Are toning shoes worth the hype?

July 22, 2010 3:51:11 PM PDT
They promise to tone you up while you walk. Some even claim you can skip the gym all together. We're talking about "tone up shoes." But we found out if these shoes are worth the hype. A foot specialist we spoke with says these tone up shoes are designed in a way that force you to use your core muscles, your leg muscles your back muscles in order to stabilize. However, before you go out and buy a pair, it's important you know how to properly use these shoes.

Registered nurse Kyung Ho was so excited about trying tone up shoes she bought two pairs she can wear to work.

"When I wear these shoes, my body was shaped like this. I feel really good and I was taller," Kyung said.

She says she noticed a difference in her posture and tone in her legs and core, but after wearing the shoes for two weeks during her 12-hour shifts at the hospital, her body started aching.

"I feel backache. Because I was standing," said Kyung.

Foot specialist Dr. Robert Leisten inspected a pair of tone up shoes.

"What this shoe actually does is take the pressure off the heel, off the forefoot and puts it in the center of the foot," said Dr. Leisten.

He says the design of the shoe forces your foot to function as if you are walking barefooted in sand.

"When you walk in sand, it's harder to walk. So what it does it forces you to use your core muscles and muscles in your legs and back to stabilize yourself," Dr. Leisten said.

He says wearing the shoes for a long period of time like Kyung was doing is not a good idea. He recommends people break in the shoe gradually and use them when they are only exercising.

Dr. Leisten says when shopping for tone up shoes, keep in mind there are two types: the unstable kind like the bulky Skechers Shape Ups and the stable kind like some other running shoes.

"They give you more stability from side to side," said Dr. Leisten.

He also warns consumers who are looking for a quick weight loss cure.

"These shoes are not going to take place of going to the gym," Dr. Leisten said. "They are going to help you tone up, but they are not going to help you lose weight."

For Kyung, she plans to use her toning shoes only when she goes out for a long walk.

"I recommend them for a workout, but not for working," she said.

These shoes should not be worn by people who have vertigo, get dizzy or have had a stroke and have a muscle weakness because you can easily fall. Also, don't run in the toning walking shoes.


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