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Do Toning Shoes Deliver on Promises?

Posted on Jan 15, 2011
Toning shoes have become the latest craze in the billion-dollar sneaker industry. Many people discovered toning shoes underneath the Christmas tree last month. Consumers wonder if toning shoes, such as Skechers’ Shape-ups, deliver on claims made in toning footwear ads.

Toning shoe ads claim that wearers will experience the strengthening of leg muscles and calorie reduction just by wearing the shoes. However, a study published by the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in the American Council on Exercise cites that toning shoes, such as Shape-ups, provide no “statistically significant increases in either exercise response or muscle activation.”

Skechers’ ads claim: “Now you can get in shape without setting foot in a gym.” Their website states that “Shape-ups will help you “Shape Up While You Walk.”

The American Council on Exercise concludes that “there is simply no evidence to support the claims that these shoes (toning shoes) will help wearers exercise more intensely, burn more calories or improve muscle strength or tone.”

Some scientists and medical professionals even warn consumers of certain risks associated with wearing toning shoes. They indicate that walking around in them may be fine but that toning shoes are not meant for activities such as tennis or step aerobics and can lead to a serious foot and leg injury.

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