. In order to run efficiently, we need to use proper running technique, which involves foot strike, stride length, and arm swing, among others.

Why Do Runners Kick Their Feet So High

So why do runners kick their feet so high when they run? The answer lies in our stride length.

When the hip flexes as we run a lot of the energy is going to propel the knee forward. This causes centrifugal force to move the foot higher. The higher we pick our foot off the ground the greater stride we have. This shows runners subconical kick their feet high as a result of increased stride length.

The Role of Genetics

While high-kicking feet may be beneficial for many runners, it is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to running technique. Some runners naturally have a higher knee lift than others, due to genetic factors such as muscle fibber composition and limb length.

However, this does not mean that those with lower kicks cannot achieve success as runners. With proper training and technique, all runners can improve their performance and reach their goals.

Other Factors to Consider

While you may need to get used to high kicks when sprinting at high speed there are other factors which are more important such as cadence (the number of steps per minute) and foot strike (the part of the foot that makes contact with the ground). You should perfect your running form to improve your performance and reduce the chance of injury.


If you're a runner looking to improve your performance, consider working on your running form such as cadence, and foot strike. In time you will naturally get used to high kicks as this is less important than other form techniques. With dedication and practice, you can achieve your running goals and enjoy the many benefits that come with running.


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