The Reebok toning shoes EasyTone and SimplyTone intentionally create instability in the wearer's balance. Theoretically, this imbalance engages more muscle groups and makes your muscles work harder than when you walk in traditional athletic shoes. Reebok launched the line of balance or toning shoes called EasyTone in 2009. The 2010 launch by Reebok of the SimplyTone shoes created confusion about the difference between the two models.
Reebok developed a toning technology called "balance ball technology" to tone three key muscle areas: the glutes, the thighs and the calves. Reebok designers looked at how balance or stability balls work by creating instability and designed shoes to create a similar "microinstability." By placing "balance pods" on the heel and forefoot of their athletic shoes, Reebok forces you to correct the instability with each step, allegedly toning your muscles.
Reebok released two models of shoes using the toning technology, the EasyTone and the SimplyTone shoes. Both models use balance pods on the soles of the shoes to create microinstability. Reebok markets the EasyTone and SimplyTone shoes for walking, claiming they provide a toning advantage over traditional athletic shoes.
Reebok EasyTone shoes use "moving air technology" that causes you to transfer your weight while responding to the instability created by air pods. Reebok SimplyTone shoes use foam pods on the bottom of the shoe instead. Though softer, the SimplyTone foam pods provide a similar experience. SimplyTone shoes cost £13 to £19 less, as of time of publication.
Reebok conducted research on their EasyTone shoes showing a "toning advantage" of a 28 per cent increase in activity in the glutes and 11 per cent in the hamstring area. Reebok did not test the SimplyTone shoes. Dr. Edward R. Laskowski, co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center, says, "Despite the claims, there is no convincing evidence that wearing toning shoes will make your legs more toned or cause you to burn extra calories." Laskowski does think toning shoes encourage people to walk more because they believe the shoes provide extraordinary results. "If you increase your activity as a result, you'll benefit your overall health," he concludes.