Osteoarthritis can cause intense pain in the joints, often caused by injury or overuse of joints, in particular the ankle and the big toe joints. Every movement of the joints, for example the forefoot flexing whilst walking, or the ankle articulating can cause the pain. A soft soled shoe with a rolling motion will therefore help to alleviate the pain by reducing heel strike and encouraging the foot to roll forwards, taking pressure from the joints moving. Osteoarthritic knees also benefit from the extra shock absorption provided by rocker sole or rolling motion footwear.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long term condition causing joint swelling, pain and deformity throughout the body. Often the feet are the first part of the body to suffer, particularly the big toe. The joints in the feet become enlarged, swollen and painful and the skin can become thinner and prone to damage from footwear. Shoes with soft, roomy uppers to accommodate the joints are recommended and with cushioning soles to relieve pressure from the balls of the feet.