The Toning Shoe Let Down
If you own a pair of Skechers Shape-Ups, MBT's or Reebok EasyTones, I'm sorry to break the news to you BUT they're a sham. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) conducted a study on their effectiveness and found that toning shoes don't really do what they claim to do. Toning Shoes have led wearers to believe they will help them exercise more intensely, burn more calories or improve muscle strength and tone in the glutes, calves, and hamstrings. But according to the ACE study, this isn't true at all.
All three toning shoes tested [in the ACE research study] showed no statistically significant increases in either exercise response or muscle activation during the treadmill trials, when compared to the normal athletic shoes tested. There was simply no evidence to indicate that the toning shoes offer any enhanced fitness benefits over traditional sneakers. (source)
There's No Such Thing As A Magic Shoe
I know, I wanted to believe in them too even though they're a bunch of eye sores. Seriously, you'd think at least 1 design team could nail a nice looking albeit wobbly shoe. But no. Oh well, it's the thought that counts, right? Someone out there really wanted to firm the butts and tone the calves of women worldwide while cutting down on exercise time. I respect that and appreciate whoever came up with the idea. But here's the hard truth: there are no short cuts in life. If you want "perfection" you have to work at it.
If you want a killer booty you have to wake up at 6am and go to Lacey Stone's Bootycamp. If you' want to minimize and tone jiggly thighs then get yourself on the Cuerpaso program by Tadeo. If you want lean and beautifully toned calves you have to take Tina Thompson's Tutu Fresh class at Crunch gyms in NYC. Wearing a pair of rolly polly sneakers isn't going to get the job done. Sweat gets the job done! Increased heart rate gets the job done! Getting out of your comfort zone gets the job done! Ok, you get the point.
What I need explained to me is why women are paying $100 or more for these shoes. Bueller?? I mean, they're not pretty to look at. I'd go as far as saying they're humiliating! The ones above cost $100 (Shape Ups) and $245 (MBT's). It hurts my heart to imagine any woman wearing these clunkers. If you're one of these woman, don't worry--there's still hope! Just keep reading...
Toning Shoes Can Inspire Even If They Don't Work
Apparently toning shoes are good for something and that something is what the ACE study calls MOTIVATION. Women who wear toning shoes show an interest in becoming more fit. So if you really must, here are the best looking toning shoes I could find from Reebok and FitFlop.
Reebok EasyTone Reeinspire ($99.99)
Reebok EasyTone Reeinspire Lux Walking Shoe, Dark Silver ($81.57)
Reebok EasyTone Reeinspire Lux l-ll, Gold (124.98)
FitFlop Walkstar 3 Sandal, Silver ($41.65)
FitFlop Walkstar 3 Sandal in Snake (comes in natural/black)
EasyTones are definitely the most stylish toning sneakers out there -- click here to see all the designs. And whether they work or not, I really like the look and feel of FitFlops. They're great for leisurely walking or wearing to yoga and pilates classes when you don't care to throw on sneakers. They're also 20% off at SweatyBetty. If toning sneakers motivate you for the gym, then by golly, buy yourself a pair! Just remember, magic shoes don't exist...at least not yet. You can achieve better results more economically by wearing normal running shoes and going for a 20 minute run. Or spend the dough on a new gym membership!
Comment on toning shoes below and tell me if you like the stylish variety I put together!