Rocker Bottom Shoes for Treatment of Foot Pain – With Seattle Foot Doctor Larry Huppin

Author: Foot & Ankle Center of Washington

Hi, today we're going to talk about the use of what are called rocker- soled shoes in treating pain under the ball of the foot, pain in the big toe joint, and pain at the heel and problems such as plantar fasciitis. Now, when we normally look at using a shoe, this is a pretty normal athletic shoe, pretty firm heel and pretty stable, and like most good shoes, it'll bend naturally where the toes bend. Now, for most people, that's fine. We can take a decent orthotic, either a full-size orthotic for athletic shoes, or a much smaller device for dress shoes and if the people are having pain in the big toe joint or under the ball of the foot, those will do a great job of taking stress off those tissues and making them feel better. But for some people, they continue to have pain even with the orthotics and a lot of that is because as they walk forward, they're putting a lot of pressure on the ball of the foot. For example, this type of shoe allows you to go like that, and as you go like that, you're putting really tremendous pressure on the ball of the foot, and the big toe joint is asked to bend a lot, which is normal, but if you, for example, have arthritis in the joint, it may not be able to do that without pain.

So one option is to get a shoe that has what's called a rocker sole. Now a shoe with a rocker sole is completely rigid on the front. I can't bend it. This is an excellent running and walking shoe, a brand called Hoka, H-O-K-A, that has a great rocker.

And because it has a rocker, as you walk through the step, you're not being asked to bend the big toe joint. And rockers have been used for over a century now as a way to transfer pressure off the ball of the foot and get it to a part of the foot that is less painful. They also do a great job of taking pressure off the heel and putting that pressure forward. So this is a great rocker for an athletic shoe but you need rockers on dress shoes also.

Here's a dress boot from a company called Earthy that has a great rocker on it. So that really does decrease pressure on the ball of the foot and compression in the big toe joint. You can do that with a really good custom orthotic like this, such as made for a dress shoe. There are also some pre-fabricated orthotics you can find on our website. Here's even a much higher heel stiletto that has a platform and a rocker. So if you go to our website, do a search for "rocker-soled shoes." You'll find a page there that lists not only some information on rockers, but lists all of our favorites, whether they're for dress shoes or for walking shoes. And in addition, you'll find information on the best over-the-counter and custom orthotics that can help this problem. Again, go to the website, do a search for "rocker soles." Also, please, if you find this information helpful, please subscribe to our videos and we'll let you know as soon as a new one comes out.

Rocker Bottom Shoes for Treatment of Foot Pain – With Seattle Foot Doctor Larry Huppin

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