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Title: Player protocols for football boot testing
Author: Kryger, Katrine O.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 8136
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2018
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Football is the most popular sport and played by more players worldwide than any other sport. The football boot industry is therefore big, competitive and still growing. Today, football boot designs are subcategorised into four categories, of which three are linked to specific skill performance enhancing claims: The power boot for enhanced shooting performance, the touch/control boot for enhanced ball control and the speed boot for enhanced speed generation. In comparison to the strong marketing claims, little research has been published on the impact of football boot design on performance, injury and comfort. Therefore, little is known about the importance and impact of changing boot design. The outcome of this thesis offers researcher and the football boot industry validated human test protocols for power boot, touch/control and speed boot designs. The outcome of the thesis also advances the knowledge of how the football boot impacts performance, comfort and highlights the potential links between plantar comfort and injury risk. Rule based system assessment was performed to validate a boot performance conceptual framework linking the player and their desired movements during a football match with the football boot and its different components. The three protocols for assessment of key performance aspects for power boots, touch/control boots and speed boots were validated using test-retest reliability assessment through relative and absolute reliability measures. The power boot protocols involved shooting assessment measuring ball velocity, offset from target, success and player perception of ball velocity and accuracy. The touch/control boot protocol involved dribbling and passing assessment measuring time, number of touches and radial distance from cones during completion of a complex dribbling drill, ball velocity and offset from target during flat and airborne passes. The speed boot protocols involved combined agility and acceleration sprinting time and jump height before and after a 90 min match simulation protocol. Throughout the match simulation heart rate, player perceived exertion, perceived muscle fatigue, overall foot comfort and specific regional foot comfort. The validated protocols were then applied to assess how boot parameters impact performance. For the power boot, boots with and without upper padding were compared II demonstrating a small favour for the non-padded boot. Similarly, boots with and without upper padding were compared for the touch/control boot scenario with no differences seen between the two designs. Finally, two commercially available speed boots were assessed for the speed boot scenario demonstrating significant differences in both comfort and performance measures. Indicating a potential link between decreased foot comfort and decreased ability to maintain performance throughout a 90 min game. The boot performance conceptual framework was developed with component at each level but no interactive links between levels were added due to the lack of evidence in the literature. The boot performance conceptual framework offers researchers and the football boot industry a visualisation tool to aid the general overview when assessing or designing football boots. The three validations of protocols demonstrated strong test- retest reliability for most measures assessed and can therefore be applied to assess the impact of altering boot designs like demonstrated in this study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Soccer ; Footwear ; Performance ; Comfort ; Football