It’s Not the Shoes: A Look At the Correlation Between Brands and Injuries

The gruesome injury to University of Louisville guard Kevin Ware has brought the discussion of specific shoe brands being linked to injuries back to the forefront. After season ending injuries to young NBA stars last season, adidas basketball shoes began to receive whispers of criticism. Those whispers became a little louder when the adidas outfitted Cardinals player suffered one of the worst injuries in recent sports memory. The compound fracture that Ware endured is rare in non-contact sports, such as basketball. Could your choice, or brand, of sneakers really be the root of a possible season ending knee injury?

Iman Shrumpert tore his ACL and lateral meniscus in Game 1 of the New York Knick’s first round playoff series while wearing adidas sneakers. In an odd coincidence, Bulls superstar Derrick Rose tore his ACL on the exact same day. Both athletes wore adidas sneakers at the time of their injuries, and many uninformed began to blame the shoes. However, only 8 days later, Knicks guard Baron Davis suffered one of the worse knee injuries in recent memory. The veteran guard raced up court, was fouled, and collapsed. The injury looked bad, but the realization of its extent was shocking. Davis suffered a complete tear of the MCL and ACL, and partially tore his patella tendon. His career now hangs in the balance, as he continues to rehab the dreadful injury. Baron Davis, once a Reebok athlete, wore Li-Ning sneakers.

Prior to the Ware injury, one of the worse basketball injuries of this generation happened to Shaun Livingston. In just his third season in the NBA, and only three years removed from high school, the then Los Angeles Clipper guard had promising career ahead of him. That seemed to come to a screeching and excruciating halt on February 26, 2007 when Livingston’s fell awkwardly on his knee during a game against the Charlotte Bobcats. In general terms, it was said that he “broke his knee”. However, it was not that simple. The injury was so severe, a doctor warned of possible amputation. Livingston dislocated his knee, and tore the ACL, PCL, and MCL. Three of the four ligaments were completely torn, and his comeback was long and arduous. Now playing the Cleveland Cavaliers, there were questions if he would ever return to the court. Shaun Livingston wore Reebok sneakers.