Rocker soles on shoes have been shown in a number of studies (some listed below) to substantially relieve pain associated with a variety of foot problems. Depending on where the rocker is placed on the shoe, it can provide different benefits.
Types of Rockers Soles
Forefoot Rocker Sole: A rocker placed just behind the metatarsal heads is very effective at reducing pressure under the ball of the foot and reducing motion in the toe joints. Thus we use it for treating hallux limitus (big toe arthritis) and ball-of-foot pain.
Heel to Toe Rocker Sole: As you can see in the picture, this type of rocker sole has the thickest point farther back on the shoe. This type of rocker shoe can be effective for limiting ankle and midfoot motion. Thus, it is helpful when a patient has ankle arthritis or midfoot arthritis. It also can reduce force on the heel at heel strike, as the foot rolls faster off of the heel.
How Do You Get a Rocker Sole on Your Shoe?
There are several ways to get rocker bottom soles on your shoes:
- We can write a prescription to have a rocker sole added to a shoe.
- You can buy a shoe with a rocker sole.
- You can achieve some, but not all, of the benefits of a rocker sole by using a “turf toe plate“ in your shoe. This is a steel or graphite plate put in the shoe to limit toe motion.
Prescription for a Rocker Sole
We can write a prescription to have a rocker added to many types of shoes – including running shoes and women’s dress shoes. Once we write the prescription we will refer you to skilled shoe technicians in the Seattle area to have the work done on your shoes. Contact us for an appointment to discuss a rocker shoe prescription.
Purchasing a Shoe with a Rocker Sole
Some shoes come with rocker soles built-in. In fact, it became a bit of a fad a few years ago brands like MBT and Sketchers were marketing rocker soled shoes as “fitness shoes” and claiming they will strengthen your muscles just by wearing them. Most of those companies were sued for making false claims and are now out of business.
There are, however, some shoes on the market with rocker soles that are quite effective. PW Minor makes a number of rocker soled shoes. Hoka makes some good running shoes with rocker technology and Dansko offers particularly good rockers for people with ball-of-foot pain and big toe joint pain. These are brands that currently have rocker soles available:
- Hoka One One
- PW Minor