The Effects of British Army Footwear on Ground Reaction Force and Temporal Parameters of British Army Foot Drill

Alex J. Rawcliffe, Scott M. Graham, Richard J. Simpson, Gavin L. Moir, Russell J.J. Martindale, Stelios G. Psycharakis, Chris Connaboy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


High rates of occupational training-related lower-limb musculoskeletal (MSK) overuse injuries are reported for British Army recruits during basic training. Foot drill is a repetitive impact loading occupational activity and involves striking the ground violently with an extended-knee (straight-leg) landing. Foot drill produces vertical ground reaction force (vGRF) equal to or greater than those reported for high-level plyometric exercises/activities. Shock absorbing footwear aid in the attenuation of the magnitude of vGRF, resulting in a reduced risk of lower-limb MSK overuse injury when running. The potential shock absorbing characteristics of standard issue British Army footwear on the magnitude of vGRF and temporal parameters of foot drill are scant. Therefore, this study sought to determine the magnitude of and examine changes in vGRF and temporal parameters of foot drill across 3 types of British Army footwear. Sampled at 1,000 Hz, the mean of 8 trials from 15 recreationally active men were collected from 4 foot drills; stand-at-ease, stand-at-attention, quick-march (QM), and halt. Analysis of a normal walk was included to act as a comparison with QM. Significant main effects (P ≤ 0.05) were observed between footwear and foot drill. The training shoe (TR) demonstrated significantly greater shock absorbing capabilities when compared with the combat boot and ammunition boot. Foot drill produced peak vGRF and peak vertical rate of force development in excess of 5 bw, and 350 bw·s-1, respectively. Time to peak vGRF ranged from 0.016 to 0.036 ms across foot drills, indicating that passive vGRF may not be under neuromuscular control. The marginal reductions in the magnitude of vGRF and temporal parameters in foot drill associated with the TR may act to reduce the accumulative impact loading forces experienced by recruits, subsequently minimizing the severity and rates of lower-limb MSK overuse injuries and recruit medical discharges during basic training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-762
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • basic military training
  • force plate
  • recruits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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