As the modern football leans more and more towards speed and agility, football shoes manufacturers have made the shoes lighter and lighter. Synthetic uppers have been introduced to reduce the weight, making the players’ feet more vulnerable to injuries. Hence, we see our favorite footballers fall victim to injuries time and time again.
Lightweight football shoes aren’t the only culprit here though. Number of games played is obviously inversely proportional to the amount of rest the human body gets to recover from any stress its suffering. Intensive training regimes just add to that. Training on artificial surfaces are also a contributing factor to it.
We have seen clubs falling out of the title race or on the other end of the table falling into the relegation race because of injuries. In 2002, David Beckham introduced the metatarsal to the world of football – we can also credit him for Achilles Tendon.
Metatarsal is probably the most required bone in football and it needs the most protection. Concave have come up with a special football shoe that they are calling Concave PT+. The shoe features a concave-shaped sweet-spot layer of thermoplastic polyurethane. Concave claims that not only the sweet spot offer better protection for the foot but also increases passing accuracy and power.
Norbert Fetcher, Concave designer said:
“Concave boots are one of the best designed performance football boots when it comes to preventing injuries.
The Concave design team’s top priority was the biomechanics of injury prevention in terms of design work and excellence in choice of materials.”
Professor David Barrett is a knee and sports injury specialist at the Southampton General Hospital. He claims that the high-technology footwear increases foot speed and accuracy but lacks in protection. As more local league players or amateurs wear them, the hospitals are treating more players for metatarsal fractures.
This in turn leads to those to take more time off work because they don’t receive specialist treatment that aids to a speedy recovery from football injuries.
Prof. Barrett said:
“Surgeons are seeing a lot more metatarsal injuries in patients, of the kind England stars David Beckham and Wayne Rooney have suffered in the past – and that is because of lightweight boots.
Their introduction came about because professional footballers, particularly strikers wanted boots as lightweight as possible for foot speed.
When they kick through, the lighter the foot is, the easier it is to move it. But the players have no protection. Put simply, lightweight boots equals metatarsal injuries.”
Manchester United and Ireland defensive midfielder John O’Shea signed a two year deal to wear Concave shoes at the end of last year following a trial period. He made his debut in Concave PT+ in November 2009 at Stamford Bridge when United went there to play against Chelsea.
It’s crucial that I wear a boot that can help maximize my performance on the pitch. Concave boots give me increased protection and confidence and I hope to be wearing them for the rest of my career.”
Concave have invested a lot into these shoes in terms of money and time. According to them, they have spent $5 million in eight years. Australia’s Monsah University and engineering firm Invetech has conducted independent testing on the boots and shown very positive results.
Everton boss David Moyes said that he’s ‘no expert’ but flimsy footwear is a definite factor in an increase in injuries. He further said:
“I might get sued by one of the big companies if I say that, but I think it’s a big part of it. Players can now pull their boots on like slippers and that did not used to be the case.”
Southampton Hospital physiotherapist, Georgina Hawes, added:
“The most important thing about buying the right footwear for activities such as football is to ensure that your boots have been well-fitted by a professional.”
I know there are some kick-ass shoes out there from some of top brands but earlier this year in Los Angeles, Concave won the award for the ‘Best Boot’ at the Oscars of football kit – the Avid Soccer Equipment Review’s awards.