Our Top Picks of The 8 Best Orthopedic Shoes With Rocker Bottom Soles

By Orthofeet Team  /  November 07, 2023 Blog Home

What is a rocker bottom on a shoe?

You may have noticed that a lot of people are wearing shoes that have thick soles and appear to enable a smoother pattern of gait. These shoes are designed with what’s referred to as a rocker bottom. 

A rocker bottom sole is a type of shoe sole that has a curved or rounded shape, resembling the bottom of a rocking chair. It is designed to facilitate a smoother and more controlled rolling motion of the foot from heel to toe when walking, essentially moving the foot forward and thereby making walking easier.

These soles serve a vital purpose in preventing a flat, unyielding surface along the entire length of the foot.

What is the benefit of rocker bottom shoes?

The benefit of rocker bottom shoes lies in their ability to improve the gait, comfort and overall walking experience for people who may have specific foot conditions, mobility challenges, or gait abnormalities. 

These benefits include:

  • Improved gait. Rocker bottom shoes promote a smoother and more controlled rolling motion of the foot, starting from the heel and progressing to the toes. This can help achieve a more natural and balanced gait, reducing the effort required during each step.
  • Reduced pressure. The curvature of rocker bottom soles redistributes pressure across the foot, alleviating specific areas that might experience excessive strain during walking. This can be particularly helpful for people with conditions such as plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, or bunions.
  • Enhanced comfort. Many wearers find rocker bottom shoes to be comfortable due to their ability to minimize pressure points and discomfort associated with certain foot conditions. The curved sole design can reduce foot fatigue and alleviate pain during extended periods of walking or standing.
  • Relief for foot conditions. Rocker bottom shoes are often recommended for people with conditions like arthritis, Achilles tendonitis, or diabetic neuropathy. The design can help manage symptoms and provide relief from discomfort.
  • Rehabilitation. Rocker bottom shoes are sometimes used in post injury or post surgery rehabilitation programs to aid in the recovery process. They can help people gradually regain their walking abilities and strength.
  • Versatility. While initially designed for therapeutic purposes, rocker bottom shoes are now available in various styles, including athletic, casual and dress shoes. This means that anyone can enjoy the benefits of rocker bottom soles.


It's important to note that the specific benefits of rocker bottom shoes can vary depending on the person’s unique needs. Consulting with a healthcare professional or podiatrist can help determine whether rocker bottom shoes are a suitable option for addressing specific foot concerns or mobility issues.

After determining that rocker bottom shoes are the right choice for you, here is a list of the best options to consider.

What are the best rocker bottom shoes?

Best rocker bottom sneakers 

Women’s Alma | Men’s Avalon

Alma Gray

Why you’ll love it

  • Smart heel strap that secures fit at the back
  • Rubber lug soles, water sealed uppers



  • Sizes: women 5-12; men 7-14
  • Widths: women Standard (B) - Wide (D) | men Standard (D) - Extra Wide (4E)
  • Upper materials: stretch knit
  • Available colors: Alma - khaki and gray | Avalon - khaki and gray


The cushioning sole of the women's Alma and men’s Avalon sneakers, designed with a half inch heel drop and mild rocker design, works to soften each step. This feature significantly enhances walking comfort and reduces the impact on the feet, making it easier to move around without pain.

The sneakers are equipped with a waterproof membrane and water sealed fabric, ensuring that your feet stay dry and healthy, even in wet conditions. This waterproofing capability is particularly beneficial for outdoor activities and hiking, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about moisture related foot issues.

To provide a secure fit and stability, these sneakers incorporate a built-in, customizable heel band that securely wraps around the heel and fastens to the laces. This prevents foot slippage inside the shoe, providing a secure grip, reducing heel slippage and preventing further discomfort.

The sneakers also feature orthotic insoles to combat foot misalignment and associated pain that can extend to the legs and back. These insoles help realign the foot and improve overall posture, alleviating discomfort and promoting a more natural walking pattern.

A wide toe box in these sneakers provides enough room for your toes to spread out comfortably, reducing pressure on the forefoot. This design minimizes pain and discomfort, especially those associated with various foot conditions, such as bunions and Morton’s neuroma.

And finally, the rubber lug outsole of the Alma and Avalon sneakers will keep you stable and provide exceptional traction.

Best rocker bottom slippers

Women’s Charlotte Men’s Asheville


Why you’ll love it

  • Straps that offer fit adjustability 
  • Unbelievably cozy faux fur padding



  • Sizes: women 5-12; men 7-14
  • Widths: women Standard (B) - Extra Wide (2E) | men Standard (D) - Extra Wide (4E)
  • Upper materials: leather 
  • Available colors: Charlotte - brown, black, taupe | Asheville - brown, black


These slippers feature a specially designed rocker bottom sole, which significantly reduces the impact on the heel and alleviates heel pain, and foot and leg fatigue. The lightweight ergonomic soles and air cushioning at the heel ensure a soft and supportive walking experience while you’re indoors.

