Utilising orthopaedic soles and inclined wedges, shock absorbing coils and non-existent heels, posture-correcting shoes claim to tone muscles and burn calories while improving gait and posture. Though these claims have yet to be scientifically proven, the shoes have nonetheless proved to be a sensation, producing the effects of walking on sand which is said to increase the user's natural alignment and balance.
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Orthotebb Health Shoes
By utilising a large, soft platform on the front of the shoe and eliminating the heel, Orthotebb Health Shoes are more akin to walking on a stair climbing machine. The company first introduced its shoes to the public in 2004 and claims that the effect of pushing the user's centre of gravity forward works to correct posture. Unlike many posture correcting shoes, Orthotebb manufactures its shoes in different styles, including a clog, sandal and a suede winter boot lined with faux fur.
Designed with no heel and a curved sole meant to mimic a foot walking on sand, MBT trainers were released in the early 1990s and are said to cure everything from cellulite to posture problems. MBT claims that the trainer will activate neglected muscles, improve gait and posture, tone the body, and even ease back, joint and knee injuries.
Z-Coil Shoes, which produces perhaps the strangest posture-correcting shoe in terms of composition, was founded in 1989, initially creating running shoes for athletes. The shoes utilise a shock-absorbing spring in the heel that is claimed to cushion the impact and thus curb the damaging effects of walking on pavement. The shoes' other components include an orthopaedic heel cushion, a replaceable heel pad beneath the coil and a cushioned pad at the front of the shoe that is said to rock, reinforcing forward motion. Though constructed to prevent foot, back and leg pain, the shoes are said to create better balance in the wearer as well as lessen the impact on the back from standing, both of which are thought to lead to better posture.
Possibly the most famous of the posture correcting shoes, the Shape-Ups style by Skechers makes use of an inserted wedge that absorbs shock much like the Z-Coil, and a rolling bottom. The rubber bottom is said to simulate walking on sand, like in the MBT Trainers. By utilising a rolling action that results in the user propelling with their toes rather than the ball of their foot, the weight centres along with the balance, leading to stronger legs, buttocks and abdominal muscles. While Skechers says the shoes work to correct posture, the Shape-Ups were introduced in 2008 and marketed as a shoe to that produced an effective workout without the use of a gym.
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