“Chisel your butt and legs!”
“Burns more calories!”
“Makes the gym obsolete!”
Hang on sistah, let’s not get carried away with what the “toning” shoes can do. Do they really give you a better body? Have they replaced other workout routines for women as a lower body training tool?
If you watch the ads on these funky-looking shoes, the message is powerful: lace these on and your backyard will look like our model’s, just by replacing your regular footwear with these. Even high profile athletes like Joe Montana are pushing them.
Do they live up to the claims?
As revealed in my quick video above, independent research conducted by ACE (American Council on Exercise) demonstrates no statistically significant difference in wearing any brand of “toning” shoes over your typical walking or running shoes.
No tests were done on weighted shoes in this case, which may be another story altogether. We’re just talking about the high-wedge “toners”.
Six site test
ACE used electromyography to measure muscle activation at 6 different sites.
To measure muscle activation, researchers recruited a second group of 12 physically active female volunteers, ages 21 to 27 years, who performed a similar battery of five-minute treadmill trials (as explained above) rotating shoes at random. Researchers used electromyography (a.k.a. EMG) to record muscle activity in six muscle areas: gastrocnemius (calf), rectus femoris (quads), biceps femoris (hamstrings), gluteus maximus (buttocks), erector spinae (back), and rectus abdominis (abs), as subjects walked in each of the four pairs of shoes. As a baseline for EMG analysis, maximum voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC) on all muscles were also performed using manual muscle techniques prior to testing.
Guess what? No evidence emerged to support the claims that these shoes will help wearers exercise more intensely, burn more calories or improve muscle strength and tone.
Save your cash…unless
Priced at from $100 – $225, if you are looking for the magic toning bullet, save your cash and put it into something proven to add muscle workload to your walks by adding more resistance, like weighted vests, belts, or hand-held weights.
Unless, of course, you find these shoes so dang fun that you can’t wait to get out on your daily walk, in which case I say money well spent! Many women find these shoes comfortable and with their thick cushy soles, a cushion to the press of foot to floor all day long.
And remember, a proven method for firing up calorie consumption while boosting metabolism and muscle challenge is Burst Training, or High Intensity Interval Training, as detailed in my free Fitness Breakthrough Kit.
Download the ACE Report
You can download the “toning shoes” report from ACE and read the whole skinny here:
What do YOU think about these shoes? Do you have a pair? Like ’em? Why? Do they get you out walking more often? No? Please share your thoughts in comments below.