Gotta be the shoes?

With three UCLA players breaking the fifth metatarsal bone in their foot in the last year, and tight end Logan Paulsen possibly suffering the same injury twice in seven months, I asked UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel if the shoes the players are wearing could be an issue.
Also, here is something Paulsen said about this injury, compared to the one he suffered at the start of the 2008 season.
“I had a CT scan and they had a problem sending the images over here so I don’t really know anything more than you guys do,” Paulsen said. “But I know from the X-ray the screw looks good and that’s really important because that’s one of the things that Ben (Olson) had a problem with when he broke his foot (the second time). So, the screw looks good and it’s not really swollen too bad, so that’s also a very positive thing. It’s definitely not the same thing as before.”

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  • Mars Blackman


    I was wondering if you knew what UCLA’s shoe deal with Adidas was worth and the extent of the contract. Is it more/less than the deal USC (a private school) has with Nike or other UC schools with their various sponsors?

  • Anonymous

    is Paulsen under some kinda student athlete contract to wear a particular brand of shoe?
    If he’s having issues, why can’t the department just shop around for a shoe that works, no matter the brand?

    i do like our adidas contract btw. I just don’t see Nike making us one of their tier one schools in football, or even basketball

  • CS

    As I’m sure Brian has seen in the past, UCLA has actually put some kids into a NIKE football cleat because it is wider than the comparable adidas shoe.

    Funny part too is that they spray painted the black nike shoe white and painted the three adidas stripes on the side in blue. It didn’t look great but it was servicable and necessary for the contract.

  • VBs Cat

    i do like our adidas contract btw. I just don’t see Nike making us one of their tier one schools in football, or even basketball.

    i agree. Im more of a Adidas fan than Nike.
    have you seen what Nike has done to the some of these uniforms??ugh..i dont want those super-tight basketball jerseys or those ugly Oregon football jerseys. pretty nasty stuff out there. i dont want them messing with tradition.

  • Shoe Doctor

    Reposting my comment from an earlier entry. It’s time to get a new shoe company who cares IMO!

    Shoe Doctor said:

    Yes TruBruin is right! Adidas equipped teams really have gone downhill in the past 10 years and I think they are not getting the right fit on our guys!!

    See this article about our foot injuries:

    I can’t believe we put up with this kind of support from Adidas:

    ‘Nike poured millions into more research and development, widening its soles, changing its shoe construction and using more high-tech materials that were both lighter and stronger. The results were improved performance as well as reduced injuries.

    Adidas, which did not respond to repeated requests for an interview, has not had an on-campus shoe liaison working at UCLA as it has had in prior seasons. So when Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel said, “We’re looking into the shoes,” at the start of fall camp, he had nowhere to turn.’

    More proof that Adidas is slacking

    Plus we should have this group of podiatrists to get involved quick!

    Brian or Jill, can you do a follow up on this to see if there is anything behind these injuries as it’s getting ridiculous with the good players we keep losing to foot injuries!!

  • BruinGuy

    Interesting. My daughter plays D1 softball for a school that is sponsored by Adidas and they wear Adidas cleats. Guess what bone she broke while stepping on first base awkwardly two years ago? You guessed it, the fifth metatarsal bone in her left foot.

    I think we’re onto something here.

  • Sid

    “They told me that it’s a permanent switch,” said Chandler, who acknowledged other switches were met with the same statement. “I’m just doing it for the team. I’m not a selfish person, but I do want what’s best for me. Whether it’s tackle or tight end, I can see a future there.”

    Love to hear that. Wish some OTHER kids on the team had the same attitude…

  • Anonymous

    There’s gotta be a podiatrist or two who read this blog. Can a podiatrist let us know whether the type of shoe that an athlete wears can have an effect on whether he will re-injure a broken fifth metatarsal? My understanding is that once you break that bone, it’s one of the easiest bones in the body to re-break because it never quite heals to the point where it was before.

