Please read this review prior to purchasing any “toning” shoes such as My Shape Ups by Skechers!
I recently worked with a client of mine that unknowingly fell for the marketing strategy that this type of footwear would help her efforts to tone up. I noticed that she was wearing these within 2 minutes of her session and then followed by listing many reasons why these are terrible for you. But before we get into that, we must first evaluate the purpose of footwear.
A properly fitted shoe is designed to support your foot to proved a steady and stable surface for the body. Once the feet are properly aligned and supported, the ankles, knees, hips, and rest of the body follow. This is ESSENTIAL for maintaining proper posture, balance, and technique while exercising.
“Toning” shoes are designed to provide an unstable surface, which is supposed to make you use your muscles more frequently and tone them. However, this is a fancy marketing strategy for compromised foot stability and is a great way to injure yourself. While wearing this type of footwear, the body is unable to properly control the ankle, knees, and stay balanced while exercising. This also changes gait pattern and will lead to injuries just from walking. Think about how you walk on an unstable surface such as ice, doing this all the time will lead to problems.
Now back to my observations while training my client:
- She was unable to lunge properly due to almost falling over during every step, the ankle and knee were wobbling all over the place. This instability places extra lateral tension in the knees and ankles, increasing the probability of injury.
- Squatting was out of the question because she was unable to sit back into her heals, otherwise she would have fallen over. Doing this places extra stress into the knee and will lead to injuries.
- Jumping is out of the question. (Would you do jumping jacks on ice?)
Adding these together really limits what we were able to do since any movement based exercise was compromised due to the lack of balance and stability. Overall, you are better off taking your money and investing in a properly fitted athletic shoe.
UPDATE: ON SEPTEMBER, 28th 2011, REEBOK SETTLED A LAWSUIT WHERE THEY PAID OUT $25 MILLION FOR FALSE CLAIMS REGARDING THEIR TONING SHOES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS STORY, CHECK OUT THE LINK HERE.
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