Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About usNews and EventsEvents and open daysPhD ceremonies

PhD ceremony Mr. S. Sobhani: Rocker shoes for ankle and foot overuse injuries: a biomechanical and physiological evaluation

When:We 04-12-2013 at 14:30
Where:Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

PhD ceremony: Mr. S. Sobhani

Dissertation: Rocker shoes for ankle and foot overuse injuries: a biomechanical and physiological evaluation

Promotor(s): prof. K. Postema, prof. E.R. van den Heuvel

Faculty: Medical Sciences

Reducing the high loads on the Achilles tendon and the metatarsophalangeal joint during the active phase of running, could be valuable in both prevention and treatment of Achilles tendinopathy and forefoot overuse injuries. Internal plantar flexion moment (PFM) is a biomechanical parameter that is directly related to Achilles tendon loading. In walking activities, rocker shoes were shown to be effective in reducing the PFM. Rocker shoes were also found to be capable of reducing plantar pressure in the forefoot region during walking. In this thesis we examined these biomechanical effects of rocker shoes primarily for running activities.

We found that the use of rocker shoes reduced PFM during the late stance phase of slow running and walking in both healthy people and patients with chronic Achilles tendinopathy. We also found that the rocker shoes significantly reduced plantar pressure in the forefoot region during running. Another finding of this thesis was that oxygen consumption rate during running with rocker shoes was 4.5% higher than with standard shoes and 5.6% higher than with minimalist shoes.

These findings suggest that rocker shoes might be useful in unloading the Achilles tendon and forefoot region during running, and therefore they might be beneficial for runners who are recovering from Achilles tendinopathy and forefoot overuse injuries. A poor running economy, however, is expected as a side-effect of wearing rocker shoes.