Danny Murphy says pitches rather than boots are the main reason players are suffering more injuries to their feet.
Murphy is urging Rooney to try every treatment available
Spurs midfielder Murphy missed the 2002 World Cup after breaking a metatarsal bone and his claim comes in the wake of Wayne Rooney suffering the same injury.
England striker Rooney is now a doubt for the World Cup this summer.
And Murphy, 29, told BBC Radio Five Live: "I personally believe it's the pitches that are more of a factor than the boots because they are so firm."
He added: "They are being made differently in the last five or six years. They're being made to a level which is more conducive to good football.
"But because of the firmness, when you're playing week-in week-out it could have an adverse affect on your feet."
Rooney suffered his latest injury blow in Saturday's Premiership defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
He hopes to play some role in England's World Cup campaign, although he is unlikely to feature in the group games after being told he will be sidelined for at least six weeks.
Murphy hopes Rooney makes it and is urging him to try every treatment available in an effort to be fit for Germany.
"When I had a medial knee ligament problem a few years back and I was trying to get fit for an FA Cup final at Liverpool, I ended up sleeping in an oxygen tent," said Murphy.
"The idea is to keep your fitness levels up rather than to aid the injury but it's definitely beneficial. If that's going to help him two, three or even five per cent then he's got to do it."