ANDREW L. CHEN, MD, MS
There is a high incidence of ankle and knee injuries that can be attributed to inappropriate footwear among the top, internationally competitive athletes of USASJ, and this has been associated with loss of time in training and competition. Importantly, this has also resulted in a loss of performance for 6 months to one year for each injured athlete, and typically has resulted in a return at a lower level of competition. In other sports, footwear has previously been shown to be correlated with injury to lower extremities, particularly to the foot, ankle, and knee.1-5 The use of proper footwear for training, cross-training, and competition is therefore crucial to decrease the rate of injury.
We are in favor of standardizing shoe wear among the athletes for the purposes of training and cross-training in an effort to decrease the overall injury rate that can be attributed to the use of inappropriate footwear. We believe that not only will this decrease the injury rate but additionally may allow for added performance benefit by using shoes that are designed for a specific purpose. Different shoes have been shown to result in different muscle activity patterns;1 as a result, shoes that are intended for running, for example, will more effectively activate those muscles involved with running and will therefore allow for better training of those muscle groups.
Moreover, we are in favor of the fitting of custom orthotic footbeds to accommodate the needs of athletes with specific issues.
It is therefore the position of USASJ that appropriate footwear be worn for the purposes of training and cross-training. This will include the use of customized orthotic footbeds, when appropriate. All athletes will be expected to wear appropriate, USASJ-approved footwear during ALL USASJ training and cross-training activities. Failure to do so may result in loss of training and/or competition time at the discretion of the coach and/or the BOD. It is strongly recommended that such appropriate footwear be worn during non-USASJ training and/or sporting activities as well.
- Kerr R, Arnold GP, Drew TS, Cochrane LA, Abboud RJ. Shoes influence lower limb muscle activity and may predispose the wearer to lateral ankle ligament injury. J Orthop Res. 2009 Mar;27(3):318-24.
- Goss DL, Gross MT. Relationships among self-reported shoe type, footstrike pattern, and injury incidence. US Army Med Dep J. 2012 Oct-Dec:25-30.
- Wei F, Meyer EG, Braman JE, Powell JW, Haut RC. Rotational stiffness of football shoes influences talus motion during external rotation of the foot.J Biomech Eng. 2012 Apr;134(4):041002.
- Drakos MC, Hillstrom H, Voos JE, Miller AN, Kraszewski AP, Wickiewicz TL, Warren RF, Allen AA, O’Brien SJ. The effect of the shoe-surface interface in the development of anterior cruciate ligament strain. J Biomech Eng. 2010 Jan;132(1):011003.
- Livesay GA, Reda DR, Nauman EA. Peak torque and rotational stiffness developed at the shoe-surface interface: the effect of shoe type and playing surface. Am J Sports Med. 2006 Mar;34(3):415-22.