NFL Flashback: The Ballad of the Barefoot Kicker
Why did some kickers kick bare foot? A bare foot hits the ball with more force than a foot with a shoe on it. Because there is no cushioning in a shoe, it absorbs more of the force.
The most well-known barefoot kicker was Rich Karlis of the Denver Broncos when he kicked the game winning field goal over the Cleveland Browns in 1987 AFC Championship.
Barefoot kickers were always rare in football and I always will question Rich Karlis kicking in the late snowy games at Mile High Stadium.
People say kickers aren’t tough. Try kicking a hard football in the snow with no shoe or sock on in the playoffs with the winds coming off Lake Erie and blowing through Cleveland Municipal Stadium.