Ankle restrictive firefighting boots alter the lumbar biomechanics during landing tasks

Vy Vu, Anthony Walker, Nick Ball, Wayne Spratford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Firefighters incur high incidences of lower back and body injuries. Firefighting boots, with specific design requirements, have been shown to reduce ankle range of motion. This reduction has been associated with impaired force dissipation and lower body kinematic alterations. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the relationship between firefighting boots, lumbar biomechanics and load carriage during landing. Our data indicates that when wearing firefighting boots, lumbar forces increased and kinematics changed in frontal and transverse planes. These changes may be occurring due to the restrictive shaft of the firefighting boot reducing ankle range of motion. Comparisons between unloaded and loaded conditions also showed increased changes in lumbar biomechanics, independent of footwear worn. Therefore, wearing firefighting boots, in addition to operational loading, may be placing firefighters at greater risk of lumbar injuries. Future research investigating firefighting boots and additional load carriage on lower body biomechanics during landing is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


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