HOF Artifact of the Week

HOF Artifact of the Week

See All News


These shoes were worn by Jack Lambert of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1984, his final season in the NFL. That season Lambert only started three games due to a painful “turf toe” injury.

Notice the cast on the side of Lambert’s shoe. The Steelers equipment man and trainer at the time put the cast on the shoe to help Lambert handle the injury.  “Turf toe” is the common term used to describe a sprain of the ligaments around the big toe joint.

Although it’s commonly associated with football players who play on artificial turf, it affects athletes in other sports including soccer, basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, and dance. It’s a condition that’s caused by jamming the big toe or repeatedly pushing off the big toe forcefully as in running and jumping. Although “Turf toe” doesn’t sound serious, it is a painful injury that is difficult to treat.

Lambert was one of the toughest players in NFL history and was at the top of his game before the 1984 season but was forced to retire due to his “Turf toe” injury. The previous season in 1983 he was not only a Pro Bowler but he was also an All-Pro.

Our weekly artifacts and other unique items are featured daily in our docent presentations for visitors of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Plan your visit to the Hall to learn more about the collection in our archives.

Back to news