Rotational Traction Values on Bermudagrass

As an athlete accelerates, stops, and changes direction, numerous forces are transmitted to the lower extremities. The interaction between an athlete's shoe and the playing surface has been indicated as a factor in lower extremity injury risk. In particular, high rotational forces may result in increased injuries to the lower extremities due to the foot becoming "entrapped" in the playing surface during pivoting movements (Torg et al., 1974).

The following list contains rotational traction values of various shoes tested on bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) grown on a sand-based rootzone and mowed at 0.75 inches. The cultivar of bermudagrass was Riviera and the turf coverage was 100%.

2019 Shoes

Shoe Traction (Nm)
Adidas Freak Carbon Mid 77.0
Adidas Freak Ghost 76.8
Under Armour Highlight MC 76.5
Under Armour Highlight RM 76.1
Nike Vapor Untouchable Pro 3 75.5
Nike Alpha Menace Elite 2 74.6
Under Armour C1N MC 73.4
Nike Force Savage 2 Shark 72.7
Nike Vapor Untouchable Varsity 3 TD 72.3
Adidas adizero 8.0 71.9
Under Armour Nitro Low MC 71.2
Under Armour Spotlight MC 70.8

2017 Shoes

Shoe Traction (Nm)
Nike Force Savage Elite TD 89.6
Under Armour Highlight Lux RM 78.0
Nike Alpha Menace Varsity Mid 67.4
Nike Alpha Menace Elite 66.4
Nike Vapor Speed 2 TD 65.5
Nike Vapor Untouchable Pro 64.8
Adidas Freak x Carbon Low 63.9
Under Armour Nitro Select Low MC 63.6
Adidas adiZero 5-Star 6.0 63.4
Nike Alpha Sensory Turf 62.9
Under Armour Highlight Lux MC 62.7

Previously Tested Shoes

The colors in the table below represent each shoe's traction value relative to the other shoes tested on bermudagrass, with red being the highest and green being the lowest.

Shoe Traction (Nm)
Nike Lunar Superbad Pro TD BERM1.PNG
Nike Air Astrograbber BERM2.PNG
Nike Alpha Talon Elite 3/4 BERM3.PNG
Nike Lunar Superbad Pro D BERM4.PNG
Nike Air Zoom Alpha Talon BERM5.PNG
Under Armour Hammer Mid BERM6.PNG
Nike Alpha Pro 3/4 D BERM7.PNG
Under Armour Fierce III Mid D BERM8.PNG
Nike Air Huarache Chrome BERM9.PNG
Nike Land Shark 2 Low BERM10.PNG
Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly TD BERM11.PNG
Nike Air Destroyer 5/8 BERM12.PNG
Nike Air Zoom Apocalypse IV BERM13.PNG
Nike Air Zoom Blade D BERM14.PNG
Nike Keystone (baseball) BERM15.PNG
Nike Alpha Pro 3/4 TD BERM16.PNG
Nike Air Zoom Coop V (baseball) BERM17.PNG
Nike Vapor Pro Low D BERM18.PNG
Adidas Mundial Team TF BERM19.PNG
Nike Vapor Pro Low TD BERM20.PNG
Adidas CrazyQuick Mid BERM21.PNG
Adidas Scorch Thrill FieldTurf BERM22.PNG
Under Armour Nitro III Low CompFit BERM23.PNG
Saucony ProGrid Hurricane (running shoe) BERM24.PNG
Nike Mercurial Victory IV BERM25.PNG
Nike Vapor Jet TD BERM26.PNG
Adidas AdiZero 5-Star 2.0 BERM27.PNG
Adidas Copa Mundial BERM28.PNG
Under Armour Highlight MC BERM29.PNG
Nike Air Zoom Blade Pro TD BERM30.PNG
HSD* 12.8

*HSD: Tukey Honestly Significant Difference Test. Traction means within the value listed are not statistically different from one another.

Interpretation of Results

Rotational traction measured with mechanical devices such as Pennfoot allow for comparisons among shoe-types and playing surfaces; however, 'safe' and 'unsafe' traction levels have not been established in the scientific community, as this type of data has not been directly correlated with injury risk. Although researchers have yet to establish 'safe' threshold levels, it is generally accepted that low levels of rotational traction are desired over high levels from a lower extremity injury risk standpoint (Lambson et al., 1996). However, if traction is too low, playability may be reduced as athletes may be prone to slipping, thus increasing potential for other types of injuries.

Rotational traction values are presented in Newton-meters (Nm), which is the standard rotational traction unit (ASTM, 2009).

Traction data (four measurements per each shoe-surface combination) were analyzed for each playing surface using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Tukey's Honestly Significant Differences (HSD) test was used for means separation at the alpha = 0.05 level. It is important to note that traction values within the HSD value listed are not statistically different from one another.

Disclaimer: The traction values reported in this database represent the traction of each shoe under the conditions on the day of testing. Variations in traction values due to surface wetness, turf coverage, mowing height, soil type, soil moisture, soil compaction, soil temperature, air temperature, and other environmental conditions are possible. Additionally, athlete age, athlete weight, athlete skill level, and other attributes affect traction. Rotational traction values have not been directly correlated to injury risk.