Toning Shoes – Do They Really Work?
Do Specialized Shoes Like MBT’s and Sketchers Shape Ups Really Help Tone your Legs and Give You a Better Workout? The American Council on Exercise, ACE Fitness research results are in on the benefits of “Toning Shoes” MBT’s, Sketchers Shape Ups and Reebok Easytone Shoes compared to a regular pair of running shoes.
This question about the difference between toning shoes vs. a regular pair of running or walking shoes always comes up when I teach my Fantastic Feet Workshop!
Everybody’s looking for the best option to get the most bang for their buck for a workout. But lots of bucks it takes to buy these fancy “toning” shoes! Is the cost for the claims of burning more calories, solving joint pain, working your hamstrings, butt and calves harder really worth it?
According to the ACE study – there is no statistically significant increases or evidence to support the advertising claims. A regular pair of tennis shoes can provide the same benefits as your MBT’s or other Shape-Up shoes, based on the ACE research study which measured fitness and wellness benefits.
Do I own a pair of Toning Shoes – YES. Do I wear them often – NO.
Why did I buy them? Because I had so many clients asking if they should buy a pair that I wanted to experience what it felt like to wear them so I could give a more educated opinion on what these shoes felt like during a workout and how they affected my gait and stride.
What’s my opinion?
Since so many people are running around in flip-flops and other strapless or backless shoes – in general, for most of the population – stride length has been compromised. If you watch people walk, the legs swing more to the front of the body than behind the body. (We’ve made this adaptation to keep our flip-flops from falling off our feet!) Because of this the hips, hamstrings, and glutes don’t get a chance to work like they should because the legs are never in extension (behind the body) far enough for these muscles to fire.
Our strength to propel the body forward when we walk and run comes from the back of the legs – hamstrings, glutes, ankle and foot. Without a long enough stride, hip, knee, and ankle mechanics are compromised. And if you take a look at most of the cardio equipment on the market (with the exception of a treadmill) the stride/swing for the legs is primarily to the front of the body which continues to enhance the imbalance that has been created by our poor shoe choices and shortened stride!
So accepting by the research that you’re not going to burn more calories, or work harder by wearing toning shoes what might be the value of wearing toning shoes for a workout? For me, the rocker-bottom helps free up the swing of the leg and makes it a bit easier to increase stride length to feel what I should be doing all day long (in any pair of shoes) to get the legs behind the body for better stride length.
I wear my MBT’s every once in a blue moon! The rest of the time I prefer to focus my attention on making my body do things right (rather than rely on my shoes to do the work.)
What Do YOU Think About Toning Shoes?
- Do you own a pair of toning shoes?
- Why did you buy them?
- How much do you wear them?
- What’s your overall opinion of toning shoes?
If you want to read the research, click here for the ACE Fitness article.