The premium orthotic insoles with anatomical arch support cradle the arch, relieving pressure on the plantar fascia and the heel, enhancing comfort and reducing the effort required for walking, making each step easier and less painful. 

Both slippers also provide room for your toes to move freely within a wide toe box. This ensures a pressure free fit for every foot shape, accommodating any protrusion or swelling.

In addition, these slippers are designed with adjustability in mind. 

The Asheville slippers feature an adjustable strap on both sides of the shoe, allowing for a secure fit and easy customization to the unique contour of your foot. Opening both straps creates an especially wide opening to allow you to very easily insert your foot.  

At the same time, the Charlotte slippers come with one wide strap across the instep, making it easy to adjust and secure the fit. 

In addition, the back lip at the heel in both models offers added convenience and heel protection.

And finally, let’s not forget the soft, padded faux fur interior that keeps your feet incredibly cozy and warm.

Best rocker bottom boots 

Women’s Florence 


Why you’ll love it

  • Gentle on the inside, waterproof on the outside
  • Hook and loop straps for customized fit



  • Sizes: 5-12
  • Widths: Standard (B) - Extra Wide (2E)
  • Upper materials: leather
  • Available colors: camel, brown, black, taupe


The Florence boots are crafted with a rocker bottom sole, enhancing the ease of walking and infusing each step with a subtle spring-like quality. This feature minimizes the effort required during each stride, making them an excellent choice for women who are looking for relief from foot discomfort.

These boots feature two hook and loop straps across the ankles, allowing the boot to fully open up and the tongue to fall forward. This design allows you to effortlessly step into the boots and achieve a secure, customized fit tailored to your unique foot shape.

Crafted from soft, treated leather with sealed seams, Florence boots are entirely waterproof, keeping your feet dry and warm even in wet conditions. The rubber, slip resistant sole with a unique tread design provides excellent traction and grip, making them ideal for navigating winter's wet surfaces.

Unlike most shearling boots, these boots prioritize your foot health without sacrificing style. They incorporate full orthotic support and cushioning, effectively cradling and supporting your feet. If you’re dealing with any type of foot condition, this feature can help alleviate pain and discomfort.

Men’s Ridgewood


Why you’ll love it

  • Robust construction, remarkably lightweight
  • Exceptional support for your feet



  • Sizes: 7-14
  • Widths: Standard (D) - Extra Wide (4E)
  • Upper materials: Leather
  • Available colors: brown, black


These boots come equipped with advanced orthopedic features that offer exceptional support for your feet and ankles, substantially mitigating the risk of falls and discomfort.

They are designed with a cushioning sole featuring a mild rocker that softens each step and enhances the ease of walking; a deep heel cup effectively secures your heel in place, preventing it from rolling inward during movement; and medial arch support that ensures proper arch alignment, leading to reduced pain and fatigue associated with misalignment.

The Ridgewood boots are equipped with a waterproof membrane that effectively repels water while allowing moisture to escape. This innovative design ensures that your feet remain dry and comfortable, even in wet or rainy conditions. Maintaining a dry environment is crucial for overall foot health and comfort.

Featuring a rubber lug outsole, the boots provide outstanding traction on various surfaces. This feature enhances your confidence and safety while walking, even on slippery terrain, reducing the risk of slips and falls.

Yet, despite their advanced orthopedic features and robust construction, the Ridgewood boots retain a remarkably lightweight quality. This makes them comfortable for extended wear, ensuring that you can enjoy both support and agility during any activity.

Best rocker bottom sandals 

Women’s Juno


Why you’ll love it

  • Both stylish and good for your feet
  • Adjustable straps on both the inside and outside of the sandal



  • Sizes: 5-12
  • Widths: Standard (B) - Wide (D) 
  • Upper materials: leather
  • Available colors: chocolate, black


The cushioning sole of the Juno sandals features a mild rocker, greatly improving the ease of walking and adding a spring to each step. This design minimizes the impact on the feet, making walking more comfortable and less strenuous during the summer months.

The Juno sandals are also designed with premium orthotic insoles, which come with anatomical arch support and are removable. The insoles play a crucial role in realigning the foot and improving overall body posture, alleviating discomfort and pain associated with foot conditions.

These sandals excel in providing a comfortable fit. Their wide toe box design is particularly beneficial, ensuring that sensitive areas of the foot are not subjected to unnecessary stress, promoting comfort during wear.

The upper of these sandals is crafted from soft leather and fabric, offering a non-binding fit. This design choice eliminates constraints and allows for natural foot movement. Moreover, the two-way strap system simplifies the process of putting on and taking off the sandals, allowing fastening and unfastening on either side of the shoe. This is particularly helpful for people dealing with mobility issues.

Finally, the Juno’s soft, padded fabric interior is free of overlays, eliminating irritation and providing superior protection for sensitive feet.

