Blazing heat burning shoe soles on Toronto's turf fields

It’s so hot that some amateur soccer players say artificial turf is melting the bottoms of their shoes.

Researcher found one artificial field had a surface temperature of 95 C

John Hyland, a technical director with the North Toronto Soccer League, has seen the effect that high temperatures are having on shoes worn by his players. (CBC)

This is not the answer to a "How Hot Is It?" joke.

It's so hot that some amateur soccer players say that the artificial turf they're playing on is melting the bottoms of their shoes and breaking down the glue that holds their athletic footwear together..

Hermann Kingue, who coaches at a girls' soccer camp, can attest to that.

"I have no balance when I'm coaching or when I'm playing. All this black part is gone," he said, pointing to a chunk of black sole from his shoes that has disappeared.

Kingue sent photographs of his wrecked shoes to the manufacturer and was told they would fix them or provide him with a new pair but added that "he hasn't heard from them."

John Hyland, a technical director with the North Toronto Soccer League, said this summer has been "unreal," and there's no way the athletes can play on an artificial pitch before the sun starts going down..

"We're just not able to use it during the day, because it's just too hot," he said. "We started using everything after 6 o'clock in the hope that it's cooled down a bit."

Hyland said that last one week one player's shoe came apart "but he had to keep going because he didn't have another pair of shoes with him." He added that his players have resorted to keeping their water bottles off the field "because it's too hot, the water gets warm and they don't want to drink it."

Hyland suggested watering synthetic fields to keep their temperatures down.

"When I volunteered with the Pan Am Games, that was one of the things we had to do," he said. "At Varsity Stadium, we had to water the turf so it could cool down. That was somewhere else we saw that during the practices, if the turf wasn't watered, players were having issues with their shoes."

Toronto Public Health investigated the health impacts of artificial turf fields and found they're hotter than asphalt in the sun.

A researcher measured one field at a scorching 95 C.

"I was not surprised it was hotter than natural grass but I did not anticipate it would necessarily be hotter than asphalt," said Ronald Macfarlane, manager of Healthy Public Policy.

Environment Canada says today is going to be another scorcher. The agency says it will be mainly sunny with a high of 35 C but it will feel like 42 C with the humidity.

Hermann Kingue, who coaches a girls soccer camp, says it's so hot that strips of his shoe soles have melted away. (CBC)

With files from Lorenda Reddekopp