The football kit of the future

Improved shin pads may be the secret to a more successful campaign for England in the next World Cup, according to a Birmingham academic.

‘According to players, the current constraints are that the pads are too stiff or too heavy or restrict movement, while we are finding that some do not absorb the impact effectively,’ Dr Strangwood says.

The next stage will be to develop designs and materials that optimise energy absorption while allowing full leg movement. This may result in segmented shin pads or designs tailored to individuals.

‘Our aim is to develop a system that could be used commercially and in the next World Cup,' Dr Strangwood says, 'so throughout this year's tournament, I’ve been closely studying the shins of the players on the best performing teams!’