QUANTIFYING FIT IN ICE HOCKEY SKATE BOOTS
Keywords: fit, comfort, ice hockey, skate boots, visual analog scale, pressure sensors
AbstractSkates are specifically designed for the hockey game context. It is vital that skates be chosen in relation with proper size and shape, as well as with respect to play style and position (Pearsall et al. 2000). To provide optimal function, they must "fit". Fit infers many traits: to fit snugly around the contours of the bony ankle and foot structures, to provide stability, and to avoid discomfort. Nonetheless, players have often sacrificed "fit for comfort" at the expense of "fit for performance". Comfort and fit are interrelated qualities and important factors for footwear in recreational and physical activities. Increasing interest in footwear comfort resulted in several investigations that associated comfort with plantar pressure distribution (Chen et al.1994). To date, improved ratings for shoes comfort can be done by adding a control condition to the testing protocol and using a visual analog scale (VAS) to assess comfort (Mundermann et al. 2002). Little have been done in assessing fit in ice hockey boots. The purpose of this study is to quantify fit in the ice hockey skate boots by means of pressure distribution measures in conjunction with perceptual VAS ratings.
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