Toning Shoes = Toned Booty?


I know you’ve probably seen all the new toning shoes out now; Reebok Easy Tones, Sketchers Shape Ups, Masai Barefoot Technology, etc. They claim to work the leg and booty muscles while you’re walking and running to make your body work harder, without really doing any extra work… but do they really help tone your body as you go on with your daily routine? I’m a skeptic (and a bit of a judger) so I decided to look it up for myself.

The American Council on Excercise, or ACE, does their own series of scientific research studies to prove how effective, or ineffective, new exercises/equipment are. As an ACE certified instructor and trainer, I get updates on new information. Their Get-Fit website has tons of resources to check out, like this Workout Watchdog. To read the full study, (don’t worry, it’s not that long) click here. It explains, step-by-step, how they came to their conclusion. They ran two studies, one with regular running shoes, and one with the toning shoes to measure the muscle activation when walking with each.
If you want the short version: Each kind of shoe works slightly better in some circumstances than regular shoes, but in some circumstances they fall short. All in all, there’s no significant difference in the toning shoes compared to regular athletic shoes. But don’t feel bad if you’ve already shelled out the money for the new shoes. If they make you get out, walk more, run more, or just move more, they’ve done their job and they’re worth it!
Personally, I don’t see how a shoe shaped like the one above could promote correct walking mechanics, let alone make you better. But that’s just me… I’m a fan of good old-fashioned barefoot training. More about that later!
P.S. If you want to read more studies on different exercises, products, or trends, check out ACE’s Get Fit website. You can also find your own workouts, healthy recipes, or workout calculators there. It’s a very handy tool to check out!
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