Background: Football players wear boots of varying cleat designs with some preferring the bladed cleats while others opting for the conventional studded cleats. The current study compares biomechanically the boots with differing cleat designs and their effect on feet, if any.
Methods: Twenty-nine healthy male volunteers were recruited from amateur football teams. They were asked to perform three trials each of two activities: a straight run and a run cutting at a 60° angle wearing bladed and studded Adidas®-F series boots on artificial turf. Plantar pressure values were recorded using the Pedar®-X in-shoe pressure measuring device. Peak pressure and pressure-time integral were analysed over 11 clinically relevant areas under the foot.
Results: While the in-shoe pressure and pressure-time integral were higher under the medial half of the foot with studded boots, they were higher under the lateral half of the foot with the bladed design.
Conclusions: The studded boots can be considered safer as the pressure distribution across the foot and the pattern of centre of pressure progression mimicked the normal motif, whereas the bladed boots could potentially be deemed relatively more harmful due to the unnatural increased loading under the lateral half of the foot, predisposing the foot to injuries.