Boot Stud Injuries

Boots equipped with studs are utilised in a number of sports in which maintaining grip and control on the ground or other playing surface is crucial. The most common of these sports are probably football and rugby, plus running and track events that require running spikes in the shoes.

Stud Safety and Regulation

Officials involved in professional sports take care to regulate the types of stud used in sports activities. This serves to limit the danger of boot stud injuries, though the sorts of collisions and stud lodging that cause the injuries still occur regularly. The same strictness often does not apply in everyday amateur sporting leagues, meaning that the likelihood of stud injury is increased. You can inquire about this with your local league or organisation, and also make sure to ask about stud safety when purchasing the relevant boots.

Causes of Injury

There are two main mechanisms that result in distinct boot stud injuries:

Another's Studs

The first is when an athlete comes into contact with a fellow competitor's studs. The studs can potentially strike any part of the body but are generally found in the feet or legs. This is due to the fact that this type of injury is most commonly sustained during tackling manoeuvres in football or rugby. When an athlete goes for the ball in football they can easily miss, and rugby tackles are known for their ferocity. Similarly, these injuries can also occur during a fall or accident on the pitch.

Your Own Studs

The second injury arises when a person's boot studs become stuck in the floor or playing surface while the athlete is still moving. These two opposing forces result in the athlete continuing to move forward as the boot tries to anchor them in place. Such motions can be particularly nasty because they can force the body to twist or contort in unpredictable ways. Landing from the fall can be just as fraught with trouble because the movement is sudden and the body may be in an inadequate position to land without injury.


Injuries caused by impact with another athlete's boot studs are typically minor. However, the speed and power of the movement leading to the injury can be a factor in the severity of the cuts. A deep wound may necessitate medical attention and stitches (see our article on abrasions, cuts and lacerations). Less serious cuts should be treated with suitable cleaning and bandaging. Bruising will arise and pain may be felt, but these injuries should recover quickly and in most cases not cause any major impediment to near-immediate continuation of sports. Cuts needing stitches will require time away from activity.

The second kind of stud injury is often more serious. Cartilage and ligaments can incur damage, as well as the possibility of tendon tears in the legs or hips and bone injuries such as fractures or dislocations. These need the attention of a doctor and may put the athlete out of action for some time. Medical treatment will depend on the injury (see our other articles for various injuries). Physical therapy is used following treatment for most of these injuries.

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