Rocker Bottom Shoes

Not sure when it airs, but Geralyn Cooper-Smith recently did a piece on the use of these horrible Rocker Bottom shoes on the Today Show.  I’m sure it will be summarily politically correct for national television, but I know her views are lot more similar to mine as I have below.

1. It should not go unnoticed that there are folks out there like Geralyn that have the stage to get messages like this out to the public. No one has more credibility than presenting on something like the Today Show.
While it may be conventional thought to some people that follow contemporary trends, it probably goes without saying that the messages that we preach are really the “rogue” approach in the grand schemes.

2. I wish nothing but harm and pain to these shoes, which would also include any sneaker with a heel. I hope the people wind up unharmed; I just hope the shoes get worn out and raggedy quickly and are relegated to perhaps be burned as a fossil fuel.

3. I may also be important to go back to why these shoes exist in the first place. The reason these shoes have favor is that they change the body’s base of support anteriorly. Any pain or dysfunction, which we all have to some degree, puts the body forward. It is uncomfortable and poorly balanced to do business with an anterior weight shift. An ankle mobility into DF limitation is just one such anterior weight shift. A rocker bottom or Shox-type of heel either always puts us forward to start (Shox), or accommodates the floor/surface to always change (rocker). If our center of mass is forward, the shoe changes the floor, if you will, to a forward position, so your COM now lands more centrally in the BOS. This is why people like them. This is why they are comfortable. This is why most folks squat better with heels, and it’s why it is not always because of ankles. Many times it is because of ankles, but not always. It is because they are forward in their posture, resting tension, compensation, whatever you want to call it.

4. There are some people that actually can do well with these shoes despite my request that be the focus of a Fahrenheit 451. Most of these individuals are in the neurologically-challenged population where their condition yields a spasticity-based tone into a posterior weight shift. They NEED to be brought back forward. But in the athletic population, some folks with a severe structural supination might do better with these if these limitations do not extend to the heel cord. Folks with a structural recurvatum will guide stress away from the knee and into the anterior chain in a positive way. There may be other such physical limitations that can be improved with an anterior weight shift like an anterior disc, but they are probably rare and do not support the wanton use and promotion of these types of sneakers.


  • July 11, 2010

Leave a Reply 6 comments

Matthew Reply

Interesting perspective.

How do you feel fitflops fall? Same issues? I imagine it still changes our gait considering the body works differently with them on AND they claim to tone…. Thoughts?

Charlie Reply

If they have a heel, they offer you a cheat. They are not advised.

Keats Snideman Reply

Preach on brother Charlie! You’d be happy to know that I have totally abadoned use of my O-lifting shoes in favor of either Chuck Taylors or Vibrams..my squat is not as deep but it is more honest and authentic now! I really despise those rocker shoes as well..what have the shoe manufacturers come to..insanity!

Charlie Reply

Why OL shoes get a pass on all this is completely beyond me.

Gerard Conlon Reply

“I’m Joe Montana, and I spent 16 years playing football, and Shape Ups have improved my strength and posture. ”

But Joe Montana said…………………..sorry, Charlie 🙂

Mike T Nelson Reply

I hear ya. Enough with the horrible shoes! These suck completely in all ways possible.

Every time we think we (not anyone here) are bright and can out wit the body, we are wrong.

Fix the body, and then put something on that interferes the LEAST.

Nice work Keats! I love my vibram, nike frees, and asics old school tigers

Rock on
Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

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