The objective of this research was to determine if three alternative shoe closures improve biomechanical performance measures compared to a standard lace closure in agility-based movements. NCAA Division 1 and club-level male athletes recruited from lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and rugby performed four court-based movements: Lateral Skater Jump Repeats (LSJ), Countermovement Jump Repeats (CMJ), Triangle Drop Step Drill (TDS), and Anterior-Posterior Drill (AP). Each athlete performed the movements in four shoe upper closures: Standard Closure, Lace Replacement, Y Wrap, and Tri Panel. Movement completion time, Ground contact time, peak eccentric rate of force development (RFD), peak concentric GRF, peak concentric COM power, eccentric work, and concentric work were measured for all four movements, and ankle, knee and hip range of motion and peak joint moments in the sagittal, frontal and transverse planes, as well as peak joint powers, were calculated for CMJ and LSJ movements. In terms of biomechanical performance, the Y Wrap configuration the Tri Panel configuration delivered improvements between 3 and 9% over the Standard Closure depending on the movement tested and variable of interest. The Lace Replacement had mixed results with some improvements and some declines in performance. For joint-level biomechanics, alternative fit configurations led to increased ankle plantarflexion and knee extension joint moments. Frontal and transverse plane ranges of motion at the ankle, knee and hip were reduced in at least one alternative fit configuration. This study allowed for the mechanical properties of the shoe bottom package to remain consistent across designs to examine if alternative upper configurations could enhance performance. We hypothesize that improved containment and possibly increased proprioception—due to the wrapping fit of the configurations influences these changes in performance. These findings suggest that the design and construction shoe upper is essential to consider in athletic shoe design.
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This work was supported by Boa Technology, Inc under Grant #37990A.
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Submissions from 2020
Alternative Upper Configurations During Agility-Based Movements: Part 1, Biomechanical Performance, Bradley S. Davidson, Kevin B. Shelburne, Moira Pyrhoda, Rachel Wathen, Nick Nelson, Sean Higinbotham, Jay Dicharry, Daniel Feeney, and Kate Harrison
Alternative Upper Configurations During Agility-Based Movements: Part 2, Joint-Level Biomechanics, Bradley S. Davidson, Kevin B. Shelburne, Moira Pyrhoda, Rachel Wathen, Nick Nelson, Sean Higinbotham, Jay Dicharry, Daniel Feeney, and Kate Harrison