Possible drawbacks of leg shaping shoes like sketchers shape ups, easy tones, and MBTs

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These are not miracle shoes “(Reebok Easy Tones, Sketchers Tone Ups and Shape Ups and MBTs, etc…) but they can really shape your thighs and buttocks with constant wear, and relieve stress from your knee and ankle joints. MBTs can also lead to better posture and you can definitely run or jog in these shoes, and take away ground reaction forces that hurt your joints– the padded, thickened heels relieve pressure with every heel strike.

As wonderful as they are, let’s reiterate the fact that they will not help you lose weight. Don’t be fooled by the wonderful commercials. They can tone and shape your muscles but they will not slim you down and melt your fat by just wearing them and not working out or adjusting your food intake. Let’s say you walk a mile in a pair of these shoes but you continue to drink soda everyday and eat junk food– you will probably maintain the same weight and even gain some weight from muscle development (muscle mass weighs more than fat).

A real drawback I’ve seen from personal experiences is bulky calves. By constantly plantarflexing your ankles in MBTs or Sketchers Shape Ups, you activate your gastrocnemius/soleus muscles, otherwise known as the back calf muscles. By constantly working them out, you build muscle fibers, leading to bulky calves.

Another drawback? These shoes are addictive. Once you’re adjusted to walking in these special shoes, you won’t want to wear flats or regular sneakers.

Also, these should not be worn when walking on slippery floors or snow– unless you have the special winter versions of the shoe. Your balance is challenged in these shoes. Adding slippery floors would lead to possible falling.

And according to my physical therapist friend, prolonged wearing of these shoes may lead to achilles tendonitis. It’s possible. Hasn’t happened to me yet and it’s almost two years since I bought my first MBTs. Anyway, happy walking!

This article was brought to you by Kat Lieu, DPT Doctor of Physical Therapy

4 thoughts on “Possible drawbacks of leg shaping shoes like sketchers shape ups, easy tones, and MBTs

  1. Pingback: Balance Ballin: First Impressions of Reebok Easy Tone « Weekend Weigh-in

  2. Hey,
    I was wondering if there is any way to prevent the bulky calves. I am considering getting either MBTs or EasyTone (the former one seems to be amazingly healthy and the latter… well, I got kind of carried away with the “great body campaign” :)) and I can’t really afford getting bulky calves, as my legs are already “anti-slim”…
    Please share your experience with these shoes,


    • I would stretch the calves before wearing them, unfortunately, if you’re constantly plantarflexing *pointing the toes* with walking, your calves will be big. think of when you always use a muscle of course it will be bigger, right? so stretch and it can lengthen the muscles a bit and moderate use of shoes to no more than one hour a day and try for a month and see if you get bigger calves.

      hope this helps! 🙂

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