Development of a test method for assessing laceration injury risk of individual cleats during game-relevant loading conditions

Bodil Y. Oudshoorn*, Heather F. Driscoll, Marcus Dunn, Terry Senior, David James

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Professional rugby union players experience an injury once every 10 matches, and up to 23% of these injuries are skin lacerations. Current regulations to assess laceration injury risk of cleated footwear involve two optional mechanical tests for manufacturers: a drop test and a pendulum test. However, there is limited rationale for these tests and associated impact parameters. A questionnaire among 191 rugby players showed that the ruck is the most prevalent game scenario in which skin laceration injuries occur. During the ruck, laceration injuries result from stamping movements by players wearing cleated footwear. A biomechanical study was conducted to obtain game-relevant impact parameters of stamping in the ruck. Eight participants were asked to perform 10 stamps on an anthropomorphic test device. Kinetic and kinematic data were clustered–identifying two distinct phases of the stamp motion–providing test parameters for mechanical assessment of skin laceration risk. A two-phase mechanical test was designed to quantify laceration injury risk of individual cleats. Phase one represents initial impact and phase two represents the subsequent raking motion as observed in the biomechanical study. Each phase is based on the impact parameters of observed stamping impacts. The developed test method has the potential to be adapted as an international standard for assessing laceration injury risk of cleated footwear. Future research is required to assess the repeatability of this method and its sensitivity to laceration injury.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalFootwear Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • biomechanics
  • impact testing
  • injury risk
  • mechanical testing
  • rugby

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Biomedical Engineering


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