A Podiatrist’s Opinion on The Shetcher Shape-Up Debate…

By | April 15, 2019
The Great Sketcher Shape-Up Debate…

The Rocker-Bottom “toning shoes” are being attacked in the media, which is frustrating because there is so much misinformation out there about shoes…
The main reason I started the blog 
was to provide information to my patients about proper shoegear. There are so many crappy shoes out there that I can’t believe this is the shoe that is getting a bad rap. 

One of the lawusuit is suing over “false claims” 
that the rocker-bottom shoes will tone you up. Okay, I’ll leave that to the attorneys to duke it out whether false claims were made or not.  I don’t have the answer to that one. Show me the research and we’ll talk…
the actual Rocker Bottom shoes – 
whether the “claims” are true or false – 
I don’t know but –
  I do know that the rocker bottom shoes are… Excellent
The Rocker-Bottom shoes are not for everyone! 
If you are elderly, have balance issues, nerve damage, muscle or leg weakness, Achilles tendonitis, Charcot foot, Diabetic foot ulcers, multiple back surgeries (several other issues) – this is NOT the appropriate shoe for you!
However, if you do not have any of the above issues and suffer from foot pain or are recovering from a fracture – 
this may be an excellent shoe for you. 
I have found that most patients need to ease into the rocker bottom shoes. Wear them for one hour the first day, two hours the second, three hours the third, ect – until you are in them a full day. Jumping into full activities too quickly with a rocker bottom shoe can cause some knee, hip, lower pain aggravation. 

There is not one shoe that is perfect for everyone! 
A patient’s specific foot type, pathology and individual biomechanics all play an important role in determining what type of shoe is best for that patient.
The rocker-bottom shoes are typically great for patients with foot pain caused by biomechanical issues. 

Think of it this way, 
if you broke your wrist and you go to the doctor and she puts you in a cast – you are going to leave her office feeling much better and in less pain because the fracture has been stabilized and immobilized. 
Now, this is a simplistic explanation but basically, less motion across the sight of injury (whether it’s soft tissue, bone or joint) will lead to less pain, less inflammation, less swelling and faster healing. 
If you break a bone in your foot, we as Podiatrists place patients in below-the-knee walking boots (CAM walkers) which have rocker-bottom soles. 
The CAM walkers allow the patient to walk with less pain while the healing occurs. 
The Sketcher Shape-Up and all of the rocker bottom shoes are based on the same concept – 
if you eliminate motion across the area of pain – you will have less pain. 

Biomechanically speaking, in most cases, 
less motion equals less pain.
What’s also important is having a wide, soft toe-box, arch support (whether it’s a custom-molded orthotic or a good over-the-counter insert) and rearfoot control.  
I know there are people out there who will disagree with me and that’s fine. All I can say is I am a Podiatrist and this is my career. 
Every working day for the last eleven years, I spend my day talking to patients about their foot and ankle issues. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from patients about what works and what doesn’t. Lots of school and thousand of hours of working with patients has taught me several things:
1. There is an exception to every rule!
2. The first step is to heal the foot, the second step is to make sure the patient’s foot is biomechanically controlled with proper shoes and inserts so the problem/pain does not reoccur. 
3. Most patients don’t need foot surgery! 
4. If I stick to the basics – I have an extremely high success rate!
I love what I do.
I love helping people.
I love being a Podiatrist – it’s a great career. 
I feel like the luckiest person in the world that I get the opportunity to help people. 
Have a wonderful day…


Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy

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