Many individuals suffer from common foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, arthritis, and hallux rigidus/limitus, that can greatly impact their quality of life. Foot pain can impede daily activities and even prevent individuals from doing activities they enjoy. In recent years, rocker sole shoes have become increasingly popular for their effectiveness in providing relief for foot pain caused by these conditions – and they’re becoming particularly well known in the podiatry industry as more and more clinics are starting to understand the benefits.
In this blog post, we will discuss the mechanics of rocker sole shoes, the various foot conditions they can assist with and how to select the right pair for you. We will provide an in-depth look into rocker sole shoes, giving you all the information you need to make an informed decision. Read on to learn more about this innovative footwear technology, and more importantly, how they could benefit your feet!
So What Exactly Are Rocker Sole Shoes?
A rocker sole shoe is a type of shoe that has a thicker, curved sole. You’ve probably seen them before in sports shops, as they’re quite common in running footwear. This design creates a gentle rolling motion when walking & running, which encourages the use of the entire surface area of your feet, which will offload peak pressure points. The technology is intended to redistribute the load of your body weight, as well as to increase the range of motion of your foot joints.
The purpose of the design is to mimic the natural motion of the foot, which helps to reduce the stress on the heel and toe joints. This can help to alleviate pain and discomfort in the feet, as well as improve overall foot and leg function.
It’s worth noting that you do not need to be an athlete or fitness enthusiast to feel the benefits of rocker sole shoes. While they can be beneficial for those who are physically active, they can also be worn as everyday shoes, and can help to alleviate pain and discomfort caused by standing or walking on hard surfaces. They can also be helpful for people who are recovering from foot or ankle injuries, as they can help to promote proper healing and reduce the risk of re-injury. This is why you’ll find some sports brands on our website like HOKA and Asics listed as everyday shoes, not necessarily for sports.
In addition, they can help to improve balance and stability, which can be beneficial for people with certain foot conditions. Overall, rocker sole shoes can be a great option for anyone looking for a more comfortable and supportive shoe that can help to promote healthy foot and leg mechanics. If you want a more in-depth read, I found this great article that goes into more detail about rocker shoes and how they can help your feet, posture, and general physical wellbeing.
The Original Rocker Sole – A Brief History Lesson!
MBT, also known as Masai Barefoot Technology, was the first brand to introduce rocker sole technology in their footwear. The brand was founded in the 1990s by Swiss engineer Karl Müller, who was inspired by the natural walking style of the Masai people of Kenya. He observed that the Masai walked on soft, uneven ground and had very few foot and leg problems, while people in industrialized countries, who mostly walk on hard, flat surfaces, suffer from a variety of foot and leg problems. This led him to create a shoe that would mimic the natural motion of the foot.
MBT shoes were revolutionary when they were first introduced to the market, as they were the first shoes that had a curved, rocker sole that created a natural rolling motion when walking. This helped to reduce pressure on the heel and toe joints and improved overall foot and leg function. When the shoes were first introduced, they were so different from traditional shoes that many people found them difficult to walk in and required training to get used to them.
How do They Work?
One of the reasons why rocker sole shoes are so effective at reducing foot pain is because of the way they’re designed. The soles of rocker sole shoes are rounded, creating a rocking motion as you walk or run. This rocking motion helps to distribute your weight more evenly across your feet, reducing the pressure on certain areas.
Additionally, rocker sole shoes are designed to provide extra support and cushioning to the heel and arch areas. This helps to reduce the impact of each step and provide added comfort. By providing a combination of support and cushioning, rocker sole shoes help to alleviate pain and discomfort associated with conditions such as plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, and heel spurs.
Overall, rocker sole shoes provide a unique combination of support and cushioning that can help to alleviate pain and discomfort associated with various foot conditions. And when you get the right fit, rocker sole shoes can be a game changer for those suffering from foot pain – especially if you partner them up with orthotics that have been prescribed to you by a medical professional.
What Conditions Can a Rocker Sole Help With?
This type of shoe is effective at reducing pain and discomfort associated with various foot conditions. Some of the most common conditions that can benefit from rocker sole shoes include:
- Plantar fasciitis: Rocker sole shoes are designed to provide extra support and cushioning to the heel, which can help to reduce the pressure on the heel that is often associated with plantar fasciitis. This can help to alleviate pain and discomfort caused by this condition. Some rockers will also reduce the strain on the calf and Achilles, where tightness can be a contributing factor. The rocker helps to alleviate the strain put on those muscles & tendons.
