The Effect of Shoe Type on a Golfer's Stability

  • G. Lange
  • T. R. Derrick
  • J. Hamill
Keywords: golf shoes, stability, pressure measurement


The role of the shoe in the golf swing should be to provide a solid base of support for the application of forces. Because there is a large mediolateral component to the reaction forces at the feet during the swing, a shoe is required that is effective in providing mediolateral stability. Without the necessary stability, changes in the kinetics and kinematics of the swing may occur that could lead to inaccurate ball placement. To study the role of stability, twelve right-handed male golfers where asked to hit golf balls into an indoor driving net using a five iron golf club. All subjects were experienced golfers with self-reported handicaps of twelve or less. In-shoe pressure measurements using a Tekscan in-shoe pressure measurement system were recorded in each shoe simultaneously at 100 Hz. Ground reaction forces for each foot were collected for the same trials using two separate A.M.T.I. force platform systems sampling at 319 Hz. Identification of address and contact involved the use of a pressure sensor beneath the ball and the hitting surface. A light was iluminated while the golfer was in the address position (AD) as well as at contact (CON). This circuit was also interfaced to a microcomputer via an analog to digital converter so that AD and CON could be identified in the ground reaction force data. These positions were verified and maximum backswing (MB) was identified using a 200 Hz NEC high speed video camera. The shoe types consisted of two golf shoes, one athletic golf shoe, one running shoe, and one cross-training shoe. Analysis focused on changes in the movement of the center of pressure (COP) at the ground-shoe and shoe-foot interface, as well as position of the center of pressure at address, maximum backswing and contact. Comparison of the movement of the COP was used to indicate the relative stability of each shoe. The occurrence of the maximum deviation of the COP in the anteroposterior and medio-Iateral direction relative to MB and CON was assessed both in-shoe and at the ground-shoe interface. The results may provide evidence regarding the stability associated with golf shoes as compared with a cross-trainer or running shoe.
Equipment / Instrumentation