Turf Toe: The Pros and Cons of Synthetic Grass

Houston synthetic grass or as it is used to be known, Astroturf™, has been a source of controversy since it was first developed for the Houston Astrodome in the 1960s. The advanced product that is manufactured today has little resemblance to its predecessor, although it still has its detractors. Most products that are manufactured possess both pros and cons depending upon the perception of the individual consumer. Those who still hold a prejudice against the Astroturf from the ‘60s and ‘70s might be surprised to find how much artificial turf has improved over the past 50 years.

The onset of indoor athletic facilities that hosted sporting events that was once the domain of outdoor fields prompted the development of synthetic playing surfaces.  This was a pragmatic move in light of the fact that grass will not grow without direct sunlight. The franchise owners were also pleased with the reduction in the maintenance costs that natural grass requires. Low, if not virtually no-maintenance is a pro for synthetic turf that remains today. This results in a greater savings to the consumer in installation, upkeep, functionality, durability and time.

Turf toe is one of the cons that have been attributed to playing sports on an artificial surface.  The condition centers on an injury to the big toe that result in an inflammation that produces both acute and chronic pain. In general, the injured player cannot participate in the sport until the swelling subsides. In earlier surfaces the cons also centered on the hardness and lack of traction of the artificial grass. The foundations were generally concrete or asphalt which provided very little cushion and the construction of the plastic grass itself did not allow for a proper release of the foot.  This, of course, resulted in the turf toe injuries.

Players who participate in outdoor and indoor sports played on the artificial surfaces of today do not experience the same difficulties. This is primarily due to a highly durable composition of the fibers and a finely crushed rock sub-base that is used as a foundation. Whereas the original models looked like fake grass, the artificial turf of today is natural-looking, often resembling the look, texture and feel of natural Bermuda grass.

Today, the synthetic grass in Houston is very different from the Astroturf that was first introduced to the city several decades ago. The pros now far outweigh the cons in appearance, durability, traction and functionality. The product is suitable for a myriad of situations, only limited by the desire and imagination of a property owner.


Outdoor Synthetic Surfaces is a premier provider of synthetic grass in Houston. Their synthetic turf products add beauty and functionality to commercial and residential lawns, courtyards and athletic playing fields.  They carry a complete line of earth-friendly recycled rubber products, including landscape rubber mulch, playground rubber mulch, crumble mulch, and synthetic safety surfaces in Houston.

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