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The Truth About Toning Shoes

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

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."

Reviewed on September 09, 2011
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