Wearing regular-soled shoes can cause pain or worsen conditions like plantar fasciitis and arthritis. Fortunately, some shoes replace the function of a particular foot joint to alleviate pain: rocker bottom shoes!
Rocker bottom shoes have thick rounded heels and arched soles to reduce pain for those with medical foot conditions. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about these shoes as well as the best rocker bottom shoes for men and women!
What To Look For In The Best Rocker Bottom Shoes
Rocker bottom shoes offer therapeutic benefits for people who suffer from conditions like foot ulcers, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and others. They are also ideal in pain prevention for people who spend a lot of their time walking or standing.
However, not all rocker bottom shoes are made the same. There are a few important factors to consider before you make a purchase:
Your Foot Type
All feet can be categorized into foot types.
- Healthy foot types can benefit from rocker bottom shoes as they assist in exercise and muscle training. However, walking or standing in rocker bottom shoes for an extended period can do more harm than good for these types.
- Another foot type group are those with medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, flat-footedness, and hallux rigidus. Constant use of rocker bottom shoes help relieve pain or alleviate the symptoms of these conditions.
The Biomechanics, Softness, And Rigidness Of Shoes
Podiatrists recommend rockers for people with foot conditions that affect their internal rockers or foot joints. The biomechanics of particular shoes should also be put into consideration to prevent or treat these conditions.
Wearing rocker shoes for short periods facilitate the repair and healing of the internal rockers, but long-term use may render the internal rockers non-functional.
This biomechanics of the shoes is determined by the softness or rigidity of the insoles. Softer insoles do all the work for your internal rockers and make them non-functional while harder or firmer insoles aid in the renewal and repair of your internal rockers.
So, if you have these conditions, make sure to consult your podiatrist before purchasing rocker bottom shoes.
The Types Of Rocker Bottom Soles
Rocker bottom shoes come with different types of soles that are intended for specific functions and purposes. The best rocker bottom shoes for you will depend on your needs and the corresponding type of soles:
Heel To Toe
These are thickest the farther back and are intended to limit ankle and midfoot movement. They also lessen the impact on the heels by allowing the foot to roll quickly off the heels. These are ideal for people with midfoot or ankle arthritis. They also help avoid overstretching of the plantar fascia.
These are placed behind the metatarsal heads. They immobilize the toe joints and relieves pressure under the balls of the feet. These are ideal for alleviating pain in the balls of the foot or for reducing arthritis of the big toe.
These are designed to absorb impact away from the plantar midfoot. They are recommended for people who have limited midfoot mobility or Charcot plantar prominences. To know more details about Charcot plantar, please watch this video:
These soles restrict the motion of the ankle joints by being thicker in the midfoot and heel section. They lessen the impact at the heel strike and are meant to be used by individuals with limited back and front ankle mobility, ankle fusion, or ankle arthritis.
These stabilize the gait, increase propulsion, reduces energy consumption, and reduce pain and pressure on the metatarsals.
These are ideal for individuals with ulcer over their metatarsal heads because they shift the load to the surrounding weight-bearing areas of the foot.
Negative heel rocker soles remove the weight from your forefoot and transfer it to the rearfoot and midfoot. Through this, a heel gait is encouraged, and the forefoot is kept in dorsiflexion. This is good for pain mitigation in people with plantar ulcerations, chronic forefoot overloads, and heavy callous.
This rocker sole type relieves conditions like hammer toes, metatarsal head ulcers, an ulcer on the distal part of the sole, and hallux rigidus by removing all the weight bearing forces in front of the metatarsal head.
Best Rocker Bottom Shoes For Men
Take a look at these rocker-bottom shoe options:
Best Rocker Bottom Shoes For Men
Skechers Sport Men’s Shape Ups XT All Day Comfort Sneaker
Exersteps Men’s Whirlwind White Sneakers
Drew Shoe Men’s Force Athletic Walking Shoe
Alegria Men’s Chairman Professional Shoes
MBT Men’s Ajabu Oxford
1. Skechers Sport Men’s Shape Ups XT All Day Comfort Sneaker
Skechers is a trusted brand known to produce some of the best-looking and feature-filled shoes, one of which is the Skechers Sport Men’s Shape-Ups XT. These Athletic walking shoes feature a faux leather and textile upper for durability and synthetic overlays for added support.
