Three-curve rocker-soled shoes and gait adaptations to intermittent claudication pain: a randomised crossover trial

Alastair Jordan, Garry Tew, Stephen Hutchins , Ahmed Shalan, Liz Cook, Andrew Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Intermittent claudication (IC) is a symptom of peripheral arterial disease where a cramp-like leg pain is exhibited during walking, which affects gait and limits walking distance. Specifically-designed rocker-soled shoes were purported to mechanically unload the calf musculature and increase walking distances until IC pain.

Research Questions
Do three-curve rocker-soled shoes increase walking distance and what are the biomechanical differences during pain-free walking and IC pain-induced walking, when compared with control shoes?

Following NHS ethical approval, 31 individuals with claudication (age 69 ± 10 years, stature 1.7 ± 0.9 m, mass 83.2 ± 16.2 kg, ankle-brachial pressure index 0.55 ± 0.14) were randomised in this cross-over trial. Gait parameters whilst walking with rocker-soled shoes were compared with control shoes at three intervals of pain-free walking, at onset of IC pain (initial claudication distance) and when IC intensifies and prevents them walking any further (absolute claudication distance). Two-way repeated measures ANOVA were performed on gait variables.

When compared with control shoes, rocker-soled shoes reduced ankle power generation (mean 2.1 vs 1.6 W/kg, respectively; p=0.006) and altered sagittal kinematics of the hip, knee and ankle. However, this did not translate to a significant increase in initial (138 m vs 146 m, respectively) or absolute (373 m vs 406 m, respectively) claudication distances. In response to IC pain, similar adaptations in temporal-spatial parameters and the sagittal kinematics were observed between the shoe types.

The three-curved rocker shoes, in their current design, do not augment gait sufficiently to enhance walking distance, when compared with control shoes, and therefore cannot be recommended for the intermittent claudication population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalGait and Posture
Early online date22 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Three-curve rocker-soled shoes and gait adaptations to intermittent claudication pain: a randomised crossover trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this