You see people walking down the street in them – shoes with the bulky, boat-shaped soles. What are those and why are they suddenly becoming so popular? It’s not because they are the latest shoes seen on the red carpet. This is a new trend that is actually focused on foot health and total body wellness - rocker sole shoes.
When these shoes first arrived on the shelves of comfort shoe stores I was a skeptic. After studying the biomechanical effects of rocker-sole shoes, trying on several brands, and fitting hundreds of customers, I have found that these shoes can reduce several types of foot pain and often reduce ankle, knee, hip and back pain as well.
While standing in a heel-to-toe rocker, the balance point is on the midfoot. With the heel and ball-of-the-foot suspended, stress is relieved on those areas. This can help with plantar fasciitis pain, heel pain, pain associated with metatarsalgia, broken toes, hallux rigidus, hallux limitus and general forefoot pain. These benefits are experienced while the foot is in motion as well. The rocker sole shoe uses the simple concept of a contoured rigid platform that controls joint motion by rocking the foot from heel-strike through toe-off. The rigid platform reduces the movement of the midfoot and forefoot, often resulting in reduced pain in those areas. Individuals who suffer from painful arthritis in the midfoot and forefoot can find much relief when wearing these shoes.
People who suffer from Charcot foot or foot drop can benefit greatly from rocker sole shoes. Due to the lack of control these conditions cause with the foot and ankle, the assistance of the rocker can make walking much easier.
While rocker sole shoes have proven to be effective in providing foot comfort to many people, they are not for everyone. People with balance issues, severe over pronation and severe foot abnormalities should consult their doctor before purchasing a pair. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try a pair on, or have more questions, head to your nearest SHOES-n-FEET and a Certified Shoe Fitting Specialist will be happy to assist you.
Aimée E. Castro
SHOES-n-FEET San Francisco
To see some of the Rocker Soles we carry, check out our Wellness Shoes section.