November 2015

Half shoe outperforms double rocker for offloading, but also impairs gait

In the moment: Footcare

By Jordana Bieze Foster

A half shoe offloads the forefoot more effectively than a double-rocker full-outsole shoe with an offloading insole, but the half shoe also is more likely to alter gait, according to research from Bologna, Italy.

Investigators from the Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli assessed 10 healthy women as they walked wearing a control shoe on the left foot and one of three types of footwear on the right foot: a control shoe, a half shoe, and a double-rocker, full-outsole shoe with an insole designed to reduce forefoot loading. The anterior aspect of the insole was thicker than the posterior aspect, to maintain the foot in slight dorsiflexion.

Maximum force at the forefoot as a percentage of body weight was significantly lower for the half-shoe condition than the other two conditions, indicating greater offloading. The same variable did not differ significantly between the double-rocker shoe and the control shoe. However, the half shoe was also associated with slower walking speed, shorter stride length, and less ground reaction force in late stance compared with the control condition.

The findings were published in October by the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research.


Caravaggi P, Giangrande A, Berti L, et al. Pedobarographic and kinematic analysis in the functional evaluation of two postoperative forefoot offloading shoes. J Foot Ankle Res 2015;8:59.

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