Magazine article USA TODAY

Alleviating Soccer Players' Woes

Magazine article USA TODAY

Alleviating Soccer Players' Woes

Article excerpt

Poorly designed shoes and inefficient training methods may cause bony abnormalities in soccer players' feet and ankles, according to a study of members of the U.S. Men's Senior National and Olympic Soccer Teams. "Players' feet and ankles are exposed to great stresses and forces during the game, but soccer shoes provide little protection, very little support, and no cushioning," indicates orthopedic surgeon Raymond Rocco Monto.

"Soccer shoe research and development lags behind that of running shoes with regard to improved function, wearer comfort, and foot protection. There is no scientific basis for locating the studs of cleats under the ball of the foot or other joints--just tradition. Soccer shoes have changed little in 30 years. Companies could put strips of titanium in the shoe uppers to minimize some of the impact that is now sustained by the foot." (The ball is kicked at speeds over 80 mph, with the kicking leg absorbing 85% of this kinetic energy. …

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