Influence of sports flooring and shoes on impact forces and performance during jump tasks.
We aim to determine the influence of sports floorings and sports shoes on impact mechanics and performance during standardised jump tasks. Twenty-one male volunteers performed ankle jumps (four consecutive maximal bounds with very dynamic ankle movements) and multi-jumps (two consecutive maximal counter-movement jumps) on force plates using minimalist and cushioned shoes under 5 sports flooring (SF) conditions. The shock absorption properties of the SF, defined as the proportion of peak impact force absorbed by the tested flooring when compared with a concrete hard surface, were: SF0 = 0% (no flooring), SF1 = 19%, SF2 = 26%, SF3 = 37% and SF4 = 45%. Shoe and flooring effects were compared using 2x5 repeated-measures ANOVA with post-hoc Bonferroni-corrected comparisons. A significant interaction between SF and shoe conditions was found for VILR only (p = 0.003). In minimalist shoes, SF influenced Vertical Instantaneous Loading Rate (VILR) during ankle jumps (p = 0.006) and multi-jumps (p<0.001), in accordance with shock absorption properties. However, in cushioned shoes, SF influenced VILR during ankle jumps only (p<0.001). Contact Time was the only additional variable affected by SF, but only during multi-jumps in minimalist shoes (p = 0.037). Cushioned shoes induced lower VILR (p<0.001) and lower Contact Time (p</=0.002) during ankle jumps and multi-jumps compared to minimalist shoes. During ankle jumps, cushioned shoes induced greater Peak Vertical Ground Reaction Force (PVGRF, p = 0.002), greater Vertical Average Loading Rate (p<0.001), and lower eccentric (p = 0.008) and concentric (p = 0.004) work. During multi-jumps, PVGRF was lower (p<0.001) and jump height was higher (p<0.001) in cushioned compared to minimalist shoes. In conclusion, cushioning influenced impact forces during standardised jump tasks, whether it was provided by the shoes or the sports flooring. VILR is the variable that was the most affected.