Six different football shoes, one playing surface and the weather; Assessing variation in shoe-surface traction over one season of elite football

Athol Thomson, Rodney Whiteley, Mathew Wilson, Chris Bleakley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Introduction An optimal range of shoe-surface traction (grip) exists to improve performance and minimise injury risk. Little information exists regarding the magnitude of traction forces at shoe-surface interface across a full season of elite football (soccer) using common football shoes. Objective To assess variation in shoe-surface traction of six different football shoe models throughout a full playing season in Qatar encompassing climatic and grass species variations. Methods Football shoes were loaded onto a portable shoe-surface traction testing machine at five individual testing time points to collect traction data (rotational and translational) on a soccer playing surface across one season. Surface mechanical properties (surface hardness, soil moisture) and climate data (temperature and humidity) were collected at each testing time point. Results Peak rotational traction was significantly different across shoe models (F = 218, df = 5, p <0.0001), shoe outsole groups (F = 316.2, df = 2, p < .0001), and grass species (F = 202.8, df = 4, p < 0.0001). No main effect for shoe model was found for translational traction (F = 2.392, p = 0.07). Conclusions The rotational (but not translational) traction varied substantially across different shoe types, outsole groups, and grass species. Highest rotational traction values were seen with soft ground outsole (screw-in metal studs) shoes tested on warm season grass. This objective data allows more informed footwear choices for football played in warm/hot climates on sand-based elite football playing surfaces. Further research is required to confirm if these findings extend across other football shoe brands.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0216364
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2019

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