Report Calls For Soccer To Adopt New Cleats Designed For Female Players After Spike In Injuries

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A British parliamentary report recommends the development of specific footwear for women, in response to the serious knee injuries suffered by top-level female soccer players.

Last year’s Women’s World Cup was marred by the withdrawal of a number of players with serious knee injuries, including France’s Delphine Cascarino and Marie-Antoinette Katoto, England’s Beth Mead and Leah Williamson, and Canada’s Janine Beckie.

The high number of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures among female players has led the British Parliament’s Women and Equality Committee to look into the matter.

In its report, published on Tuesday, the committee found that the response from the sporting sector has been “patchy and slow,” adding,  “We are convinced that a health problem of similar magnitude affecting elite male footballers would have received a faster, more thorough and better-coordinated response,” the report cites.

In June 2023, 82% of female soccer players acknowledged discomfort due to their footwear, according to a survey of 350 players coordinated by the European Club Association.

The report, which estimates that female players suffer at least three times as many ACL ruptures as their male counterparts, focuses in particular on the lack of footwear designed specifically for women and calls on the sports sector to develop specific equipment adapted to women (with a focus on biomechanics, ergonomics, morphology).

When questioned by the commission, The Well HQ CEO Baz Moffat, who is committed to improving women’s sporting practice, pointed out that there is currently only one brand in the world, IDA Sports, dedicated to the production of shoes specifically designed for women’s feet, regretting their relatively high price, as they are not considered “a mass-market product.”

The commission recommends that the British government convene a working group involving the major sports equipment manufacturers to “develop a long-term strategy to solve (this) problem.”

This post is originally from L’Équipe