Personality Test for Runners - Chi Living

Personality Test for Runners

Posted by Katherine Dreyer on Tue Jul 29th, 2014, 8 comments

“Your biography becomes your biology.”

Judge your personality or place in life based upon how you run.  As a more fit and modern palm reader, ask your friend, spouse or take it upon yourself to take off a shoe and read into a sole.  Instead of looking at hand lines and wrinkles, learn how your experiences and attitudes shape the movement of your body. 

Here are 6 different personality types based on your wear.  And, make sure to download the more detailed guide for deeper scientific insight.


The Wanderer
1. The Sole Pattern: Wear under the big toe (metatarsal head).
The Running Issue: This could be a sign of your feet splaying out or over-pronating.
The Personality: If your feet splay out, you might need to do some core work, on a physical and emotional level. Emotionally you could need to learn to focus and find your raison d'etre. Try meditating to become more deeply aware of your full presence and your internal compass. You probably have a big picture vision and see problems and issues from many perspectives which is wonderful. Your goal is to take that broad perspective, make a choice and then put that choice into motion with firm, determined, straight forward (rather than side to side) focus.

The Short-sighted
2. The Sole Pattern: Wear along the outside (lateral) edges of the sole.
The Running Issue: You probably have a cross-over stride when you run.
The Personality: The cross over stride runner might be limited in their vision, without seeing the big picture. You may be over focused, perhaps a bit myopic or maybe a bit confused in life.  It’s like being cross-eyed emotionally, and perhaps a little dizzying. You hover too close to the centerline of life, like walking a tightrope without looking up. Broaden your vision as you broaden your stride just a bit. Look up and view all your options.

The Over-Achiever
3. The Sole Pattern: Wear under the forefoot.
The Running Issue: This shows you're either A.) a toe-runner and or that B.) you're a scuffer (a low pendular leg swing) which adds stress to your knees.
The Personality: The toe runner personality has a tendency to be a very high achiever, maybe an over-achiever. You want to give it all you’ve got, which is great. But, this over-zealousness is the cause of a lot of running injuries and can mean you’re trying too hard in life as well. Toe runners tend to overwork in every aspect of life. This Type A personality needs to learn to relax, let life flow, and not push so hard. Remember, you don’t have to prove anything to the world. You’ll have more energy to be successful when you allow some energy in, rather than pushing so hard.

If you’re a scuffer, you may have low energy or an unwillingness to put more energy out. But, it’s not about working harder in life, it’s about adding a little lift to the energy you have. In running, you need to bend your knees. In life, you might want to look up, look into the future, or on the bright side of life. Just a little lift of spirits and you could be soaring.

The Second Guesser
4. The Pattern: Wear on the rear-lateral corner of the heel.
The Running Cause: Heel striking with your foot splayed out. This pattern often combines with #1 - heel striking on the lateral heel, then pushing off with the big toe.
The Personality: The personality of this type is a combination of #1 and #5.
Toeing off and heel striking is like driving with one foot on the gas pedal and one foot on the brake. You see the big picture but it may feel overwhelming and makes you cautious and want to put the brakes on. You might have difficulty committing to a course of action and then really going for it. Make a firm decision, commit to your course of action, and then gently, but consistently stick with it. You need to feel grounded and in touch with your physical body and the earth with every step.

The Worrier
5. The Pattern: Wear across the entire rear heel.
The Running Cause: You're a heel striker and you dorsiflex your foot. This is usually the sign of an upright running stance or the upper body leaning back rather than leaning slightly forward.
The Personality: Heel striking and the upper body leaning back often means you are cautious, controlling, perhaps a bit apprehensive about life. When you heel strike you’re putting on the brakes. When you lean back, you’re backed off from moving forward in life. Lean into life. Take a few risks. Allow yourself the freedom to fall forward into life. It might be a bit frightening, but exhilarating too.

The ChiRunner
6. The Pattern: None - your soles wear out evenly.
The Running Cause: A midfoot strike and good running technique.
The Personality: You’re pretty balanced in life. You know how to manage your energy well. You see the big picture but have chosen your course. We call it focused spaciousness. You work well with difficulties that come your way. Like a T’ai Chi Master, you keep to your center and respond appropriately in the moment.  You are grounded, flexible, responsive and in harmony with life.

To learn more about the messages on your sole, download our more detailed and scientific whitepaper here.  You can learn more about becoming a ChiRunner with one of our running packages, or by finding a Certified Instructor in your area.


  • midfoot strike,
  • running injuries,
  • chirunning,
  • running shoes,
  • running form

8 CommentsLeave a comment below

Okay Danny, here’s one. I just noticed tonight on a newer pair of shoes, less than 100 miles, the INSIDE of the heel has a wear pattern. I do walk in them, as well as run, but this was new pattern. I’m also fighting some possible plantar fisciitis in the right heel. Thoughts to the cause of the weird wear pattern? Again, Inside of the heel. Oh, I will walk a bit duck footed when I’m just strolling around but that’s not where the wear is.

Krispin Barr Aug 1st, 2014 08:50pm

Hi, Katherine! I met you at the Chi Running workshop in Asheville last fall. Thank you for writing this blog! One of the joys of practicing Chi Running for me has been the times when I have a breakthrough and the chi flows due to a pointer or visualization that you and Danny have recommended. It happened again after analyzing the wear patterns on my shoes. I could see that I am over pronating even though I felt like I was doing everything right (and still having knee pain). I can’t wait to keep working on my mid foot strike and being in full and balanced contact with the ground passing underneath. After two runs this week, I already feel better and found it easy to drop a couple minutes off my pace - true story - when I could relax!

Rod Templin Aug 3rd, 2014 10:39pm

Running consistently for 56 years. Always have been interested in studying my shoe wear patterns. This is facilitated by using shoe goo on worn parts of sole. After applying Chi running techniques overpast two and a half years, have noticed a significant change toward uniform wear from flat foot strike or maybe slightly ball of foot first. These techniques work for me and offer the promise of continued running until I die. We don’t stop running because we age, on the contrary, we age because we stop running. Thanks Danny for helping me run indefinitely. Rod Templin 69 years young

Very interesting. I am a reflexologist and a beginner runner. The feet tell a very interesting story about our lives. Thanks for sharing.

Hi Kristin,

Thanks so much for sharing - congrats on your breakthrough with relaxation and speed! Would you mind if we posted your comment with our testimonials? It’s such a great example of how Body Sensing can help you get real results. Happy running!


I can honestly say that I’ve never heard or seen wear on the inside of the heels. The only thing that comes to mind for me is that you might be over-pronating (ankles collapsing medially) but your feet are pointing forward. Most people who over-pronate run with a foot-splay and wear out the outside of their heals quickly. Do you wear arch supports? This could be the culprit as well.

Knee pain Melbourne Jan 14th, 2015 02:19am

Shoes is a big factor for running competition.

I don’t wear supports but I have been wondering about over pronation because after a 1.5 year of Chi Running with minimalist shoes I took a break, about a month and when I came back, I started having plantar fasciitis and then IT band. Seems like that whole right side is struggling.

What are your thoughts?

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