Rocker bottom shoes may sound like a 90s fad, but many brands are integrating rocker bottoms into their sports shoes these days.
These have practical applications and can improve running performance, make walking easier, improve foot health in diabetics, and even alleviate symptoms and pain from a variety of foot conditions.
Even shoes without extremely noticeable rocker bottoms are using internal rocker technology so users can reap the benefits.
If you want to try one of these shoes, we’ve reviewed the best rocker bottom shoes for a variety of different uses.
The Hoka One One Bondi 7 is our top choice, as it’s extremely well-cushioned, uses an early-stage meta-rocker, and provides extra comfort in the form of a memory foam ankle collar.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Hoka One One Bondi 7
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Skechers GOWalk Arch Fit
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MBT Colorado X
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1. Hoka One One Bondi 7
The Bondi 7 is Hoka One One’s most cushioned shoe. It has a heel height of 33mm on the men’s shoe and 31mm on the women’s shoe, and that entire height is made up of spongy EVA foam.
Within the midsole, you’ll find an early-stage Meta-Rocker. This is a special transition zone in the midsole that’s designed to move one quickly from heel to toe, complementing the gait cycle and helping to speed one forward while exerting less pressure on muscles and joints.
“Early-stage” refers to the placement of the transition zone. Early-stage Meta-Rockers are placed just behind the metatarsal heads, roughly in the midfoot area. This is ideal for easy heel-to-toe transitions. In addition to the meta-rocker, a beveled heel assists with the smooth transition.
The full-length EVA platform absorbs shock with every step and protects joints while holding the foot steadily in place with a plush and comfortable memory foam ankle collar. An internal heel counter locks the foot in and prevents excessive movement inside of the shoe.
An open-engineered mesh upper allows for airflow throughout the shoe and TPU overlays around the midfoot adds to the shoe’s structure to support the foot.
Some individuals may find that the shoe is quite heavy. It weighs 10.6 grams for the men’s, but the hefty midsole may feel unwieldy. It’s not the best choice for speed work.
- Early-stage Meta-Rocker
- Internal heel counter
- Ultra-soft memory foam collar
- Breathable mesh upper
- Not the best choice for speed work
2. Skechers GOwalk Arch Fit
The Skechers GOwalk Arch Fit series includes many different shoe models.
Some are slip-ons, which would appeal to some individuals. Others are lace-ups, which would be the better choice for those who intend to run in the shoes.
They’re not your conventional rocker bottom shoes, but they feature something called Comfort Pillar Technology, which creates a similar effect to the rocker bottom. It adds extra cushion, support, and ease to the heel-to-toe transition process.
The Arch Fit shoe range is equipped with podiatrist-certified arch support and the patented Skechers Arch Fit insole system. If the arch support isn’t suitable for your foot, you can always remove it and easily add a custom orthotic.
These shoes feature ULTRA GO cushion for a comfortable experience underfoot and a long-lasting, dual-density, high-traction outsole for safety and stability on any surface.
These shoes can run narrow, so you may need to order a half-size larger than you would normally.
- Podiatrist-designed shape
- Comfort Pillar Technology
- Contoured Arch Fit footbed
- Dual-density traction outsole
- These shoes can run narrow and you may need to order a half-size up
Best For Walking
3. MBT Colorado X
If you’re only going to be walking in your shoes, the MBT Colorado is the ideal choice.
It has a noticeable rocker bottom, both on the heel and the forefoot, creating a fulcrum that propels the wearer forward and reduces strain on the muscles, ligaments, and joints of the feet and legs.
The shoe has a medium to strong sole curve, which is used in conjunction with MBT Pivot Strike area and PivotAxis technology to create an efficient heel-to-toe transition. It also helps to improve balance and keep the foot moving naturally.
A tri-density EVA midsole provides extra stability, while also offering a good amount of cushion. SensorTechnology further absorbs shock and improves the comfort and safety of these walking shoes. The outsole is made of MBT High-Abrasion Rubber, to keep you safe and sturdy on any surface.
These shoes may run large.
- Curved sole
- PivotAxis Technology
- Tri-density midsole
- Cushioned heel
- These shoes can run big and you may have to order a half size smaller
Best Office Shoes
4. MBT Boston (men)
It’s harder to find office shoes with a rocker bottom, but the MBT Boston is ideal for businessmen who need this kind of shoe.
