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Empirical evidence backs up what most of us knew all along.

The absurd “toning” shoes that companies are now making a pretty penny (it’s a $17 billion a year industry already!) with that promise to tone various parts of the body or burn more calories compared to regular shoes are debunked by a couple independent studies at UW-La Cross. They tested energy expenditure, muscle activation in a number of different muscles, heart rate, VO2, and RPE (rating of perceived exertion) between regular running shoes (New Balance) and several “toning” brands: Sketchers Shape-ups, MBT, and Reebok EasyTone and apparently found no statistical significance between them.


 

Comments

I hate the toning shoes crap. "Toning" muscles in general is BS. It's difficult enough to find good info on working out and being healthy in general without having bullshit thrown at us from all directions.

Some of my friends swear by these shoes. At least one of them looks fitter than she did years ago when I was in HS with her, but I'll bet $100 that she goes to the gym, and thinks the shoes are somehow "helping out".

The fact that they marketed these shoes very aggressively to women in the beginning, is also pretty sexist. Men can be as gullible (and they're just catching up).

Just go barefoot whenever you can. In appropriate weather, I walk around town on the sidewalks in bare feet, and of course in parks.

I think you will find you feel better, after a week or so getting used to it.

Well the specific claims of these shoes also can't be said of barefoot walking though.

I live in LA, so walking around "town" barefoot would be impossible. Just getting out of my apartment to where my car is parked I get small shards of glass on the floor, and of course, all other kinds of garbage.

Even on relatively clean surfaces though, don't you get calluses, and if you walk on dirt or grass, couldn't you get some nasty little bugs into your skin?

The whole idea is to get calluses(or is is callusi?).

There are hundreds of millions of people in the world who walk barefoot, do they get microbes in their skin?

I have done it for years and never had the slightest problem. Of course you have to look out for the occasional glass, but once you have the calluses, it takes a pretty large piece to do any damage.

I am also a fan of going barefoot. I have very thick calluses on my feet. I don't go barefoot into town though. Here in the Southwest U.S. the pavement and cement are too hot to be comfortable, and besides I like the feel of the soft padding of a good shoe. Here in my garden, though, it feels delicious to go barefoot. I've stepped on enough stickers and been bitten by enough ants that my feet are used to the feeling and quickly overcome the momentary discomfort.

I have Toe shoes

Its just as healthy as barefoot, without the broken glass, hot cement, bee in the grass concerns you might have to overcome without them.

http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/index.cfm

Comfortable, protective and they freak people out.

Those are very odd looking shoes. I'm sure that they do freak people out. I"m guessing that the toes are just decoration and one doesn't put ones toes in them? If so, the shoe would be much better without the funky toes.

In one picture they show a guy wearing socks with the toe shoes (so yeah, the toe part is just whimsical it seems). Anyway, wearing socks with these makes them even uglier than they already are.

They might be great to wear at home in the garden or out hiking, but I guess I'm too vain to wear them in town. And yet if I saw someone wearing them, I'd probably get a kick out of it.

It's like crocs. They are damned ugly, but very comfortable I hear.

No, the toe part actually contains your toes. That's the whole point

Then the picture of the guy wearing the socks? How did he manage that?

I should get soe of those socks.

Oh nevermind. I see that the toe sock is sold serparately. It seems to me that ones toes would feel kind of weird.

The weirdest part of the feeling is that you realize that squishing your feet in shoes actually destroys the feeling in your toes. It does somewhat recover when you let your feet out more often,

I didn't mean microbes. When I was a kid I remember my mom taking out one of these from my cousin's foot. We were just taught it was a bad idea to go barefoot in grass and dirt. Seems they don't live in N. America though.

Loved the iphone for seniors link!

Reminded me of this old gem

re: :"Help for seniors - Safe Speed Driving App."

So, back in the day, we left Sugar City, and drove to our new home in the Big Apple.

Near the end of our journey, Dad was trying to negotiate the New Jersey turnpike after a long day of driving. The cops pulled him over. Puzzled, he took out his drivers license on request, then asked what the problem was. The police looked at his Idaho DL, said "Idaho". Then, all full of his big city superiority, handed the license back and said, "You were driving 30 mph on the Turnpike! You know Sir, we have many excellent secondary roads in New Jersey if you are uncomfortable driving up to the speed limit."

A decade later, my bro at 16, having just gotten his license to help with the drive west back to Idaho, hands clenched on the wheel, was speeding along at 50 mph. Dad, impatient and anxious to reach Grandma's house before dark, said "Son, this is Wyoming. The speed limit is 70. Well, there actually isn't any speed limit in Wyoming so pick it up!!"

I think the New Jersey cop's admonition still rankled.

How fuel efficient of your family.

Please just keep to the right so the rest of us can get by.

While I don't doubt that it is bollocks I have to say that unlike e.g. healing magnets and so on I don't find toning shoes to be totally absurd. If someone told me it was possible to design a shoe which put pressure on particular leg muscles when you walked (actually I think high heels, for example, probably do put different demands on the feet and lower legs than normal shoes) I wouldn't think it was crazy and if a shoe which worked your calf muscles more than ordinary shoes were marketed as a shoe for 'toning the calves' that wouldn't strike me as particularly false advertising. My point is simply that unlike many pseudo-science gizmos it's not obvious that toning shoes (so long as they're just talking about lower leg muscles) are bunkum. It just turns out they are.

There's not much a shoe can do though. I presume that if it did any significant muscle strengthening that it would be as hard as actually exercising. If you wanna strengthen your calves, you can just walk everywhere on your toes, but that would become uncomfortable fast. What these shoes and products like it is cater to the laziness of people. Ironically, the one positive thing that can be said is that perhaps they encourage them to walk more.

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