12 10 rock bottoms shoes tone butt snearks runningQ: Are those shoes that are supposed to tone my butt and legs actually safe?

A: The human foot was designed to walk flat on all surfaces. Anything that alters the natural gait (walking) cycle will create chaos both in the feet and lower body.

Rocker bottom sneaker shoes completely alter normal walking and posture to create an abnormally excessive strain on the body. These types of shoes that create a rocking movement adversely affect the feet, ankles, knees, hips and spine. All types of medical practitioners are dealing with patient complaints. These shoes are not orthotic ‘friendly’ so patients are suffering from not using their orthotics in their shoes. Recently, the largest manufacturer of rocker bottom shoes settled a multi-million dollar, class action suit because the benefits they advertised were false and misleading.

Podiatrists will not recommend any of these types of shoes to patients because we see the ravages of misuse first hand. The best advice I can provide is to avoid any footwear that alters the natural, flat walking style we were all born with. Speak to your podiatrist to advise you on proper footwear appropriate for your feet and activities.

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-Dr. Hartley Miltchin, Podiatrist and past president of the Ontario Podiatric Medical Association, 4430 Bathurst Street, Suite 503, Toronto, Tel: 416-635-8637, www.accentonfeet.com.