SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1985

On-Slope Testing of an Instrumented Alpine Ski Boot


In recent years, alpine ski boots have increased in height and in lateral and medial stiffness. As a result of these changes, the forces experienced by the lower leg, and the resulting injury pattern, have changed. Fractures and sprains of the ankle and spiral fractures of the tibia have declined significantly. In order to understand more fully the nature of these forces, a normal ski boot was modified by the inclusion of twelve transducers. These transducers measured forces in various areas on the lower leg, as well as under the forward part of the foot and the heel. The knee angle and the ankle flexion angle in the sagittal plane were also recorded. The instrumentation required was completely portable and weighed approximately 6 kg. A test skier made a number of runs with the equipment in place. The results show that, as the skier drove his knee forward, the forces on the frontal area of the tibia increased. The forces on the heel and forward part of the foot also increased. In going through a turn, the heel thrust took place first, followed by an increase in force in the forward part of the foot. The slalom turns show a more inconsistent, or rapidly changing, pattern of force application than the giant slalom turns.

Author Information

Medoff, Howard
Spring Garden College, Philadelphia, PA
Pierce, Jay
University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Pope, Malcolm
College of Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Johnson, Robert, J.
College of Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
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Developed by Committee: F27
Pages: 165–172
DOI: 10.1520/STP46635S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-6832-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-6833-6