(New York Times Summary)
Just like any other trend (or fad) before it, the latest fitness craze has hit the nation, and this time, it's a fashion-fitness hybrid. Just head to your nearest shoe store and you'll most likely spot a pair of peculiarly shaped walking shoes that are designed to tone your legs and butt just by simply walking.
Several shoemakers including Sketchers (with their Shape-Ups) have already jumped on the bandwagon, and now Reebok has released their take, called the EasyTone, which has turned out to be the company's most successful new product in the last five years. Designed by a former NASA engineer, the new muscle-activating shoes are engineered to create a sense of instability with their curved soles and Reebok’s “balance pods”. These innovations are said to force the wearer to engage stabilizing muscles further, resulting in additional toning for calf, hamstring and gluteal muscles.
In an independent study by Reebok, it was found that wearing the EasyTone worked gluteal muscles an average of 28 percent more than regular walking shoes and hamstrings and calf muscles were worked 11 percent harder. Reebok's claims, however, are only backed by a single study involving a mere five people.
What do you think? Would you give these shoes a try? Read more about them in the article "Firm Body, No Workout Required?" from the New York Times (Dec. 7, 2009).