The manner in which the claws contacted the ground at the walk was evaluated in 18 healthy heifers. The animals were filmed before and after claw trimming while walking on a treadmill using high-speed cinematography (500 frames/s). For each limb, 4 consecutive steps were recorded from a side and a frontal plane. The objectives of the study were to evaluate 1) the order of claw contact with the treadmill surface, 2) the initial claw contact area, and 3) the effect of trimming on claw contact patterns. The heifers placed their front feet on the ground in a plane sagittal to the shoulders, whereas the hind feet were advanced more toward the median plane. Before trimming, the lateral claws contacted the ground before the medial in 83% of front and 100% of hind limbs. Trimming changed the percentage to 92% in the front and to 97% in the hind limbs. The percentage with which the heel of the lateral claws became the region of initial contact with the ground increased from 47 to 64% in the front feet and from 50 to 78% in the hind feet. In the medial claws of the forelimbs, claw trimming shifted the region of initial contact from the toe to the abaxial wall and heel. In the hind limbs, the main region of initial contact of the medial claws became the abaxial wall. Weight bearing by the medial claw became visibly apparent only during the midstance, propulsion, and push-off phases. "Heel first" contact of the lateral claws in the front and hind limbs may be the normal gait pattern in cattle. On hard surfaces, this pattern may lead to overload and predispose to disease, especially in the hind limbs.