Barefoot Shoes And Rocker Bottoms – Do They Eliminate Pain?
You probably already know this, but it's worth repeating: Shoe manufacturers are not in the business of creating good health, but of coming up with ornamental shoe wear, which they hope will make them lots of money.
Having said that, why do people buy strange footwear such as barefoot shoes and rocker bottom shoes? Is it in the hopes that these shoes will eliminate their aching feet or tired legs? Or is it merely the desire to follow a fad?
'Painful' facts behind Barefoot Shoes and Rocker Bottoms
Barefoot shoes are the closest thing to walking barefooted. So if you like walking barefooted, you may enjoy barefoot shoes. But there's no physical advantage to wearing them (over no shoes at all) other than to protect the bottoms of your feet.
In other words, barefoot shoes do not make your feet or legs feel better and they do not make them feel worse.
Some Podiatrists and PTs have linked barefoot shoes to plantar fasciitis and stress fractures, but in my opinion these overuse injuries in the foot have more to do with the foot structure than using (or not using) shoes (barefoot or otherwise).
If you were born with an abnormal foot structure, you are at higher risk (compared to those with normal foot structures) to developing foot injuries, whether you run in running shoes, barefoot shoes or barefooted.
Rocker bottoms, a shoe design previously sold to the public 25 years ago, have been reintroduced to a new public. The manufacturers claim that the rocker bottoms require less muscular effort to walk and therefore allow you to be on your feet all day with less fatigue. This is only marketing hype.
The truth is that wearing these shoes is dangerous because they are unstable; creating imbalance, which can easily cause an injury and result in chronic pain issues throughout your body.
Initially, some people say that they feel better wearing rocker bottoms. But in time they get worse. The problem is that they don't realize that their pain is coming from their shoes because this pain is felt in areas of their body that are far away from their feet. For example, rocker bottoms can cause headaches, neck and shoulder pain and tightness in your jaw.
If you find this hard to believe, go to my article: Sketchers Shape-Ups and the Rothbarts Foot: An Ankle Injury Waiting To Happen and read the dozens of reader comments about their injuries sustained by wearing these shoes. Currently there is a law suit against one of the manufacturers of rocker bottom shoes for this very reason.
Considering the torture women put themselves through to look good (such as 8 inch high spike heels) I find it amazing that shoes that make you rock and shoes with toes are being purchased at all. Obviously – great marketing.
If you have aching feet or tired legs and/or symptoms of chronic pain, why bother with barefoot shoes and rocker bottom shoes? They won't help and they may make your pain worse.
To find out if you may have one of two common inherited, abnormal foot structures that cause chronic muscle and joint pain, take the Rothbarts Foot Questionnaire.
As you learn more about my innovative therapy, you may find that addressing and effectively treating your foot structure may be the missing link to ending your long time battle with unrelenting muscle and joint pain.
If you have questions about what's involved in being treated with Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy, see our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page by clicking here.
Professor/Dr. Brian A. Rothbart
Chronic Pain Elimination Specialist
Discovered the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity
Developer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Designer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Insoles
Founder of International Academy of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Author of Forever Free From Chronic Pain
Not convinced that rocker bottom shoes and barefoot shoes can lead to or exacerbate chronic pain? Read "Born To Run Barefoot?Some End Up Getting Injured" from The Associated Press by clicking here. And read a CBS News story about doctors seeing an uptick in foot injuries from barefoot running shoes by clicking here.