The significance of toe, mid-foot or heel strike is how your body deals with impact.
With toe or midfoot strike, a lot of the impact of your foot hitting the ground is absorbed by the small muscles in the foot and the flexing of the ankle. With heel strike, there are none of these natural shock absorbers, and the jarring tends to travel straight up the leg, causing problems further up your body (eg. knees, hips).
Shoes can (partially) correct this, hence the salesperson's question.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
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