Shoe-Surface Interaction and the Reduction of Injury in Rugby Union
Source: Sports Medicine, Volume 25, Number 5, May 1998 , pp. 319-327(9)
Publisher: Adis International
Abstract:While it is quite clear that footwear can provide protection against lower limb injury in running and some court sports, the literature related to footwear design and injury prevention in most sports played on natural turf is limited. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the design of footwear for rugby union and rugby league. Therefore, in this article, information from other sporting codes will be applied to the design and performance characteristics of footwear and surfaces in an attempt to understand the causes of equipment-related injuries in rugby.
A complete understanding of the complex interactions between the leg, foot, footwear and the surface has not yet been achieved and as a consequence, precise footwear design criteria to minimise injury, while not compromising the performance aspects of shoe design, have yet to be established. The variable surface conditions experienced by players makes it difficult to provide recommendations as to the ideal footwear for all (or any) conditions. Equally, the ground reaction loads experienced by each player (and playing position) vary sufficiently to make generalisations difficult. Also, the foot-fall pattern during weight-bearing is highly individualised and further prohibits making general recommendations about selecting footwear for rugby.
Document Type: Review Article
Publication date: May 1, 1998