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If you've been waddling around the subway in Shape-ups trying to whip your body into celebrity bikini shape, turns out the joke might be on you, and not just because you're walking like a crazy person.
According to recent research conducted by the American Council of Exercise, there is "no evidence to support the claims" that wearing toning shoes, like the ones Reebok, Skechers and MBT have popularized, will have an impact on toning or strengthening muscles, or even increase intensity or calories burned during exercise.
Skechers refutes the study, claiming that their own, more in-depth research proves differently and that thousands of customers have noticed improvements. But the ACE's conclusions still sound detrimental to the brand, which has gone so far as to open entire stores devoted to the shoes (like the one on Fifth Avenue.)
Whether the expensive price tag is worth it or not (toning shoes can cost over $200), gym shoes with wobbly soles have removed some consumers' orthopedic or back pain, and could possibly encourage people to walk more. Which, as sartorially challenged as the lace-up weeble-wobbles may be, might be reason enough to justify them. Might be. — Carlye Wisel
· Research Calls Into Question 'Toning Shoe' Benefits [NPR]
· Ugly Shoe Wars: Skechers Shape-ups Has a Store [Racked]