The new trend in body shaping is the toning shoe. Marketers claim that wearers can improve their posture, burn more calories and tone core muscle groups through everyday walking. Although the design of toning shoes varies, most have an increase in shoe weight and a slightly curved bottom forcing the body's core muscles to work 30 to 40% more than in regular walking shoes.
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Skechers Shape-Ups are designed to help burn calories, improve posture and tone muscles in the back, legs and abdominal areas. These bulky shoes are several inches thick in the sole. The thickness depends on shoe size. With a slightly curved bottom, the shoes creates a rocking motion to simulate walking on soft sand. The Skechers Shape-Ups sell for £71 per pair.
The SpringBoost toning shoe was developed using the Dorsiflexion concept. Dorsiflexion positions the foot in a pre-stretched position where the heel sits slightly lower than the ball of the foot. This forces the leg muscles to work harder on every step, giving the impression of walking further and faster. The pre-stretched position improves posture by placing the pelvic bone in a neutral position aligning the ankles, knees and hips. SpringBoost shoes run about £91.
Reebok Easy Tone
Reebok Easy Tone shoes have a comfortable rounded bottom, which makes the walker lean slightly forward, changing the walker's centre of gravity. The overall effect allows the buttocks and thigh muscles to work harder. Easy Tone shoes are the least expensive at £70.8 per pair.
Ryn toning shoes have a 45-degree rocker sole, which is steeper than many other toning shoes. This allows for a more stable gait. The more stable the walking gait, the less likelihood of injuries and balance problems. For walkers who overpronate, an unstable gait can produce aches and injuries. These shoes retail at £159.2.
MBT Foras features a curved sole designed for a natural rolling motion of the foot for even weight distribution, allowing more muscle contractions. These shoes weigh 482gr and are the most expensive at £162.50 a pair.
NGR (No Gym Required)
The NGR shoe is a 2-in-1 shoe. The shoes look like standard cross-training sneakers and have weighted and non-weighted midsoles, allowing the wearer to switch midsoles depending on activity. The weighted midsole adds approximately 0.68 to 0.9kg to the shoe and is designed to turn every walk into a leg workout, burning up to 50% more calories than utilising the non-weighted midsole. The non-weighted midsole weighs just a few ounces, allowing the shoes to function similar to everyday cross trainers. This versatile shoe retails for £88.3.
Earth Shoes carry a full line of toning sandals, flip-flops and sneakers. The Exer-Flip and Exer-Slide (both retails for £38.3) have a 3.7 degree incline to help strengthen and tone legs, buttocks and thighs.
FitFlop footwear offers a full line of comfortable toning shoes and sandals. Designed to boost leg and glute muscle activity by 30%, the FitFlop shoes offers Microwobbleboard technology which is designed to increase muscle activity in every step.
Selecting the proper toning shoe is a personal decision based on activity level, body weight, prior injuries and comfort. Make sure to try on different models to find a shoe that immediately feels supportive and comfortable that you can walk in without pain.
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