'Toning Shoes' Don't Work

'Shoes are not a magic pill,' says exercise advocate

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 10, 2010 1:21 PM CDT | Updated Aug 14, 2010 7:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – “Toning shoes” promise to get you in shape—“without setting foot in a gym,” one Skechers ad claims. Surprise, surprise: That may not be true. The trendy “athletic” shoes, which cost $100 to $245, have unstable soles that supposedly force your muscles to work harder, resulting in sculpted legs. But two new studies cast doubt on those claims, NPR reports.

Both studies compared toning shoes to regular running shoes and found “no significant difference,” says an American Council on Exercise rep. “It is the walking that will make a difference in your life. Not the shoe.” One toning shoe wearer says they have helped her posture and relieved back soreness, but “do I think they've resculpted my legs? No.” Click here to read about a cheaper version: the toning sandal.

In this photograph taken by AP Images for SKECHERS, beauty and mommy bloggers, outfitted in SKECHERS Shape-ups, participated in a fitness walk up Fifth Avenue, Aug. 6, 2010, in New York.
In this photograph taken by AP Images for SKECHERS, beauty and mommy bloggers, outfitted in SKECHERS Shape-ups, participated in a fitness walk up Fifth Avenue, Aug. 6, 2010, in New York.   (Diane Bondareff / AP Images for SKECHERS)
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