- Pulse Power! The Daily Dozen – 10 Minute Workout Plan $7.99 Epub (for eReaders like Nook, iBooks, Sony Reader or software like Adobe Digital Editions) or PDF File (for accessing directly from your computer)
- Pilates Arc Barrel Combo $189 Stamina® Pilates Arc Barrel, “A Barrel of Fun!” (Book or eBook) and Workout Video
- Pilates Arc Barrel $169 Stamina® Pilates Arc Barrel
- RunFit Foot Fitness Kit™ $159 Includes Fantastic Feet! 95-Page Paperback, Circulator Reflexology Mat, Foot Fitness Kit, Yamuna Foot Savers and Super Ankles Foot-Fit Board Bundle
- The BIG Foot Bundle $125 Includes Fantastic Feet! 95-Page Paperback, Foot Fitness Kit, Yamuna Foot Savers with DVD, Circulator Foot Reflexology Mat and Two Pairs of Toe Sox
- Baby Steps Bundle $59.50 Includes Fantastic Feet! 95-Page Paperback, Therabands (Blue/Green) and Circulator Foot Reflexology Mat
- Super Ankles Foot-Fit Board Bundle $40 Includes Super Ankles Foot-Fit Board, 22-Page Exercise Spiral Bound Booklet and 41:20 "How-To" Exercise DVD
- Yamuna Foot Savers with DVD 59.95 2 Foot Savers with Workout DVD
- The Circulator: Foot Reflexology Massage Mat $39.95 Foot Reflexology Massage Mat
- Pilates Magic Circle and Workout Audio $37 Pilates Magic Circle and Workout Audio
- Foam Roller Fitness Exercise Tips & Core Training Techniques $50 80-Minute Video Training Presented by Aliesa George
- Pilates Teachers Video Training: Foam Roller Training for Pilates Pros $50 60-Minute Video Training Presented by Aliesa George
- Combo: Foam Roller Fitness & Foam Roller Training for Pilates Pros $85 Live Video Training by Aliesa George,PMA-CPT
- How to Effectively Engage the Pelvic Floor to Help Strengthen the Core $35 60-Minute Video Training Presented by Aliesa George
- 6-Dot Strategy for Effective Rotation of the Spine $35 60-Minute Video Training Presented by Aliesa George
- 6 Simple Training Tips for Functional Movement at the Hips $35 60-Minute Video Training Presented by Aliesa George
- Pilates Magic Circle and Workout DVD $30 Pilates Magic Circle and Workout DVD
- Fantastic Feet! and Foot Fitness Kit Combo $30 Foot Fitness Kit and Fantastic Feet! 95-Page Paperback by Aliesa George
- Foot Fitness Kit $20 Foot Fitness Kit by Aliesa George
- Foam Rollers $20 Pilates Foam Roller in Three Styles
- Toe Sox $15 Black Pilates and Yoga Socks
- Therabands $10 Exercise Bands in a Variety of Four Strength and Resistance Levels
- Basic Pilates: The First 15 Matwork Exercises $12 37:30 Workout on Audio CD or MP3
- Beginner-Intermediate Pilates Matwork with Flow: 23 Exercises $12 41:10 Workout on Audio CD or MP3
- Intermediate Pilates Matwork Flowing Fitness Challenge: 35 Exercises $12 1:12 Workout on Audio CD or MP3
- Magic Circle Pilates Matwork: Basic-Intermediate $12 65 Minute Workout on Audio CD or MP3
- Tips & Tricks for a Stress-Free Life $49 eBook and 52-Week eCourse
- Posture Principles for Health $79 60-page study guide and DVD/VHS
- A Barrel of Fun! Pilates Arc Barrel Workout $34.97 78-Page Spiral-Bound Book by Aliesa George
- Fantastic Feet! $20 95-Page Paperback by Aliesa George
- Return to Life Through Contrology $15.95 105-Page Paperback by Joseph H. Pilates
- Be FIT Journal $15 380-Page Paperback by Aliesa George
- Theme of the Day $15 37-Page Booklet by Aliesa George
- Centerworks® Pilates Training Manuals $225 Eight Pilates Teacher-Training “How-to” Manuals by Aliesa George
- The Barrels Manual $40 100-Page Pilates Teacher-Training Exercise Manual by Aliesa George
- The Cadillac Manual $40 113-Page Pilates Teacher-Training Exercise Manual by Aliesa George
- The Chairs Manual $40 74-Page Pilates Teacher-Training Exercise Manual by Aliesa George
- The Reformer Manual $40 117-Page Pilates Teacher-Training Exercise Manual by Aliesa George
- Basic Matwork Manual $25 68-Page Pilates Teacher-Training Exercise Manual by Aliesa George
- Intermediate Matwork Manual $25 68-Page Pilates Teacher-Training Exercise Manual by Aliesa George
- Advanced Matwork Manual $25 56-Page Pilates Teacher-Training Exercise Manual by Aliesa George
- Supplemental Equipment Manual $15 57-Page Pilates Teacher-Training Exercise Manual by Aliesa George