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01-12-2013 | Research | Uitgave 1/2013 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2013

The effect of rollover footwear on the rollover function of walking

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2013
Saeed Forghany, Christopher J Nester, Barry Richards
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1757-1146-6-24) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The kinematic data used in the paper was originally collected as part of experimental tests to evaluate the effect of various footwear products on gait (under review elsewhere). That work was funded by SSL International, who own the Scholl brand of footcare/footwear. Their staff played no part in the work other than agreeing its general objectives. None of the authors received financial benefit from the work in the original study, nor this paper. No author has received any personal financial benefit nor has any personal commercial association with the company, nor the owners of the other footwear tested in this study. The author(s) declare that they have no other competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

SF and BR were the primary researchers involved in all aspects of the research and writing. CN provided senior research advice and support for all aspects of work. This included detailed contributions to the research design, the nature and management of data and its analysis, and paper writing. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Rollover footwear is assumed to provide an enhanced surface over which the body can roll more easily. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of rollover footwear on the rollover function of walking.


Twenty subjects walked in three conditions: (i) a MBT shoe (Masai Barefoot Technology) characterized by a stiff sole rounded in the anterior–posterior direction; (ii) alternative rollover shoe (a prototype of Scholl STARLIT) characterized by a stiff sole rounded in the anterior–posterior direction; (iii) a flat control shoe. Data on the lower limb kinematics and ground reaction force were collected. The rollover function of walking was characterized using the radii of lower limb rollover shapes and duration of terminal double limb support. These data were compared between the three shoe conditions and the relationship between the radii of the curved shoe sole and the radii of the rollover shapes investigated.


The radii of the whole and middle part of foot–shoe, ankle-foot and knee–ankle–foot rollover shapes were significantly smaller (i.e. more curved) for MBT (ranging from 12% to 81% smaller) and the rollover shoe (ranging from 2% to 69% smaller) compared with flat shoe (p < 0.05). Double support time decreased significantly for MBT ~12% and rollover shoe ~7% compared to the flat shoe. For both MBT and rollover shoes, there were positive correlations (r = 0.42-0.60) between the sole radii and radius of foot-shoe rollover shape (p < 0.05).


Wearing MBT and the rollover shoe resulted in more curved foot-shoe, ankle-foot and knee-ankle-foot rollover shapes and faster weight transfer. However, the results also indicate that static sole curve is not the only factor influencing the gait rocker function.

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