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Toning Shoes Offer Gym-Free Workout, But They’re Not Risk-Free

Posted on Jan 21, 2011
Tired of the early morning workouts at your local gym? Tired of the achy feeling that lifting weights and running on the treadmill leave you? Then, let your shoes do your exercising for you.

That’s what many toning shoes manufacturers claim that their products can do for you. Many claim that you will be the recipient of better legs, toner buttocks and experience a loss of weight just by wearing a pair of their toning shoes. However, toning shoes are not without risk.

Skechers, which produces Shape-ups, is among those that have made similar claims. They tout in their ads that “Now you can get in shape without setting foot in a gym!”

Skechers Shape-ups are designed with kinetic-wedge heel inserts and rolling bottoms that are meant to simulate walking on the sand. The unique designed is supposed to help tone leg, back and abdominal muscles with every step, but these shoes have also been causing injury.

Consumers appear to be buying into the hype. According to the market-research company, NPD Group, sales for toning shoes reached $579 million in the first three quarters of 2010, up from $145 million for all of 2009.

Toning shoes are dangerous.

Toning shoes are not without their share of critics. According to a American Council on Exercise study published by the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, toning shoes, such as Shape-ups, provide no “statistically significant increases in either exercise response or muscle activation” and that “there is simply no evidence to support the claims that these shoes will help wearers exercise more intensely, burn more calories or improve muscle strength or tone.”

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