A mesh fabric toe box, perforations on the upper, as well as mesh panels on the tongue and heel allow air to flow through, so your feet stay cool and dry. The padded collar and tongue, memory foam air cooled cushion insoles, and a soft fabric lining adds cushioning and comfort.
Ensure a secure, snug, and comfortable fit with the lace-up closure system. Pull loops on the heels also make putting on and taking off so easy.
Thanks to the rigid polyurethane frame, your feet receive ample support to prevent rolling, sliding, or slipping. The Kinetic Wedge midsole with soft foam absorbs impact, and the rocker outsole is made with sculpted rubber for grip and durability.
- Among the most comfortable sneakers out in the market
- Durable, high-quality construction
- Comes from a well-known and trusted brand
- Stylish look
- Removable memory foam insoles for enhanced comfort
- Stabilizes the foot and absorbs shock
- Lace-up closure for a snug fit
- Quite expensive
- Not the best shoes for running
2. Exersteps Men’s Whirlwind White Sneakers
Next, we have the Exersteps Men’s Whirlwind White Sneakers which combine value for money, style, and function all in one package.
It comes with a leather upper that is both functional and trendy. The curved rocker bottom outsole ensures that your foot muscles are worked without risking injury or pain.
The lightweight midsole is also cushioned and designed to absorb shock and minimize the impact on hard surfaces and rugged terrains. Removable insoles also add versatility.
The non-marking outsoles provide reliable traction and durability. You can also rest assured that the sizing and fit are accurate. If you want to make the most out of your hard-earned money, do give this model a try!
- Stylish appearance
- Requires no break-in
- Great value for money
- Shock absorption
- True to size
- Comes with a wide toe box
- The shoes are rigid and is not suitable for people looking for flexibility
- Lacks balance and stability
- Not ideal for jogging or running
3. Drew Shoe Men’s Force Athletic Walking Shoe
From a company that has gained popularity by producing comfortable shoes comes the Drew Men’s Force Athletic walking shoes. Aside from the stylish athletic appearance, these shoes also offer the therapeutic benefits characteristic of Drew shoes.
The Men’s Force features added depth, Dri-lex covered insoles, and AGEIS antimicrobial properties to keep your feet comfy, cool, dry, and fresh-smelling. The wide-shank rocker bottom improves comfort and stability while a built-in cushion pad provides heel support and reduces the impact to enhance the shoes’ overall performance and comfortability.
Get a secure and custom fit thanks to its lace-up closure. For added comfort, the tongue and collar are also padded with foam. A unique tri-support removable insole allows you to wear these shoes for prolonged periods without pain or discomfort.
- They provide excellent comfort and stability for people with arch and/or joint problems
- Comfortable, snug fit
- Wide toe box
- Absorbs impact
- Cushioned and soft inner
- Removable insoles
- Fights bacteria and bad odor
- Wicks moisture
- These shoes are not very durable
- The traction is not the best
- Needs a few days to break in fully
- May rub into the ankles
4. Alegria Men’s Chairman Professional Shoes
If you want to make a bold statement through your shoes without sacrificing comfort and functionality, the Alegria Chairman Professional Shoes may be your best bet! These men’s clogs and mules are made with stain-resistant leather uppers for durability, comfort, and a stylish appearance.
They come with a suede sockliner and a comfortable soft leather lining that absorbs and wicks away moisture to keep your feet dry. The removable footbed is made with a combination of memory foam, latex, and cork for the ultimate comfort and support.
These Alegria clogs also feature non-slip polyurethane outsoles which make it great for your workplace or school. Because they are made with quality materials and construction, you can rest assured that your clogs will last for years.
The rubber rocker sole is also slip-resistant and non-marking to give you a firm and secure footing.
The anatomical design was optimized to provide balance and support to the feet, especially for people with injuries or foot conditions like flat footedness or plantar fasciitis.
You can buy the Alegria Chairman Professional shoes in black, white, or dark brown.
