Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2024) 23, 196 - 208   DOI:

Research article
Influence of Torsional Stiffness in Badminton Footwear on Lower Limb Biomechanics
Siqin Shen1,2,3, Jin Teng4, Gusztáv Fekete3, Qichang Mei1,5, , Jia Zhao6, Fan Yang6, , Yaodong Gu1,2,3
Author Information
1 Faculty of Sports Science, Ningbo University, Ningbo, China
2 Faculty of Engineering, University of Pannonia, Veszprém, Hungary
3 Vehicle Industry Research Center, Széchenyi István University, Győr, Hungary
4 Department of Sports Biomechanics, Beijing Sport University, Beijing, China
5 Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
6 Li Ning Sport Science Research Center, Li Ning (China) Sports Goods Company Limited, Beijing, China

Qichang Mei
Faculty of Sports Science, Ningbo University, No. 818, Fenghua Rd. Jiangbei District, Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. 315211

Fan Yang
Faculty of Sports Science, Ningbo University, No. 818, Fenghua Rd. Jiangbei District, Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. 315211
Publish Date
Received: 19-06-2023
Accepted: 14-02-2024
Published (online): 01-03-2024

Torsional stiffness of athletic footwear plays a crucial role in preventing injury and improving sports performance. Yet, there is a lack of research focused on the biomechanical effect of torsional stiffness in badminton shoes. This study aimed to comprehensively investigate the influence of three different levels of torsional stiffness in badminton shoes on biomechanical characteristics, sports performance, and injury risk in badminton players. Fifteen male players, aged 22.8 ± 1.96 years, participated in the study, performing badminton-specific tasks, including forehand clear stroke [left foot (FCL) and right foot (FCR)], 45-degree sidestep cutting (45C), and consecutive vertical jumps (CVJ). The tasks were conducted wearing badminton shoes of torsional stiffness measured with Shore D hardness 50, 60, and 70 (referred to as 50D, 60D, and 70D, respectively). The primary biomechanical parameters included ankle, knee, and MTP joint kinematics, ankle and knee joint moments, peak ground reaction forces, joint range of motion (ROM), and stance time. A one-way repeated measures ANOVA was employed for normally distributed data and Friedman tests for non-normally distributed data. The 70D shoe exhibited the highest ankle dorsiflexion and lowest ankle inversion peak angles during 45C task. The 60D shoe showed significantly lower knee abduction angle and coronal motions compared to the 50D and 70D shoes. Increased torsional stiffness reduced stance time in the FCR task. No significant differences were observed in anterior-posterior and medial-lateral ground reaction forces (GRF). However, the 70D shoe demonstrated higher vertical GRF than the 50D shoe while performing the FCR task, particularly during 70% - 75% of stance. Findings from this study revealed the significant role of torsional stiffness in reducing injury risk and optimizing performance during badminton tasks, indicating that shoes with an intermediate level of stiffness (60D) could provide a beneficial balance between flexibility and stability. These findings may provide practical references in guiding future badminton shoe research and development. Further research is necessary to explore the long-term effects of altering stiffness, considering factors such as athletic levels and foot morphology, to understand of the influence of torsional stiffness on motion biomechanics and injury prevalence in badminton-specific tasks.

Key words: Badminton, footwear, torsional stiffness, biomechanics, footwork

           Key Points
  • This study investigated the dose-response effect of the torsional stiffness in badminton shoes on the biomechanical performance of badminton footwork.
  • Shoes with an intermediate torsional stiffness of 60D seemed to demonstrate a favourable compromise, suggesting a balance between flexibility and stability during play.
  • There was a noticeable increase in the propulsion force with enhanced torsional stiffness during the forehand clear stroke, hinting at the potential for improved motion performance.
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