AskHQ: Breakover

Q: What is the breakover?

The breakover is the last phase of the stride and covers the time between the heel leaving the ground and the toe leaving the ground. ‘Delayed breakover’ means that this phase takes longer, as may be the case with a long toe, and a ‘shortened breakover’ means that it takes less time. A ‘shortened breakover’ may also be referred to as an ‘improved breakover’ as it results in a reduction in the forces acting on the dorsal wall and toe, and is either a consequence of shortening of the toe, or from the provision of a mechanism allowing the foot to roll more easily.

There is some confusion and disagreement surrounding the term ‘point of breakover’. This term can be used to refer to the point on the toe that is the last part to leave the ground, but sometimes it is used to refer to the point on the wall where the foot starts to roll over as the heel leaves the ground.