Fashions trends often appear to have the health of people in mind and sometimes this is the truth. Whether that trend is helpful or not, time will tell. A new popular option for toning on-the-go is rocker-bottom shoes, also known as toning shoes or round bottom shoes. These unique shoes were debuted with MBT and later carried by bigger companies such as Reebok and Sketchers. The wearer can do every day tasks and the shoes will tone the muscles of the ankles, legs and buttocks. However, the boasted toning effects may be out weighed by serious injury.
Stories of injury while wearing these shoes are starting to concern some health care professionals. Among them is Dr. Baumstark of PhysioDC. He encountered an older gentleman as a patient who had recently begun wearing these unique shoes. The patient was receiving physical therapy from Dr. Baumstark after a knee replacement surgery. Worried about the weakness in his legs the gentleman decided to purchase some rocker-bottoms to strengthen his muscles. Dr. Baumstark immediately became concerned as he observed the gentleman walk around as if drunk. The shoes posed a serious risk for a fall. The gentleman continued to wear them because of reported traditional workout soreness in his calf muscles.
The ankle and foot muscles are the body’s front line against imbalance. Walking on the curved surface of the rocker-bottom shoes activates this front line and forces those muscles to work overtime. This results in a stronger muscle. In theory, this sounds good but the muscle gained is not worth the added strain put on the body. When imbalance has gotten past the front line the next to react are the hips. They engage by allowing the upper body to sway and keeping the lower body stationary to regain the center of balance. The older gentleman above would often lean forward or backward to maintain balance. Dr. Baumstark relates the movements to that of a person on a jerky subway car. When the gentleman mentioned intent to wear these shoes on a cruise ship Dr. Baumstark strongly advised against it.
An apparently profitable market has arisen for people who have worn rocker-bottom shoes and fallen. Dr. Baumstark relates a television commercial for a class-action suit against their makers. These shoes have done more bad then good. People of all ages should wear them with caution. When trying them on listen closely to what the body is saying. If walking is difficult and imbalance felt take them off and do not buy them. Consulting a Dr. before purchase is also recommended.