Miniature pressure sensors and high-speed video were used to assess the lateral support and stability of court footwear during in vivo performance of lateral side-stepping moves. Two distinct types of court footwear construction were evaluated and were found to differ by approximately 100% and 200% in lateral support and stability, respectively. The heel control index that combined both parameters revealed differences exceeding 425%. A comparison of shoes that differed only in one construction feature produced similar trends. These overall results suggest that the combined high-speed video/pressure approach allows high discrimination of footwear rearfoot control properties during in vivo simulated playing conditions. The specific experimental results suggest that footwear designed for court sports exhibits considerable differences in foot support and stability. Furthermore, it was found that some construction features could improve these properties in court footwear.
Mario A. Lafortune is with the School of Human Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON. Direct correspondence to Mario A. Lafortune, Nike Sports Research Laboratory, Nike Inc., Beaverton, OR 97005.