ankle axis, articulation, boots, skiing, skating


An articulated boot design is commonly used in skiing and skating sports because it allows sagittal plane ankle mobility while still providing critical frontal plane stability. Although articulated boots have been in use for several decades, current manufacturers of these boots differ in their articulation placement. In this study we determined an optimal position of the ankle articulation axis. We also calculated the amount of anterior skin movement that a boot tongue must account for during a full range of ankle motion. Three‐dimensional kinematic data were collected and analyzed from 40 participants moving their right foot through a full range of sagittal plane motion. The calculated horizontal position of the articulation axis was found to be highly predictable from foot length (r = 0.87, standard error of estimate = 3.44 mm), while its vertical component displayed less predictability (r = 0.49, standard error of estimate = 7.46 mm). The expansion required by the boot tongue had a moderate association with foot length and low variability (r = 0.58, standard error of estimate = 0.07 mm). An accurate axis placement will minimize relative motion between the boot cuff and the ankle, reducing friction and motion resistance. An expandable tongue will accommodate full plantar flexion and reduce pressure on the anterior ankle during dorsiflexion, eliminating common pressure‐related injuries.

Original Publication Citation

Bruening Da, Richards JG: Optimal Ankle axis position for articulated boots. Sports Biomech,. 4(2): 215-225, 2005.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Taylor & Francis Online




Life Sciences


Exercise Sciences

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor