Written by Kat Lieu, DPT/CLT
Buy my Books: MAID FOR ME
UPDATE: 9/28/11: FTC states: “Reebok to Pay $25 Million in Customer Refunds To Settle FTC Charges of Deceptive Advertising of EasyTone and RunTone Shoes”
Summary: REEBOK EASY TONES: Nice looking shoes with a lot of unmentioned risks. The advertised benefits of these shoes are not worth the risks, especially for consumers with ankle instability and poor balance, and vestibular problems.
PROs: Sleek looking shoes, stylish. Affordable. Good advertising. Decreased stress on ankle joints. No heel, Achilles tendon pain or inflammation that occurred with other anti-gravity shoes like MBTs or Sketchers Shape Ups.
CONs: Worn July 2010 to October 2010, the bottom of shoes wore out after three months of consistent usage.
Easy to sprain the ankle when wearing these shoes outdoors.
“Balance ball inspired technology with moving air creates micro-instability; toning and strengthening key leg muscles with every step.”—Reebok.com. The balance ball technology does not work as well as advertised because the ball-shaped soles are too hard, with little “bounce”. The “bridge” between the toe ball and the heel ball is too narrow. This narrow middle sole leads to “micro-instability” for the ankle inverters and everters, instead of challenging the dorsiflexors and plantarflexors, which most anti-gravity shoes strive to do. For people with ankle instability, Easy Tones can easily lead to ankle sprains or twisting. Chronic spraining and twisting of ankles may require surgery for the wounded ligaments to heal.
Compare a Sketcher’s Shape Up shoe and a Reebok’s Easy Tone shoe side by side. The Shape Up will rock forward and backward like a boat in water, where as the Easy Tone shoe will wobble side to side.
INJURY: Sustained two ankle inversion sprains of the right foot outdoors, leading to a permanent left knee scar from a fall on cement (late July 2010) and a grade two ankle sprain of right foot, torn ligaments in right foot (Early October 2010).
Over the span of two years, when I wore my MBTs, I had not once sprained my ankle.
NO WEIGHT LOSS:
No anti-gravity shoe should advertise that they can help consumers lose weight. This is a myth.
NO VISIBLE SIGNS OF TONING: My hamstrings were better-defined when I wore my pairs of MBTs.
FINAL GRADE: D-
Do not invest in a pair of Easy Tone Shoes. If you really want to try these shoes, try the Run Tones, which appear more stable because the middle sole is not as narrow as the soles of Easy Tones. These shoes are not recommended for people with ankle instability (people who often sprain or twist their ankles) or for people with bad balance and vestibular (inner ear) problems.
About every shoe company is hopping the bandwagon and mass-producing “anti-gravity” shoes. These shoes should be worn at your own discretion and they should not replace your regular sneakers. Don’t rely on them to lose weight. Chronic usage of these shoes can lead to problems like Achilles tendon inflammation and ankle sprains. All shoe companies should warn their consumers of the risks that come with wearing these shoes.