Springboost shoes, Sketcher Shape-ups, Fit Flops and Sketchers Tone-Ups. Why? Like most women, I figured it all helps in the long run! Now, I NEVER purchased thinking they would replace exercise - if you think that, I have a bridge to sell you. When I was away for the month of July EVERY store I went into were selling these shoes off the racks - I saw TONS of these sold across the USA!
ACE enlisted a team of exercise scientists from the Exercise and Health Program at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, to study each of the shoes.
Here are the claims from the manufacturers, taken from the ACE article:
MBT: Masai Barefoot Technology - $245 http://us.mbt.com
"Helping solve knee and back problems, relieve tension in the neck, ease joint pains-and more or less in passing help to tone and shape firm buttocks and thighs. And burning more calories when standing and slow running compared to ordinary shoes."
Skechers Shape-Ups - $110-$125 www.skechers.com
"Four clinical studies in the U.S. and Japan show that Shape-ups increase muscle activity and energy consumption over standard fitness shoes!"
Reebok EasyTone $100-$125 www.reebok.com
"It's the shoe proven to work your hamstrings and calves up to 11 percent harder. And tones your butt up to 28 percent more than regular sneakers just by walking."
All the shoes have an unstable sole design, in which the purchaser must find her balance in wearing the shoes, which would make the wearer "believe" the claims above. The shoes do take some getting use to wearing!
However, according to ACE, All of the claims above are NOT peer reviewed. For this reason, ACE's Chief Science Officer Cedric Bryant Ph.D., urges consumers to beware.
A quick summation
ACE: The Results across the board, none of the toning shoes showed statistically significant increases in either exercise response or muscle activation during any of the treadmill trials. There is simply no evidence to support the claims that these shoes will help wearers exercise more intensely, burn more calories or improve muscle strength and tone
Go out and pick a pair of "regular" running, walking or training shoes that fit well and make you happy! Save your money!
Go to: www.acefitness.org to review the complete study.
In good health,
Jennifer Ettinger, MA., CPT