Men’s Clearwater


Why you’ll love it

  • Lightweight cushioning soles
  • Adjustable strap across the instep and at the heel



  • Sizes: 7-14
  • Widths: Standard (D) - Extra Extra Wide (6E)
  • Upper materials: leather
  • Available colors: brown


The Clearwater sandals feature a closed-toe fisherman style, providing complete protection for your feet and toes, whether you choose to wear them with or without socks. Their lightweight cushioning soles, designed with a mild rocker, reduce impacts and enhance walking comfort.

The two-way strap system is a game changer for those with mobility issues. It allows you to effortlessly fasten and unfasten the sandals from either the inside or outside, streamlining the process of putting them on and taking them off. In addition, there is a heel strap that lets you adjust the fit at the back.

The soft leather upper of the Clearwater sandals offers a non-binding fit, crucial in preventing pressure on your feet, ensuring comfort even during extended wear.

Designed with a rubber outsole, these sandals provide advanced grip, significantly enhancing stability and reducing the risk of slips or falls.

The sandals are padded throughout every part of the interior, ensuring that the padding is gentle on the skin and effectively eliminates rubbing and irritation, guaranteeing lasting comfort.

Finally, the premium orthotic insoles offer anatomical support extending from the heel and foot up to the knees, hips, and lower back. This support not only enhances comfort but also helps alleviate pain, making each step more enjoyable.


Are rocker bottom shoes good for running and walking?

Yes, rocker bottom shoes can be good for running and walking, particularly for runners who need to address specific foot and ankle issues or injuries. These shoes are designed to facilitate forward movement, making them suitable for sports that involve forward motion, such as running and walking.

If you have certain joint issues or injuries, rocker bottom shoes can be beneficial to you as they help reduce the upwards bending movement at the toes. By limiting the toe's bending motion, these shoes can help certain joints settle down more comfortably during activities like running and walking.

In the context of foot and ankle injury management, rocker bottom shoes can serve as a valuable training tool. They may contribute to injury reduction by providing support and alleviating stress on problematic tissues. For example, runners with conditions like big toe arthritis or painful bunions may find relief and improved function when wearing rocker bottom shoes.

It's important to note that the suitability of rocker bottom shoes for running and walking can vary depending on individual needs and conditions.

Who should wear rocker shoes?

“Not to be confused with platform soles, rocker bottoms offer an effective way to relieve bottom of foot pressure while assisting with walking,” explains Josh White, DPM. “Rocker bottom soles have increased thickness beneath the heel, beneath the forefoot and taper to the toes. Typically adding about half inch additional thickness to the sole, rocker bottoms help to allow a normal stride, even when ankle or big toe joint motion is limited.” 

More specifically, podiatrists often suggest this shoe style for the following conditions:

  • Forefoot pain. Rocker shoes can help those experiencing pain in the front part of the foot, especially conditions that cause discomfort when lifting the toes during walking.
  • Foot or ankle pain. By helping the foot to roll forward from heel to toe, rocker bottoms can limit joint motion when bending the foot or ankle is painful.
  • Heel pain. People dealing with heel pain, such as plantar fasciitis, may find relief with rocker sole shoes.
  • Shin splints. Rocker shoes can be useful for those with shin splints, particularly in cases where foot posture issues contribute to this condition.
  • Foot posture issues. People with foot posture problems, which affect the alignment and function of the feet during walking, may benefit from the forward propulsion that rocker sole shoes provide, which improves function of the feet.
  • Diabetics. Rocker shoes can be beneficial for people with diabetes who need to redistribute plantar pressure during walking. They can reduce peak plantar pressures in specific foot regions, including the medial forefoot, central forefoot and toes, compared to flatter style shoes. This pressure reduction helps lower the risk of ulcerations in the foot.

Who should not wear rocker shoes?

Caution should be exercised when considering rocker shoes for sports or activities that involve frequent side-to-side movements, such as Netball and Basketball. 

The specific shape of rocker shoes, combined with increased forefoot and midfoot foam, can potentially lead to greater instability during side-to-side motions. This increased instability may elevate the risk of injury in such sports or activities.

Are rocker shoes good for knees?

Rocker shoes can be good for knees, particularly for people with knee osteoarthritis, as they have been shown to reduce knee strain. 

It's important to note that the curved soles of rocker shoes may be challenging for some people, potentially causing a feeling of imbalance while walking. Therefore, for those who already experience balance issues when walking, it's best to explore alternative footwear options.

Orthofeet’s advantage

Orthofeet's advantage lies in its cushioning sole design with a mild rocker bottom, which is based on advanced foot biomechanics. The degree of rocker is just right and falls between two extremes, a zero drop and a significant rocker bottom, both of which are associated with various issues.

These uniquely designed soles mimic the natural movement of the foot. 

The concept involves tapering the sole toward the toes while maintaining a straight inner sole, creating a rocker effect that facilitates forward propulsion of the foot. This reduces the need for excessive dorsiflexion (the motion that happens when you pull your toes and the top of your foot toward your shin), making walking more comfortable and efficient.

The best thing is that this innovative design is not limited to specific models; it's a key feature found in all Orthofeet shoes.