Monday, June 15th, 2009 | General, Style and Technology
Specialized toning fitness shoes are popping up all over the place these days. Originating with curved sole MBT sneakers and semi-wedge FitFlops, these trendy “fitness shoes” are supposed to help tone muscles, improve posture, and more! Am I going to jump on the leg-toning fitness shoe bandwagon and buy MBT sneakers or FitFlops (or both)? I think not!
I find the latest trend selling glorified platform sneakers and flip flops as special fitness shoes disconcerting. The average toning fitness flip flop seems to cost twice as much as the regular platform flip flop sandals that I wear (by Flojos); the average toning fitness sneaker seems to cost four times the price of my beloved Aldo or Nine West platform wedge sandals. I hope this trend does not mean that my usual platform sandals are going to cost a lot more from now on because they’ve been toning my legs as I walk!
What Fitness Shoes Can Supposedly Do
FitFlop, for example, claims that their fitness sandals can help do the following: improve posture, minimize back stress, and also firm and tone the gluteal muscles. FlitFlop’s patented technology supposedly works to “realign the ground reaction force directly through the center of your pelvic girldle to minimize lower back stress,” according to a recent FitFlop advertisement. Moreover, one customer testimonial in the same ad even states that the sandal has “just about cured” her chronic heel, lowerback and sciatica problems! Perhaps she should try my Flojos!
New Fitness Technology or Old Platform Design?
I have been wearing “traditional” platform wedges, flip flops, and slide sandals for years now – trend or no trend – and they have served me quite well as I walk, my legs remaining reasonably toned, thank you very much. Wearing these “regular” non-fitness platform shoes has, I think, helped lengthen my stride, allowing me to walk further faster, but I would mostly attribute my good muscle tone to simply walking relatively quickly and, more importantly, to going to the gym!
Therefore, I don’t quite see how the latest toning fitness shoes can surpass traditional wedges and platforms in keeping my legs fit enough to justify their price. I mean, have the researchers compared Fit Flops and MBTs to my two-inch platform wedges in clinical studies? It’s not like these new fitness shoes can even fall back on good looks (see product images).
To be fair, I haven’t tried out these latest toning fitness shoes, because I refuse to succumb to mere trend (but I suppose I might be convinced to try them out for comparison if they magically appeared at my doorstep)! I apparently have saved up all my skepticism for this toning fitness shoe trend, but I really do wonder if these shoes have actually benefited anyone!
It’s enough of a workout trying not to sprain an ankle walking down the sidewalk wearing “platform” anything!
If you really want to try out this toning fitness shoe trend, the curved bottom Swiss MBT sneakers and sandals are top of the line (read “expensive” at around $245) – I first noticed MBTs several years ago in the Bliss catalog, thinking they were jokingly expensive and funny looking.
Another popular and much less expensive choice seems to be FitFlops, glorified flip flop sandals ($40). Now that brands like Skechers and Reebok are getting in on the trend (with sneakers that look similar to MBTs) toning fitness shoes are coming to the masses. Get ready! Get Walking!
Update August 20: You might want to check out this recent CNN article, also about toning shoe skepticism!
Do let me know how toning fitness shoes work for you! The product lover in me would love to find out if any of these shoes actually work well!
Meilily: Live Beautifully!
© Meilily 2009, All Rights Reserved
25 Comments to Fitness Shoe Skepticism: FitFlops & MBTs Glorified Platform Sandals & Sneakers?
*New: Get Meilily Updates by Email!
- Beauty and Awareness
- Beauty and Science
- Beauty and the Law
- Beauty Tips
- Featured Looks
- Featured Shops
- Free Stuff
- Hot Happenings
- Lifestyle Tips
- Nail Polish
- Product Launches
- Product Picks
- Product Testing
- Style and Technology
- Style Picks
- Tools and Brushes
- Work Product Picks