As a sports medicine chiropractor who treats all levels of athletes, I have seen tons of my patients come into Pro Chiropractic this past year with rocker bottom shoes. A rocker bottom shoe or rocker shoe is a style of footwear which has a thick sole with rounded heel. I have ran into several brands of these including Skechers Shape-ups, MTB Shoes, Clark Wave, and Ryn Shoes. These usually come in an athletic variety, but are also made as dress shoes and even sandals. They range in price from $75 to upwards of $250 per pair.
These shoes were all the rage in the last 12 months, and their manufacturers tout their many claimed benefits, including relief from foot pain, knee pain, and low back and hip pain. If you watch the commercials, some claim to improve posture, tone your legs, and even make your bottom look better in your jeans.
With my knowledge of human biomechanics and especially the training I have had with foot, gait, and orthotic issues, I have come to a solid opinion on rocker-type shoes. Don't Spend Your $100 on These! My opinion is that you would be better served to use that to have a skilled and trained sports medicine physician evaluate your lower extremity biomechanics and design and make a custom foot orthotics for you. A custom foot orthotics is just that....CUSTOM for YOU,and designed to meet your individual foot care needs. Additionally, research is starting to pour in that shows some potentially serious long term problems related to wearing rocker shoes. A 2010 University of Wisconsin study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise compared exercise wearing rocker bottom shoes and regular running shoes. Other studies have shown that the benefits noted from wearing these shoes were related to the exercise itself, more than shoes!
Here is a LINK to a another article I found that also discusses Rocker Shoes.
Jonathan M. Wilhelm DC, CCEP, CKTP
Sports Chiropractic Physician at ProChiropractic in Belgrade, MT