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