Is a Step a Stride, or a Step?


New Member
I'm fairly sure this is a really stupid question, but I visited a number of web pages on this and I cannot get my head around the math.

What they all say...
Stride distance is the length traveled between one foot's heel to the same foot's heel after taking normal steps using both feet, or simply put, two steps. The average for men is 2.1 to 2.5 feet traveled with a stride process, consisting of two steps (alternating feet). I know it sounds kind of like a scientist (or lawyer) is saying it, of which I am neither, but please bare with me.

Based on this data, a mile is on average about 2000 steps. This is where I get confused.

A mile is 5280 feet. If it takes 2000 steps (again on average) to reach a mile traveled, and there are two steps in a stride, then wouldn't it be (a stride of 2.1 feet)... 5280/(stride/2)? This would yield 5280/(2.1/2) or 5028.5 steps. Which would mean that each step would have to be the length of a stride to yield 2500 steps per mile.
5280 feet divided by 2000 equals 2.64 feet per "step". So if there are 2 steps in a stride, that is 5.28 feet of stride. Well above the 2.1 to 2.5 feet per stride for men.

So am I a victim of terminology misuse? I would be more receptive to how many STRIDES per mile, being 2500 in the above example using the lowest figure in the average stride length, than saying STEPS per mile which is clearly misleading.

Why do I care? My phone has a pedometer in it and it shows my daily steps and calories burned (estimated of course). If I see 6000 steps, I figure I traveled 3 miles using the universal accepted standard I see on sites about this sort of thing. But that would mean that my steps... distance from left foot heal to right foot heal in a normal step would be 2.64 feet in length. I'm not a tall guy, rising to a modest 5 feet 6 inches, so if I am not careful, I would be accidentally doing the splits!

I hope someone can elaborate on this metric. And I certainly appreciate your time!



Regular Member
Average double step, same foot to same foot, over 100 metres will average around the 61-64 range.

Worth noting that stride and step aren't the same thing.


New Member
Of course I realize a step is not a stride which is the reason I brought this up. With the term "steps in a mile" used everywhere, the number of steps considering they are half a stride does not add up in the math.

Searching Google with "How many steps in a mile" yields...
"An average person has a stride length of approximately 2.1 to 2.5 feet. That means that it takes over 2,000 steps to walk one mile; and 10,000 steps would be almost 5 miles. A sedentary person may only average 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day. For these people adding steps has many health benefits."

So a step is half a stride of 2.1 to 2.5 feet. That leaves a step at 1.05 to 1.25 feet. A mile is 5280 feet, so 5280/1.05 is 5028.57142857 steps. Not 2000 as stated.

Please help me understand this variance. Thanks!
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Regular Member
A "stride" is a step that's been extended beyond what is normal for that person, to pass something on the ground maybe. A step is usually the normal length for that person. And normally measured from one foot lifting from the ground to the next foot striking, usually one side to the other, left foot to right foot or right foot to left foot.

From same foot lifting to striking the ground is a double step.
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