Originally Posted by Playoffs
Doc, I was wondering if turf injuries would be decreased by using less traction-grabbing soles on their shoes? Like, a slippery sole? More slip/stretch injuries but less ACL type injuries?
Injury on the playing field often is caused by the interaction between the athlete’s shoe and the field surface. In a literature review appearing in the relatively recent May 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
, researchers shed light on the evolution of synthetic playing surfaces. The study summarized the existing research on artificial turf and the role of shoe-surface interface in injury, finding that the key to minimizing injuries on natural and artificial playing fields may be to understand the interplay between different types of athletic shoes, specific sports and field surfaces.
It was felt that optimal shoe-playing surface conditions may be level and sport-specific, and that the shoe-playing surface interface is a modifiable risk factor for injury. But they also made it clear that research needed to be continued on this subject.
Determining the shoe-playing surface interface though is complex and challenging as it is influenced by human factors (i.e., the athlete’s body weight, velocity and acceleration, deceleration, loading rate, and angle of the foot and height before contact), shoe factors (i.e., sole type and cleat/stud material of footwear, and number and size of cleats and cleat configuration), type of playing surface, and related environmental factors
The bad news, artificial turf surfaces are linked to more knee and ankle injuries than grass and dirt. The reason is that grass has more give. You hit the artificial surface harder than the real stuff and your foot is more likely to stick on the ground, with more torque on your knee, foot, and ankle. And while artificial surfaces have improved over the years and more closely resemble grass now than ever before, it’s just not the same.
Some interesting conclusions that they could make in the study was:
*Most types of shoes have higher peak torque and rotational stiffness (the rate at which torque is developed under rotation) on artificial turf than on natural turf.
*Sole material and cleat pattern and shape may affect torque. For example, shoes with small cleats (nubs of only millimeters in length) place the lowest amount of pressure on the foot, and may potentially minimize the incidence of foot stress fractures, ankle and knee injuries on artificial surfaces.
*Because of constant changes in both the athletic shoe market and artificial surfaces, much of the existing research on the shoe-playing surface is outdated.
The role of the shoe surface interface in the development of lower extremity injuries continues to be clarified, but is far from clear. In spite of not having all the answers, there is strong evidence though that the shoe-playing surface interface is a modifiable risk factor for injury and further research is needed to improve playing conditions for all of our players.
It is very obvious that teams need to be much more focused on trying to discover which type of foot wear will fit the bill for each individual player on the team for each surface and the conditions they are scheduled to be playing on.............no longer can they take the more lackadaisical approach that most teams have taken most of the time........."one size fits all" for the entire team.
EDIT: BTW, "slippery soles" is not what you would want, in that you would not only encourage "stretch" injuries, you would create an environment which would result in the same joint injuries that you were trying to avoid.........but incurring them by a different mechanism.