Skip to content

Fitness & Exercise

Select An Article

This article is from the WebMD Feature Archive

Font Size

The Truth About Toning Shoes

Do these shoes help you shape up? Health and fitness experts size up toning shoes.
(continued)

Shoe Companies React continued...

"When you walk on a soft sandy beach, you will work harder so when you build a shoe that is softer when you land on it, you get the same effect and are working the muscles harder," he says.

Reebok's EasyTone shoes "increase muscle activation, but we don't make claims about burning calories or weight loss."

MBT issued this statement to WebMD: "Independent research and published studies have shown the benefits of MBT footwear. Studies have been conducted by researchers at a number of educational and research institutions. We stand by the conclusions of that research and those studies."

The Podiatrist's View of Toning Shoes

Cary M. Golub, DPM, a podiatrist in Long Beach, N.Y, says toning or rocker-bottom shoes have a place in certain people's shoe collection.

For starters, these shoes may help relieve pain among people with heel pain, he says. "They take the pressure off of the heel and give more support to the ankle," he says.

"These shoes put the strain on your hamstrings and glutes, so if you are not athletic or a seasoned walker, they may hurt the muscles that they are supposed to help," Golub says. "If you are not used to firing these muscles, the shoes may hurt."

Golub's advice: "Break them in slowly for an hour or so. Don't start walking 2 or 3 miles in them."

A Doctor's View of Toning Shoes

Najia Shakoor, MD, an associate professor of internal medicine at Rush Medical College and an attending physician at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, spends a lot of time in her lab studying shoes and determining which types are best for people with arthritis.

Her verdict on toning shoes for people with arthritis: Thumbs down.

"I don't think there is any evidence to suggest that they do anything beneficial for arthritis," Shakoor says. Her research shows that flat, flexible shoes are more joint-friendly. "This is the complete opposite of the rocker bottom," she says.

Shakoor is not sold on the role that these shows play in improving fitness levels of people without arthritis, either.

Yes, "your posture improves because you are wearing an unstable shoe, so you have to balance yourself by standing up straight," Shakoor says. But "more research is needed to see who they are appropriate for."

1|2|3
Reviewed on September 09, 2011
Next Article:

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

pilates instructor
15 moves that get results.
woman stretching before exercise
How and when to do it.
 
couple working out
Moves you can do at home.
woman exercising
Strengthen your core with these moves.
 
man exercising
Article
7 most effective exercises
Interactive
 
Man looking at watch before workout
Slideshow
Overweight man sitting on park bench
Video
 

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

pilates instructor
Slideshow
jogger running among flowering plants
Video
 
woman walking
Article
Taylor Lautner
Article