- Morton’s Neuroma: The rocker sole design of these shoes helps to reduce forefoot strain, which can be beneficial for those dealing with Morton’s neuroma. This condition, which is characterized by the inflammation of nerves between the toes, can cause severe pain and discomfort. Rocker sole shoes can help to alleviate these symptoms by offloading pressure from the toe joints, which is where the nerves are most irritated.
- Bunions: People who have bunions may experience forefoot pressure. Rocker sole shoes have been shown to offload that pressure, and by doing so, reduce discomfort. A rocker sole shoe can also keep your foot in a more natural position, which can help prevent the bunion from getting any worse.
- Hallux Rigidus: Rocker sole shoes can be beneficial for those dealing with Hallux Rigidus, a condition that affects the big toe joint and leads to stiffness, limited movement and pain. A rocker sole shoe will allow your feet to go through a normal range of motion without putting extra pressure on the affected joints.
It’s important to note that while rocker sole shoes can be beneficial for people dealing with foot conditions, they are not a substitute for medical treatment. It is always recommended to consult with a medical professional before starting or changing any treatment plan. They’re also not going to be suitable for everyone, due to the nature of how they work. If you have a history of balance problems or have issues with your equilibrium, these shoes may not be suitable as they could increase your chances of falling. The easiest and most direct way to find out is to book a video call and have a chat with us.
Choosing The Right Rocker Sole For Your Feet
- Fit: If your foot is positioned badly inside the shoe you will not get the benefits of the technology. If a shoe is too small, you will claw your toes to keep it on your feet which can contribute to other problems. Similarly, if the shoe is too big it can lead to blisters & other issues. If you want some help finding the right fit, feel free to book a video call with us and have a chat with one of our expert shoe-fitters.
- Foot Condition: First and foremost, consider what foot condition you are dealing with. Some rocker sole shoes are specifically designed to provide relief for certain conditions, such as plantar fasciitis or Morton’s neuroma. If you are unsure if a shoe will be right for you, get in touch with us! You can also consult your podiatrist to make sure you will not get anything that contradicts or interferes with their treatment plan.
- Foot Type: Make sure you choose a shoe that is designed to fit your foot type. For example, if you have wide feet, look for a shoe with a wide toe box. If you have a high arch, look for a shoe that has cushioning. If you have a flat foot, look for something with more arch support.
- Style: You’d be surprised at how many rocker sole styles there are! Brands are quite inventive with them, and as such you can find athletic shoes, dress shoes, and even sandals! Consider your requirements and ask yourself what the footwear is going to be used for. Use this information to choose the style that best suits your needs and daily activity.
- Comfort: Comfort is key when it comes to rocker sole shoes. Shoes with more cushioning and padding can help with comfort if you are wearing them long-term. High quality, natural materials are also a big plus as they tend to be more breathable, and will last considerably longer if you take care of them.
- Brand reputation: Choose shoes from reputable brands that have a history of designing quality rocker sole shoes. This does not necessarily mean you have to be price driven, just perform your own checks on footwear to make sure it is going to be suitable for you – avoid being influenced by misleading marketing jargon!
You can search for all of our rocker soles here – it might be worth having a look through some of our brands to see which one matches your needs and style. For example, HOKA are a great choice if you like cushioning and an athletic style, whereas Xsensible offer more conventional looking fashion-focused footwear. Just remember, feet are incredibly individual. There’s no other feet like yours on Earth! That’s why we always suggest booking a free consultation, so we can have a chat with you directly and make the best suggestions personalised for you.
In conclusion, rocker sole shoes are a great option for anyone looking for a more comfortable and supportive shoe that can help to promote healthy foot and leg mechanics. The technology behind rocker soles is designed to mimic the natural motion of the foot, which can help to reduce the stress on the heel and toe joints and improve overall foot and leg function. Brands like MBT were the first to introduce this technology in the market, and they have paved the way for other brands to follow suit.
Rocker sole shoes are not only beneficial for people with foot conditions or those who are recovering from injuries, but also for athletes and fitness enthusiasts as well as everyday walkers looking for more comfort. They can help to improve balance and stability, reduce the risk of injuries, and even improve performance for those who are physically active.
If you’re curious about trying rocker sole shoes, we recommend booking an online video consultation with our team. This is the best way we can advise you and make sure you get the right option for your feet. At shoefit.uk you can find a wide variety of rocker sole shoes to choose from, so give your feet the support they need and shop now!
This article is for informative purposes only. It is not advice or a substitute for a medical treatment plan. To know if rocker soles would be suitable for you, ask your podiatrist or GP.