Effect of rocker shoe radius on oxygen consumption rate in young able-bodied persons

Andrew H. Hansen, Charles C. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We studied oxygen consumption rate of eleven young able-bodied persons walking at self-selected speed with five different pairs of shoes: one regular pair without rocker soles (REG) and four pairs with uniform hardness (35-40 shore A durometer) rocker soles of different radii (25% of leg length (LL) (R25), 40% LL (R40), 55% LL (R55), and infinite radius (FLAT)). Rocker soled shoes in the study were developed to provide similar vertical lift (three inches higher than the REG shoes condition). Oxygen consumption rate was significantly affected by the use of the different shoes (p<0.001) and pairwise comparisons indicated that persons consumed significantly less oxygen (per minute per kilogram of body mass) when walking on the R40 shoes when compared with both the FLAT (p<0.001) and REG (p=0.021) shoe conditions. Oxygen consumption was also significantly less for the R25 shoes compared with the FLAT shoes (p=0.005) and for the R55 shoes compared with FLAT shoes (p=0.027). The three-inch lift on the FLAT shoe did not cause a significant change in oxygen consumption compared to the shoe without the lift (REG).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1024
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 7 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the use of the VA Chicago Motion Analysis Research Laboratory. We would like to thank Rebecca Stine for her help with data collection and analysis, Stefania Fatone for her critical review of the manuscript, Kathy Waldera for her help with making the rocker shoes, and Sara Koehler and Brian Ruhe for their help with statistics used in this study. This publication was made possible by Grant number R03-HD050428-01A2 from the NIH . Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.


  • Gait
  • Oxygen consumption
  • Rocker shoes
  • Roll-over shape


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