Intermittent claudication is the name given to the symptoms that occur, usually in the calf muscle, in those with poor circulation. It occurs after walking a set distance because the oxygen supply to the muscle cannot meet the muscles’ needs. This pilot study from researchers at the University of Salford in the United Kingdom and published in the Journal of Vascular Nursing looked at the use of a rocker sole shoe which mimics the action of toning shoes in a group of people with intermittent claudication. The participants were given two therapeutic shoes that were identical, except that one had a specific three-curve rocker sole. Participants then did walking trials to determine the distance until the claudication pain occurred and the intensity of the pain. They found that while wearing the rocker sole shoes, the distance until claudication increased and the intensity of the claudication pain was less.
This study is promising. It was only in eight people and was only done in one session. It is not known if the benefits demonstrated would be apparent after a longer period if adaptation to the rocker soles shoes was allowed to occur.