Monday, October 3, 2011

What Toning Shoes Can't Do For You

In the last few years, many manufacturers of shoes have developed and marketed “toning shoes”. The claims that the manufacturers make are very appealing – that by walking in these special shoes, the muscles in your feet and legs will be forced to work harder, and thereby allow you to achieve better outcomes with less effort on your part. In one advertisement, fit woman was used to describe how the shoes worked – and that by walking in the shoes you would strengthen your hamstring and calf muscles up to 11% more than with normal shoes, and that the buttocks would be toned an up to 28% more! Magic! Well, not so fast…

This past week, one manufacturer, Reebock, was forced to pay $25 million in a settlement for deceptive advertising. It turns out that their claims had no substance, and there was no real proof that the benefits they were touting would be seen by the public who were using the shoes. The link here goes into more detail regarding this settlement:
From my perspective, I have a few thoughts to share. First, I am always amazed at how easily people will fall for such claims. As the saying goes, if it seems too good to be true, it likely is. If you want to tone your calves, hamstrings and buttocks 11 – 28% more, there is a real simple, tried and true method to do so. Work 11 – 28% harder!

I have patients come into my office with these shoes from time to time. Some love them, some do not. Most will put more pressure on your forefoot and midfoot, which in the case that I tried, was painful. I could not tolerate the pair I was given by one manufacturer to try. However, if you like them, I feel that there is no problem with the shoes. Just don’t buy them with the expectation that in a matter of weeks you’ll look like the woman selling them on tv

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