Rocker-soled shoes provide a way to reduce the possible concentration of stress, as well as change movement patterns, during gait. This study attempts to examine how plantar force and spatio-temporal variables are affected by two rocker designs, one with softer and one with denser sole materials, by comparing them with the barefoot condition and with flat-soled shoes. Eleven subjects' gait parameters during walking and jogging were recorded. Our results showed that compared with barefoot walking, plantar forces were higher for flat shoes while lower for both types of rocker shoes, the softer-material rocker being the lowest. The plantar force of flat shoes is greater than the vertical ground reaction force, while that of both rocker shoes is much less, 13.87-30.55% body weight. However, as locomotion speed increased to jogging, for all shoe types, except at the second peak plantar force of the denser sole material rocker shoes, plantar forces were greater than for bare feet. More interestingly, because the transmission of force was faster while jogging, greater plantar force was seen in the rocker-soled shoes with softer material than with denser material; results for higher-speed shock absorption in rocker-soled shoes with softer material were thus not as good. In general, the rolling phenomena along the bottom surface of the rocker shoes, as well as an increase in the duration of simultaneous curve rolling and ankle rotation, could contribute to the reduction of plantar force for both rocker designs. The possible mechanism is the conversion of vertical kinetic energy into rotational kinetic energy. To conclude, since plantar force is related to foot-ground interface and deceleration methods, rocker-design shoes could achieve desired plantar force reduction through certain rolling phenomena, shoe-sole stiffness levels, and locomotion speeds.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)