If the Shoe Fits: Are Increased Football Injuries Tied to Player’s Footwear?

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NORTH TEXAS — When it comes to football, injuries, unfortunately, are just part of the game.

But it seems this season, collegiate teams have taken a big hit. The site donbest.com keeps a running roster of football players who’ve been sidelined, many for the season.

The primary injury plaguing the athletes? Foot, knee and ankle injuries.

TCU is among the list of collegiate teams suffering from a battered squad, and last Saturday’s game against Texas Tech didn’t help. Key defensive player, Josh Carraway, went down late in the second quarter.

His injury, and the prevalent injuries of other players, prompted commentary from the sports analysts calling the game.

“With all these lower body, extremity injuries, you gotta attribute it to something,” the Fox Sports commentator explained. “All I can think of, is the footwear has gotten lighter, less durable, less stable, and eventually that’s going to have, it’s going to cause an issue; not only for your foot and ankle, knees, hips, all that.”

That’s a bold statement.

NewsFix sought the expertise of a local doctor who specializes in sports medicine.

“It is possible that a more sturdy shoe, with longer cleats can cause more knee injury,” Dr. Chris Miller of Tarpon Orthopedics told NewsFix.

“Whereas, a shoe that maybe is more flexible with shorter cleats can cause more injury into the foot and protect the knee.”

Lower body injuries aren’t just limited to college players. Can you say Dez Bryant?

Okay, just to be clear — NewsFix isn’t saying players’ shoes are solely responsible for their injuries. But, maybe those sports guys are on to something.

An article from podiatrytoday.com quotes professional foot docs who say proper shoes are necessary for an aggressive sport like football. Enlightening; but the article is dated November 2004.

So, obviously, the idea of having high-functioning and protective footwear on the field isn’t anything new.

Dr. Miller recommends a particular type of cleat for football players. “You want to look for cleats that are kinda closer together, medium length – more in the forefoot. And a shoe that offers some degree of stability but not overly flexible.”

We reached out to TCU, but the university did not want to comment. NewsFix also contacted Nike. We have yet to hear from the sports shoe giant.

Well, maybe this insight will serve as a red flag and get everyone on the right foot, especially when it comes to finding a shoe that fits.