The influence of shoe drop on the kinematics and kinetics of children tennis players

  • Herbaut Alexis
  • Chavet Pascale
  • Roux Maxime
  • Guéguen Nils
  • Gillet Christophe
  • Barbier Franck
  • Simoneau-Buessinger Emilie

ART

This study investigated the immediate effects of reducing the shoe drop (i.e. the difference between the heel and the forefoot height) on the kinematics and kinetics of the lower extremities of children tennis players performing a tennis-specific movement. Thirteen children tennis players performed a series of simulated open stance forehands wearing 3 pairs of shoes differing only in the drop: 0 (D0), 6 (D6) and the control condition of 12mm (D12). Two embedded forceplates and a motion capture system were used to analyse the ground reaction forces and ankle and knee joint angles and moments of the leading lower limb. In D6 compared with D12, the peak impact force was reduced by 24% (p=.004) and the ankle was less dorsiflexed at foot strike (p=.037). In D0 compared with D12, the peak impact force was reduced by 17% (p=.049), the ankle was less dorsiflexed at foot strike (p=.045) and the knee was more flexed at foot strike (p=.007). In addition, 4 out of 13 participants (31%) presented a forefoot strike pattern for some of the trials in D0. No difference was observed across shoe conditions for the peak knee extensor moment (p=.658) or the peak ankle plantarflexor moment (p=.071). The results provide preliminary data supporting the hypothesis that for children tennis players, using a 6-mm lower shoe drop might reduce heel impact forces and thus limit potentially impact-related injuries.