Injury-proof your boots
Customise your footwear and thread those laces properly to stay out of the treatment room
Give Heels HeightThe idea of inserting in-shoe ‘lifts’ into your boots may sound like a ruse to give some added height to the front line, but podiatrists believe that raising the heel with orthopaedic supports can lower the risk of Sever’s disease among young players. Sever’s is an inflammation of the area where the Achilles tendon joins the heel – common in the growing joints of young adolescent players. In an FA survey these conditions were found to account for over 13 per cent of injuries to footballers aged 11-13.
Get Cross With LacesOpt for a standard criss-cross pattern when lacing your football boots. According to research into sports footwear published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, footwear threaded tightly, criss-crossing while skipping the top holes, were rated among the most stable. The criss-cross, rather than other common lacing methods such as the straight pattern, was found to make the best use of the cushioning while also distributing pressure evenly under the foot.
Go For Gripping InsolesFeel the insoles of your football boots before putting them on – if they’re smooth, swap them for textured ones. Studies by the University of Sydney School of Physiotherapy found that proprioception – communication between foot senses and the brain – are reduced when footballers wear smooth boot insoles. Trials on 17 Australian players led researchers to conclude that textured insoles in boots could prevent foot and ankle injuries.
Must see stories in this section
- The pro’s guide to rehab
- Train when you’re injured
- How to avoid injury during pre-season
- The ultimate guide to beating man-flu
- Have you got happy feet?
- Injury clinic: Achilles tendonitis
- Keep your feet blister free
- “This doesn’t look like an ice pack, gaffer”