Redskins kicker Kai Forbath goes to great lengths to make sure his kicking shoe is in optimal shape on Sundays.He spoke with Nick Sundberg of Sports Evolution Radio this week, and explained why and how he wears a painful size 7.5 shoe on his size 10.5 foot.
The short answer: It makes the surface of the shoe harder, and makes the ball go further.
Here’s what he said (via Sarah Kogod DC Sports Bog):
“The surface it creates when you squeeze [your foot into the shoe], it’s a real hard surface which obviously makes the pop on the ball a lot stronger. You know, you’re trying to get every yard you can get. People have been doing it for a long time now. It’s horrible. I shave the inside cleats off, so my foot is slanted as I walk on it too. When I look down, I still can’t believe how it fits in there.”
So wearing a tight shoe makes your foot like a solid piece of rock, which gives you greater distance on your kicks.
Forbath also talked about how he gets such a tiny shoe on his foot in the first place:
“We have this shoe oven. I think it’s initially made for hockey skates. You put the shoe in the oven for about 10 minutes, take it out, put it on real quick while it’s still burning hot. And I have to jam my foot in and wear it around for about 10 minutes. I do it again the next day. And then I kick in it for about 10 minutes a day for two weeks until it’s finally somewhat comfortable. So it’s about a two week process to break in each shoe.”
This is the second time a big NFL kicker mystery has been revealed this season. Earlier in the year, we learned that kickers always squeeze the balls before kickoff because they’re insanely slick and they only have a few hours to break them in before the game.
Here’s a close-up of the tiny shoe. Looks tight:
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