Objective: To examine the effect of different types of rocker soles on plantar pressures.
Design: In-shoe plantar pressures were measured in subjects without deformity with baseline shoes and 3 types of rockers: toe-only, negative heel, and double.
Setting: Medical college.
Participants: Forty healthy patients (20 men, 20 women) without foot deformity.
Interventions: Plantar pressures were recorded over a 2 1/2-hour test period with over 400 steps analyzed for each type of rocker sole. Peak pressures, pressure-time integral (PTI), and sensor contact duration were computed for each step.
Main outcome measures: Peak plantar pressure PTI, and contact duration were compared for each rocker with a baseline shoe.
Results: Significant reduction (P<.01) in peak pressure and PTI were recorded across the forefoot for all 3 rockers. The reduction of pressure at the forefoot was balanced by shifting pressure to the midfoot with the negative heel and toe-only rockers.
Conclusion: This study lends scientific credence to the prescription of rocker soles for patients who need forefoot pressure reduction, such as in diabetic neuropathy and possible ulceration.