Objective The purpose of this study was to examine knee valgus in drop landings during three different footwear conditions and to examine the ground reaction forces exhibited during the drop landing in the three different footwear conditions.
Methods Sixteen male and female Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) university undergraduate cadets (21±3 yrs, 79±12 kg, and 172±10 cm) volunteered to participate in the study. Kinematic data were collected while participants performed drop landings in three conditions: bare feet, tennis shoes, and issued military boots.
Results Significant differences among footwear for ground reaction forces (bare feet: 1646 ±359%, tennis shoe: 1880±379%, boot: 1833±438%; p < 0.05) were found, while there was no significant difference in knee valgus among footwear.
Conclusions Though footwear conditions did not affect knee valgus, they did affect ground reaction forces. Participants in this study had yet to receive any military training on how to land properly from a specified height. Further research should be completed to analyze the kinematics and kinetics of the lower extremity during different landing strategies implemented by trained military personnel in order to better understand injury mechanisms of drop landings in this population. It is likely that injury prevention landing techniques would be beneficial if these were employed by the military and not just in the sporting community.
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