The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Soccer Star Credits Nike Shoe With Career Rebound

Posted by on Wednesday, December 21st, 2016


New England Revolution’s Charlie Davies was considered one of the “most promising players in U.S. soccer in 2009,” by some accounts — dubbed “the hardest working goalscorer” who helped the men’s national team to an exhilarating run for the Confederations CupA car accident left him with a lacerated bladder and fractures in his elbow, face, femur, and tibia. Though he lives with lingering effects, he credits a pair of Nike soccer cleats with his recovery.

nike soccer cleat
These Nike high top cleats helped Charlie Davies get back to the soccer field after a five-year absence. (Image Source:

What Happened To Davies?

Davies got into a car with two women he didn’t know well after a night of drinking on October 13, 2009. At 3:15 am, the car slammed into a metal guardrail on George Washington Parkway and split in two. The other passenger lost her life. The driver was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty of involuntary manslaughter and driving while intoxicated.

Davies spent a month in the hospital following his accident. There was no doubt in his mind that he’d fully recover and get back into shape for the World Cup. His mindset changed once he got deeper into rehab. “They had me try to walk and I couldn’t do it,” he recalls. He tried for 15 minutes, took a step, and cried for 20 minutes — realizing what a long journey it would be.

Six years since the car accident that caused so much pain and strife for Davies, he was left with a right leg that was 1.5 inches shorter than his left leg. He remembers walking with a limp — “almost like a pirate with a peg leg.” His foot doctor fitted him with a special lift that went inside his shoe to compensate for the difference in leg length, but the lift was always popping out of his cleat when he played. Worse yet, he suffered recurring soft tissue injuries in his leg.

How would he play if he needed the lift to walk — but couldn’t wear the lift on the field without causing even more suffering? At one point, he thought he would never feel at-home on the field again. “I felt just screwed in a way,” he admitted. “And I’d just have to deal with these calf and hamstring issues.”

Sometimes Shoes Are The Secret Sauce…

His sponsor, Nike, came to the rescue halfway through last season. Davies had always worn the Mercurial Vapors, but he found the added stability he needed with the Mercurial Superfly. The high top design protected his ankle enough to prevent the issues he had been having. “It was the best decision of my career,” he said in retrospect. Since he began wearing the new cleats, he has been — not only back in the game, but starting every match and leading the team in goals. He scored 10 goals for his team in 2015 — just one goal shy of his pre-injury record. The effort has been his, but Nike provided the right amount of lift (mentally and physically) when he needed it most, he told reporters.

Foot Fracture Recovery & Soft Tissue Injury Prevention

We often find here at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC that, sometimes, the answer is not surgery — but a much easier solution. Our NYC foot doctors are experts in helping athletes recover from tough injuries that disrupt their professional sports careers. Whether it was a foot or ankle injury that happened on the field or a sudden trauma, we are fully equipped to diagnose and treat acute injuries, as well as guide you through a long-term rehabilitation program. We offer the latest complementary therapies like platelet rich plasma, ultrasound, MLS laser, and more. Our team can fashion custom inserts and lifts. Or, if you are having the same difficult road as Davies, we can find a shoe for you that provides more stability and works to get you back into the game.

Contact an NYC sports medicine doctor today.



If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.