  • TitanBruin31

    What is this the English National Team?
    I wonder if they have an Adidas contract, too …

  • Anonymous

    not too certain a podiatrist would be willing to comment here, even anonymously, on the link between numerous 5th metatarsal fractures and any shoe brand, a potential bombshell. could we see lawsuits/gateway to bankruptcy for adidas?

  • UB (Ultimate Bruin)

    For the record, I had an avulsion fracture of the fifth metatarsal on my left foot playing pick-up hoops a few years back. It was just before FB season and I had to hobble up to Row 72 in tunnel 19 that season in a walking boot!!! At first, they let me go up to the press box, out the door, and walk down 5 rows. But that ended after 2 or 3 games.

    It happened when I went up for a rebound. When I came down, I stepped on another player’s foot and rolled my ankle severely. I though it was just a BAAAAAD sprain, but the X-Rays showed the break in the 5th meta . . . .


    Every now and then, I still feel a twinge in that foot.

  • UB (Ultimate Bruin)

    Here is an interesting find . . . .

    Heskey joins a long list of England players who have suffered the curse of the metatarsal injury over recent years.

    Below is a list of the members of the unwanted group and their current football boots of choice.

    David Beckham – Adidas Predator Absolute Globe
    Gary Neville – Adidas Predator Absolute
    Danny Murphy – Nike Air Zoom Total 90
    Steven Gerrard – Adidas Predator Absolute
    Scott Parker – Puma v-Konstrukt
    Ashley Cole – Adidas Predator Absolute
    Michael Owen – Umbro X Boot III
    Ledley King – Adidas Predator Absolute
    Wayne Rooney – Nike Total 90 Laser
    Joey Barton -Nike Total 90 Laser

    So, in this UNSCIENTIFIC sampling — 50% Addidas, 30 % Nike, 10% Puma, 10% Umbro X

  • UB (Ultimate Bruin)

    Hmmm. Is Addidas on notice?????

    “Webster, a projected starter at small forward when training camp opened, suffered a stress fracture in his fifth metatarsal on his left foot during the Blazers’ first preseason game on Oct. 7. He had surgery to insert screws into the foot, then returned to the court on Dec. 7 in Toronto. But after playing five minutes, Webster suffered another stress fracture in the same spot.
    * * *
    Also, the shoe company that endorses Webster (Adidas) did a series of force studies that examined how Webster walked and ran. The studies showed that the weight Webster bears on his left foot is different than that on the right. As a result, Adidas is making orthodics for Webster that will alleviate some of the weight off his fifth metatarsal.”

  • VBs Cat

    should we be comparing football players to futbol players?? i think most of the futbol players are small. Cant imagine most of them with size 11+.nothing like Football players…lol

  • jwrbruins

    I am not saying it is or isn’t the shoe brand. But, aren’t there other factors involved? How well are feet and ankles being taped if at all? Are they wearing one or two pair of socks? Do the players tie their shoes correctly (ask John Wooden about this). Also, even in the same brand of shoe, cleat patterns can be different. You can come down just right on a cleat and cause damage. Also, the type or turf or artificial turf you come down on can be a factor. Just some thoughts.

  • Dos

    I wanted to blame Adidas or some other shoe manufacturer at one point in my own 5th metatarsal adventure, but I have gradually come to the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter what shoes you’re wearing: if you twist your ankle right, you can probably break the 5th metatarsal barefoot. I don’t think these would be as big an issue if people were still wearing high-top shoes like we had in the 80s and 90s (when these fractures weren’t nearly as common, as far as I have been able to determine). I think that the unscientific sample that UB (Ultimate Bruin) posted above says more about the relative popularity of Adidas among top athletes and their teams than it does about the piece of plastic bolted or sewn to some bits of extracted vinyl, leather, or whatever other material is used in the boots. Nike is hugely popular among soccer fans in the US, but the rest of the world is still not as amused with the swoosh… I was wearing Kelmes when I developed my fracture, but I’m afraid they’re going to stop making football gear (oops. soccer!), if the things they’re saying in Spain are true.