The rocker shoe changes the way we walk and use our bodies, as they need to compensate for the instability a rocker bottom causes.
These shoes are particularly effective for men who suffer from plantar fasciitis and other foot pain conditions, as the rocker bottom reduces the strain on joints and ligaments.
The Boston features a medium-strong curve in the sole, PivotAxis technology to promote a forward-rolling movement and a dual-density IP EVA midsole. It’s made of TPU and nylon for the best of both comfort and support. It also makes the shoe durable but lightweight.
The full-grain leather upper offers support to the foot, and is also washable. It also looks smart enough to wear to work or functions. A sheepskin-lined footbed is high in comfort but may make this shoe quite warm in summer.
- M-TECH patented rocker sole
- Full-grain leather upper
- Sheepskin lined footbed
- Non-marking rubber outsole
- May be warm in summer
4a. MBT Harper (women)
For the ladies, the MBT Harper is a slip-on dress shoe that would be ideal for in the office or work functions. They have a durable leather upper, warm lining, and a non-marking outsole.
They also feature MBT’s traditional rocker bottom sole. They have a strong curve and also make use of PivotAxis technology for a rolling-forward action on every step. This motion helps to reduce the strain on the muscles and tendons in the foot and leg.
Sensor Technology in the heel absorbs shock and prevents pain and discomfort. It also helps the energy absorbed during the footstrike get transferred to the forefoot—via the Pivot Strike area—for an effective toe-off, even if you’re just walking around the office.
The insole is removable so one can add their own orthotic if necessary. High-abrasion rubber on the outsole keeps you safe and sturdy whether you’re in the office or on the dancefloor.
- MBT signature rocker bottom sole
- Leather upper
- High-abrasion rubber outsole
- May have a narrow fit
5. ASICS Glideride 2 Lite
If having a breathable shoe is your first priority and a rocker bottom is second, then the ASICS Glideride 2 Lite is an excellent option.
The engineered mesh upper is perforated to allow for adequate airflow so your feet will always remain cool when you’re walking or running. The tongue is also semi-perforated, improving breathability noticeably.
Their GUIDESOLE technology is a curved sole with a stiff forefoot—thanks to a reinforced plate—designed to help you glide along with ease, saving energy. It also features a shock-absorbent landing zone which reduces fatigue and protects your joints.
The FLYTEFOAM midsole is lightweight but plush, giving you a cushioned feeling that still provides a good energy return thanks to FLYTEFOAM Propel elastomer technology.
The AHAR Plus Outsole is 50 percent more durable than ASICS’ regular rubber, so these shoes should last you longer. They also use LITE-SHOW technology to keep you visible in low-light conditions.
- Curved sole design
- Reinforced plate in the midsole
- Knit-like, engineered mesh upper
- FLYTEFOAM Technology cushioning
- Some people may find the forefoot to be a bit too stiff
6. Hoka One One Ora Recovery Flip-Flops
If you’re a fan of summer and want a stylish but practical pair of flip-flops, the Hoka One One Ora Recovery Flip-Flops are an excellent pair of rocker bottom sandals.
They’re designed in a dual-layer fashion, with an oversized but plush and comfortable midsole with a soft EVA top for comfort underfoot. A jersey-textile toe strap prevents moisture from building up and helps the shoe stay secure on your foot.
This sandal is ideal for recovery after sports or just a lazy day at the beach. It features an early-stage meta-rocker, which creates a flowing fulcrum effect that makes every step easier and quicker with less effort.
- Early Stage Meta-Rocker geometry
- Soft EVA top layer
- Jersey textile toe straps
- Textured footbed
- The toe post might need some time to break in
7. MBT Modena
Slip-on shoes are convenient and easy. The MBT Modena is our choice as the top slip-on rocker bottom shoe, and it’s available in both men’s and women’s designs. Both designs are very similar and only truly differ in their color ranges.
It’s designed to be extra light, with a light mesh upper and a mesh footbed. The M-Foam midsole and memory foam insole are comfortable and soft, and the concave heel design (rocker) makes the transition through each step easier.
It has a low-level rocker and a low PivotAxis, but the rocker motion still helps promote a sense of balance and propulsion. It also features a Pivot Strike area which absorbs shock upon the footfall and transitions it into energy for moving forward.
