Bras, boots, and balls: Why women’s football kit could be causing injury

New research published in the journal Sports Engineering and highlighted in articles from the BBC and many other news outlets shows that the safety and performance of women football players is suffering because their kit is still largely designed for the men’s game.

The research team was led by Dr Katrine Okholm Kryger, and included England Women’s team captain Leah Williamson alongside Faculty Fellows Dr Craig Rosenbloom and Dr Ritan Mehta and Member Dr Sean Carmody. Below, Dr Rosenbloom gives a brief introduction to the study.

The interest and participation in women’s football is growing, built on recently with the success of the England women’s national football team. The use of technology in elite women’s football has grown accordingly, but most products are designed with a focus on men’s football. A recent scoping review found just 32 published scientific articles on technology in women’s football.

In an attempt to highlight this disparity – and shine a spotlight on the research needs – a group of sports scientists, sports medicine doctors, and physiotherapists, alongside Arsenal and Lionesses footballer Leah Williamson, have published an article in Sports Engineering titled ‘Ten questions in sports engineering: technology in elite women’s football’. The author group includes FSEM fellows Dr Ritan Mehta and Dr Craig Rosenbloom, and FSEM member Dr Sean Carmody.

The article discusses topics including football kits, religious considerations (hijab designs), sports bras, football boots, balls, football pitches, performance tracking devices, and menstrual cycle tracking devices. It is hoped that the article stimulates discussion and highlights important research and sports engineering gaps to improve athlete health and wellbeing, as well as performance within the elite women’s game.

The article can be found here: