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The mechanical interactions between an American football cleat and playing surfaces in-situ at loads and rates generated by elite athletes: a comparison of playing surfaces



The mechanical interactions between an American football cleat and playing surfaces in-situ at loads and rates generated by elite athletes: a comparison of playing surfaces



Sports Biomechanics 14(1): 1-17



This study quantified the mechanical interactions between an American football cleat and eight surfaces used by professional American football teams. Loading conditions were applied with a custom-built testing apparatus designed to represent play-relevant maneuvers of elite athletes. Two natural grass and six infill artificial surfaces were tested with the cleated portion of a shoe intended for use on either surface type. In translation tests with a 2. 8-kN vertical load, the grass surfaces limited the horizontal force on the cleats by tearing. This tearing was not observed with the artificial surfaces, which allowed less motion and generated greater horizontal force (3.2 kN vs. 4.5 kN, p < 0.05). Similarly, rotation tests generated less angular displacement and greater torque on the artificial surfaces (145 N m vs. 197 N m, p < 0.05). Translation/drop tests, in which the foot-form was launched into the surfaces with both horizontal and vertical velocity components generated less peak horizontal force on the natural surfaces than on the artificial surfaces (2.4 kN vs. 3.0 kN, p < 0.05). These results suggest a force-limiting mechanism inherent to natural grass surfaces. Future work should consider implications of these findings for performance and injury risk and should evaluate the findings' sensitivity to cleat pattern and playing conditions.

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Accession: 059085492

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25900121

DOI: 10.1080/14763141.2015.1024277


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