The Truth About Toning Fitness Shoes
- What are toning shoes? They're shoes that have uniquely shaped rounded soles and extra cushioning, which alter the wearer's normal walking gait.
- What do these companies claim?: 1) MBT - Masai Barefoot: Solve knee and back problems; Relieve tension; Ease joint pain; Firm buttocks and thighs; Burn more calories; 2) Reebok EasyTone: Work the hamstrings up
to 11% harder; Work the calves up to 11% harder; Tone buttocks up to 28% more than regular sneakers; 3) Skechers Shape-Ups: Increase muscle activity; Increase energy consumption.
- What are average prices for these shoes?: 1) MBT - $245; 2) Reebok EasyTone - $125; 3) Skechers Shape-Ups - $112; 4) Regular athletic shoes - $90.
- Testing companies' claims. Exercise scientists from the University of Wisconsin conducted two studies of effectiveness on 12 physically active female volunteers.
- Study 1. The volunteers performed a battery of treadmill trials, rotating shoes at random, to measure muscle activation. Researchers recorded muscle activity in six muscle areas and measured the maximum voluntary
isometric contractions (MVIC) on each of them.
- Study 2. All the study subjects completed a series of five-minute treadmill exercise trials, wearing each type of shoe randomly. They walked at 3.0 mph with a 0% grade hill. Researchers monitored oxygen consumption,
heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion and caloric expenditure.
- "Looking at this data, we saw nothing there as well. There were some subtle difference, but it was nothing statistically significant".
- Exercise response: 1) Heartbeat (per minute): MBT - 93; EasyTone - 96; Skechers - 94; Running shoes - 94; 2) Oxygen consumption (ml/kg.min): MBT - 14.1; EasyTone - 14.3; Skechers - 14.1; Running shoes - 14.3;
3) Perceived exertion: MBT - 8.4; EasyTone - 7.9; Skechers - 8.2; Running shoes - 8.0; 4) Caloric expenditure (per minute): MBT - 4.5; EasyTone - 4.6; Skechers - 4.5; Running shoes - 4.6.
- Muscle usage: 1) Back muscles: MBT - 41; EasyTone - 40; Skechers - 41; Running shoes - 39; 2) Abs: MBT - 12; EasyTone - 12; Skechers - 15; Running shoes - 12; 3) Buttocks: MBT - 21; EasyTone - 23; Skechers
- 20; Running shoes - 21; 4) Quads: MBT - 21; EasyTone - 21; Skechers - 21; Running shoes - 25; 5) Hamstrings: MBT - 30; EasyTone - 30; Skechers - 31; Running shoes - 30; 6) Calves: MBT - 48; EasyTone - 44;
Skechers - 46; Running shoes - 47.
- "The results were strikingly similar - there was no significant difference in any of the muscles tested between the four types of shoes".
- Bottom line: 1) You only feel different because you're walking on an inch of cushioning. Therefore, your muscles are going to get; 2) People are just searching for the old quick-and-easy fitness solution. These shoes
are just another attempt to find that magic bullet; 3) These toning shoes may alter the walking gait mechanics of wearers and, in some cases, potentially for those who may already be at risk; 4) If you want to look at a
positive, these shoes are probably serving as a bit of motivator to get a group of inactive individuals to at least get up and get moving.
- What you should really do to get results and get fit: 1) carry a pair of hand weights as you walk - this will tone your muscles and burn extra calories; 2) Wear a weighted vest (up to 10% your total body weight) to
provide your walking workout a bigger boost.
Medical Insurance | Source: Acefitness; Information provided by: http://www.medicalinsurance.org.