The concave heel and SensorTechnology in the heel help to reduce vibration from impact and offer extra cushion. This shoe has been accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association—APMA—as a shoe that promotes good foot health.
- M-Foam sole
- Concave heel design
- Shorter sidewalls
- Light synthetic leather and mesh upper
- Some may feel that the rocking motion is too low
8. New Balance 928v3
Leather shoes are versatile—they can be used as sporty shoes, in casual settings, or even to wear to work—and durable, as they have water-repellent and anti-stain properties. They also provide stiff structure to support the foot.
As well as those properties, the New Balance 928v3 has a mesh-lined collar to allow for adequate ventilation even though the outer upper is made of leather.
In the midsole, a CMEVA foam platform provides a soft ride and absorbs shock but doesn’t become compressed too easily. It also incorporates ABZORB technology, which offers an extra layer of cushion and vibration-absorption.
This entire cushioning unit is rocker-shaped to help you with quick transitions. There’s also a Rollbar posting system, which prevents overpronation by reducing rearfoot movement and preventing the foot from falling over. Walking Strike Path technology includes an off-center rubber strip that guides the foot into the right gait, along with flex grooves for better flexibility in the foot.
The NDurance rubber outsole makes the shoe durable and grippy on most surfaces. It’s also non-marking, so you can wear them anywhere without worrying.
- Rocker-shaped midsole
- Walking Strike Path technology
- Rollbar posting system
- ABZORB cushioning
- The tongue of this shoe is short and may cause the laces to become a hotspot on the bridge of the foot
9. SKECHERS Go Run Razor Excess
These shoes weigh just 7.2 ounces—men’s—or 5.7 ounces—women’s—one of the lightest around.
Despite its weight, it’s very well-cushioned and also holds a HYPER ARC rocker bottom, which adapts to your foot and your stride to help improve your performance. The HYPER BURST cushioning midsole is lightweight but responsive, made with an innovative “Super Critical” process to be both strong and light.
Underneath, a Goodyear Performance Outsole is made of heavy-duty rubber and serves the purpose of keeping you safe on any kind of terrain. It also means that these shoes are very durable.
- Hyper Arc rocker bottom
- Hyper Burst cushioning midsole
- Molded heel counter
- Goodyear Performance Outsole rubber traction outsole
- These shoes can run narrow
Best For Cushioned Support
10. New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v4
This is the ideal rocker bottom shoe for overpronators. It’s a stability shoe, with a Varus wedge angled midsole to prevent the wearer’s foot from rolling inwards. Fresh Foam midsole cushioning feels plush, even with the wedge technology.
There’s no particular rocker-technology in this shoe, but it has a definite curve to the forefoot, which will help heel-to-midfoot-to-toe transitions. On the outsole, a hexagon-shaped tread delivers flexibility and traction on all surfaces. There’s also a central flex groove.
There’s softer blown rubber on the lateral side for pronation-control, and firmer rubber on the other side to propel one forward.
- Slightly curved sole
- Fresh Foam midsole cushioning
- Varus wedge angled midsole
- Blown rubber outsole
- These shoes can run narrow and you may have to order the shoe in a wide
What are rocker bottom shoes?
Rocker bottom shoes have a sole that is thicker than most normal shoes. These shoes have a rounded heel—curved in the heel and forefoot—and this helps one move through their gait cycle.
The curved shape of the sole of the shoe helps to absorb shock in both the heel and forefoot, allowing your foot to “roll” forward while reducing pressure on the foot. When you look at rocker bottom shoes, you’ll find that there are two different types.
The first one is forefoot rocker shoes, where the shoe is thick in the center and looks like a wedge has been cut out in the front—also known as a half-length shank. This type of rocker bottom shoe reduces pressure on the ball of your foot and provides relief from foot conditions like metatarsalgia and arthritis.
The second is the heel-to-toe rocker shoes, where you’ll still find the thick sole but it’s curved in both the heel and forefoot. This type of rocker bottom rolls the foot forward from the heel to the toe and reduces the motion in the midfoot and ankle.
Are rocker bottom shoes good for your feet?
Rocker bottom shoes can be good for your feet, especially if you’re looking for shoes to reduce the pressure on joints when you’re moving.
These types of shoes can reduce the impact on the foot when walking or running, provide stability and support the feet through the range of motion.