- Comfortable to wear
- Non-slip, non-marking outsoles
- Classic appearance ideal for your office or workplace
- Provides great arch support
- Moisture-wicking and comfortable lining
- The sizing can be problematic
- Quite expensive
5. MBT Men’s Ajabu Oxford
If you experience chronic pain due to your foot condition, you might find relief with the MBT Men’s Ajabu Oxfords! MBT or the Masai Barefoot Technology is an innovative design based on physiological concepts to benefit the whole body.
Made with a 100% full grain leather upper, these shoes are not only great to look at but are also meant to last long.
Not only that, the tie closure provides a secure, snug, and comfortable fit. A 3D soft mesh lining also keeps the feet comfy while also wicking moisture to maintain a cool and dry in-shoe environment.
The dual density midsoles are made of TPU and nylon material which incorporates glass fibers for added firmness and durability.
The shank, PU midsole with Pivot, multi-layered soles, and the Masai Sensor combine together to create a natural instability surface that mimics the feel of walking on sand or a mossy forest. This provides comfort and support to the feet while maintaining the natural foot motion through the gait cycle. The outsoles also offer exceptional grip and add durability.
MBT Oxfords not only improve your foot condition but also enhance your posture and relieve pressure from important joints. Available colors include brown and coffee brown.
- Multiple sole layers
- MBT innovative design
- Durable leather upper
- Breathable and moisture-wicking 3D mesh lining
- Can accommodate orthotics
- Removable insoles
- Firm and supportive midsole
- Finding the right size may be a hassle
- The shoes can be narrow
Best Rocker Bottom Shoes For Women
Best Rocker Bottom Shoes For Women
Clarks Women’s Wave Trek Sneaker
Skechers Women’s Shape Ups 2.0
Hoka Bondi 5 SS17 Running Shoes for Women
Altra Women’s Olympus 2 Trail Running Shoe
Drew Shoe Women’s Flare
1. Clarks Women’s Wave Trek Sneaker
Clarks Women’s Wave Trek Sneaker offers a lot on the table: classic good looks, comfort, support, and fantastic technology. It features the exclusive Clarks wavewalk walking technology that provides ease and convenience to your every stride.
Thanks to the waterproof and weather-ready upper made with full grain leather; your feet stay protected from the elements. A removable ortholite footbed also adds comfort and support.
The curved rocker sole is also easy on the joints, shock-absorptive, and energy conserving. It is ideal for people who have limited mobility and use of their foot joints such as those with arthritis or plantar fasciitis.
Whether you have arthritis or high arches, these shoes can make every walking experience much more comfortable. You can wear them during the summer, winter, or under any weather without fear of damage or getting wet feet.
The rubber outsole also adds traction and durability. You can get the Clarks Women’s Wave Trek Sneakers in black leather, navy nubuck, red leather, smoky brown, or brown nubuck.
- Stylish classic appearance
- Made with durable full grain leather
- Improves foot joint mobility
- Comfortable Ortholite footbed
- Saves energy and absorbs shock
- Might feel a little rigid or stiff
- Fits weird on the toe box, heels, and ankles
2. Skechers Women’s Shape Ups 2.0
From one of the most well-known and trusted shoe brands, the Skechers Women’s Shape Ups 2.0 Fashion Sneakers will surely impress you. These shoes come with all the essential features to live up to your expectations.
With a fresh, bold, and stylish look, these athletic walking shoes are also durable and comfortable thanks to the plush faux leather upper with breathable mesh fabrics at the fronts and sides. These ripstop textured panels not only add a flare to the design but also gives the shoes a subtle cooling effect.
Because the front comes with a lace-up closure system, you can ensure a comfortable custom fit. The heel overlay comes with pull loops for an easy on and off. A soft fabric lining, padded collar and tongue, and heel, toe, and side overlays also add comfort.
The insole is made with a memory foam air cooled cushion as well. A rigid polyurethane frame provides foot and arch support while the Kinetic Wedge soft foam midsole absorbs impact. The rocker bottom outsole is made with sculpted rubber for durability and grip. You can get these shoes in black and white or gray and mint.
