Toning Shoes on Late Night Television

Do you want a butt like Kim Kardashian? Have you seen those shoes being endorsed by her and other celebrities that promise to tone up your muscles and improve your butt and get rid of cellulite and help your posture and make your circulation better and ….? These shoes include the MBT Footwear, Skechers Shape Up, Reebok Easy Tone and the New Balance Rock n Tone and they all have their endorsers.

Do you believe something because a celebrity endorses it? Why do marketers think we are that stupid?

These toning shoes have certainly been hyped by and widely promoted as doing all of those. They certainly do promise the quick easy fitness gain that we are all looking for. What is the reality? The research does not support what is being claimed. There does not seem to be any doubt that these toning shoes do change a few things in the way we walk, but that has not been translated into “tone up your muscles and improve your butt and get rid of cellulite and help your posture and make your circulation better“. The American Council on Exercise did some limited experiments on this class of shoes and concluded:

There was simply no evidence to indicate that the toning shoes offer any enhanced fitness benefits over traditional sneakers, despite studies cited by manufacturers seemingly “proving” the toning shoes’ effectiveness. Bryant warns consumers to be wary of such studies sponsored by manufacturers, many of which are not peer-reviewed and may be of questionable design. ACE’s study also addresses anecdotal evidence consumers have shared indicating that they feel the shoes are working their muscles due to localized muscle soreness. Study researchers explain that this feeling is due to the shoe’s unstable sole design, which cause wearers to use slightly different muscles to maintain balance than they would while wearing normal shoes, resulting in temporary soreness that will subside as the body adjusts to the shoe.

Several of the companies making the claims are facing multimillion dollar lawsuits. Skechers and Reebok have had to settle with the FTC for the unsupported claims that they made for millions of dollars.

These shoes do seem to have some medical uses and that is probably what they are better confined to. See this site for a complete run down on the shoes and a summary of the benefits and the nonsensical claims.