Flat shoes are better than ‘rocker’ footwear for easing back pain – and wearing them for just two hours a day can work wonders.
A study at King’s College, London, compared standard flat shoes with rockers – which have a curved, unstable sole and claim to trigger changes in posture and balance.
The 115 adult participants, who had chronic back pain, were asked to wear either flat or rocker shoes for at least two hours a day while standing and walking.
After six months, more than half of those wearing flats had improved symptoms, compared to fewer than a third of those with rockers.
Study leader Sian Macrae said: ‘Although rocker sole shoes have been suggested to reduce postural instability, our research indicates that for those reporting low back pain while standing and walking, the use of a rocker… results in a poorer recovery.’