What influence do basketball shoes with heel air cells have on the impact forces generated during landing movements?
University of Wales
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This study was conducted to investigate the influence of basketball shoes with heel air cells on the impact demands on the lower extremities during basketball landing movements. Impact forces generated by foot contact can be attenuated passively through footwear and can have detrimental effects on the lower extremities. Five basketball players were required to perform three different landing movements; a two-footed, one-footed and two-footed ‘go’ movement. Each movement was performed 3-5 times whilst wearing the air celled shoe (ACS) and repeated wearing the standard training shoe (SS). Biomechanical analysis was conducted via a force plate and motion analysis system. The results showed whilst wearing ACS slightly larger peak vertical ground reaction forces and loading rates in all three movements, however no significant differences were found (VGRF = 676, .463, .984; loading rate = .072, .331, .104). Greater knee flexion suggesting subjects flexed more was detected whilst wearing SS compared to ACS in all three movements by 4.85%, 5.16%, 4.63%. Ankle and knee muscle moment profiles were larger in SS than ACS throughout all the movements and showed significant differences (p < 0.05 ankle = (.000, .000, .000; knee = 000, .000, .008). The power generated by the ankle and knee was also significantly increased whilst wearing SS than ACS (p < 0.05). This resulted in greater work done by the lower extremities whilst wearing the standard shoe. The larger ankle and knee moments produced by the subjects wearing SS show their choice to dissipate impact force through greater moments whereas whilst wearing ACS their pre-perception of the shoe lead them to assume the shoe would attenuate the force for them. The findings highlight the ability of the subjects to compensate for the reduced cushioning in SS by adjusting landing technique in order to reduce impact force. The subjects pre-perception of the shoe and change in landing technique was an implication in this study, and as such should be eliminated in future research. Shoe designs may aid in the prevention of injuries but the athlete also needs to acknowledge a landing technique suitable to help attenuate the load put on the lower extremities. A biomechanical analysis of shoe design was warranted and this study has contributed to previous research through enhanced understanding of analyses of shoe design and influential factors that affect impact force.
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