Monday, February 22, 2010

Do These Shoes Make me Look Thinner?

I'm usually one who scoffs at any product that promises weight loss or toning results with little or no effort. However, I have to admit that I was intrigued when shoes started coming on the market several years ago promising to boost calorie burn and tone muscles simply by walking.
Now, I walk most days for exercise as it is. So, if a shoe could actually make my calorie burn more efficient and tone my muscles more efficiently, well I have to say that I'm intrigued. However, the first round of these miracle shoes (the Masai Barefoot Technology or MBT) cost a few hundred dollars, so while I was intrigued, I didn't want to be a sucker.
Luckily, the cost of the technology has come down in recent years, and last week I plunked down $85 (tax free in NH) for a pair of Skechers Shape-ups. Being that they're Sketchers, I got two rows of silvery sparkly things on each shoe.
According to the little brochure that came with the shoes (there was also a DVD which I haven't viewed yet) the "kinetic wedge insert and dynamic rolling bottom" simulate walking barefoot on a giving surface like sand. Shape-ups, the brochure goes on to say "are designed to enhance the benefits of walking by stimulating muscles not utilized by standard walking shoes." Another benefit (one all of us older gals can appreciate) is that they reduce the impact on joints.
This morning I went for my daily power walk in my new miracle shoes, and I have to say, I definitely feel like my legs and rear end got more of a work-out than normal. I can also say that there was less impact on my knees and other joints.
There's also been some research showing the benefits of walking in Shape Ups which you can read about here: I haven't had time to research the validity of the research but losing 3.2 pounds, toning your lower back muscles and butt just by changing your shoe style sounds good to me.
So, overall, my initial thought is that my $85 was well spent. Maybe by the time I'm ready to replace this set I can find them for $50 or less. After all, finding a set of these wedge exercise shoes was over $400 just a few years ago.
If you decide you want to buy a set of these walking wonders, Walker's Warehouse has an interesting comparison of the Skechers Shape-ups versus the MBT technology. You can read it here:
You can also buy the shoes there, although the Skechers I bought for $85 in NH retail for $99 on this website.


  1. I love these shoes - I bought a pair last year and walked in them frequently and I just bought another pair that look more like dress type shoes rather than the runner version so I can wear them around the office.
    I just find them very comfortable to walk in and feel like they work my legs a bit more than my standard running shoes.

    And they make me a couple inches taller :)

  2. Being that I'm 5'2" anything that adds a few inches is always a plus for me. Walking around in these shoes all day (once I got used to them) was very comfy and my bad knees really appreciated the extra padding.

  3. I bought a pair of MBTs last year when I developed some pain in my forefoot. Since you don't really put your forefoot down in them, they helped a lot. And they are a lot of fun to walk in once you get a bouncy rhythm going.

    But I also think they're REALLY heavy and they don't breathe much. And now that my foot's stopped hurting, I don't wear them as much.

  4. Cool! I'd like to try them. Have to get the $$$ together first, though.