A study published in Clinical Biomechanics (online Sept 2012) looked at pain levels in people aged 40-65 with plantar fasciitis. Using a visual analogue pain scale, they compared the use of foot orthotics to toning shoes to foot orthotics and toning shoes.
The pain scores on the VAS for the 3 conditions were:
Rocker shoes and foot orthotics: 9.7mm
Rocker shoes: 30.9
Foot Orthoses 29.5
So the rockers shoes combined with foot orthoses produced the best results and the authors concluded:
The findings indicate that a combined prescription of rocker sole shoes and custom-made foot orthoses had greater immediate therapeutic effects compared to when each treatment had been individually prescribed.
– this is not a very commonly used intervention for treating plantar fasciitis
– this was an acute intervention and the participants were not followed over time
– the VAS is not the most validated measure for pain levels in plantar fascitis