- Lace-up front for a secure and comfortable custom fit
- Padded collar and tongue
- Breathable upper
- Absorbs impact
- Offer sufficient traction
- Multiple comfort features
- Comfortable to wear and take off
- Sizes tend to run big
- A bit expensive
3. Hoka Bondi 5 SS17 Running Shoes for Women
If you are looking for fun color choices, look no further because the Hoka Bondi 5 SS17 Women’s Running Shoes come in not one, not two, but 17 different color schemes! Made with fabric and rubber outsole, you can find a Hoka Bondi 5 SS17 that will suit your personality and style!
This shoe features a breathable mesh upper to keep your feet dry and cool all day. Thanks to the 3D puff print frame and technology, these shoes are also lightweight, allowing you to move freely.
Ortholite insoles offer additional cushioning and arch support for elevated and long-lasting comfort. The meta-rocker outsole helps your feet to roll properly throughout the gait cycle while also having a secure grip. The EVA midsole provides low profile cushioning as well.
Designed to protect and cradle your feet on the hardest surfaces and the toughest trails, the Hoka Bondi 5 SS17 balances the foot with a lower heel-to-toe differential.
- 3D lightweight technology
- Fits well
- Many fun color choices
- Cushioned EVA midsole
- Meta-rocker outsole
- Ortholite molded insole
- Supportive Comfort Frame
- 3D Puff Print Frame ensures a snug fit
- Inconsistent sizing and width
- The stitching under the tongue can rub on foot and cause discomfort
- Problems with squeaking
4. Altra Women’s Olympus 2 Trail Running Shoe
An enhanced version of the previous Olympus model, the Women’s Olympus 2 Trail Running Shoes from Altra offer a soft, stylish exterior and excellent sole traction.
The Olympus 2 comes with a more plush and flexible 100% leather and fabric upper along with a revamped Vibram traction outsole. It also comes with more cushion for optimum comfort.
Aside from these, it also comes with durability improvements and a dramatically reduced weight than its predecessor so you can move faster and more easily. The 36-mm stack height from the front to back adds a spring to your every step and absorbs shock with the help of an a-bound bottom layer.
A Dual-Layer EVA midsole also protects your feet from debris and other hazards on rugged terrains. Featuring a FootShape toe box, these shoes increase stability as you descend hills or climb them.
You can also get these shoes in cool color combinations like orchid/gray, shiitake/sugar coral, and silver/green.
- Made with durable materials
- Grippy Vibram outsole
- Contoured footbed
- Dual layer EVA midsole for support
- Custom lace-up fit
- Wear and tear-resistant sole
- Wider toe box
- Requires minimal break-in
- Not light enough for prolonged running
- Slightly curved toe box can cause discomfort, pain, or blisters
- Sizes run a bit small
5. Drew Shoe Women’s Flare
Last but not the least, the Drew Shoe Women’s Flare Walking Shoes provides cutting edge comfort for your foot ailments and conditions. These Flare sneakers are made with a breathable mesh and leather upper for durability.
The contrasting colors give it a casual and sporty appearance. For the ultimate ankle support and comfort, both the tongue and the collar are foam-padded and made with push materials for a soft feel. The traditional lace-up closure allows you to get a secure, custom, and personalized fit.
These shoes also come with Plus Fitting System of removable inserts and can accommodate custom orthotics. An extended medial heel stabilizer minimizes slipping and helps improve rear foot walking stability.
A Drilex lining featuring AEGIS Microbe Shield Technology prevents staining and bad odors while also wicking away moisture. The rubber rocker bottom encourages a natural walking motion and helps absorb impact. Available colors include white, white and blue, black, and bone.
- Breathable upper
- Padded collar and tongue for comfort
- Soft Drilex lining
- Fights bad odor and stains
- Excellent fit thanks to a lace-up closure
- Heel stabilizer
- Removable inserts
- Has room for orthotics
- Sizes run small.
- The shoes are heavy.
- Lacks cushioning and arch support.
Overall, the best rocker bottom shoes are the Exersteps Men’s White Sneakers and the Clarks Women’s Wave Trek Sneaker. Both of these shoes are affordable, stylish, and comfortable to wear. While it all comes down to your personal needs and preferences, in the end, I think these shoes offer the most value for your hard-earned money.
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