Campus News Blog: Fitness Shoes- Keeping you fit or causing harm?

February 28, 2010  

By Mackenzie Warren

What happened to good old-fashioned exercise? Nike and Adidas no more. It’s all about the MBT, Skechers Shape-Ups, and Reebok EasyTones–these shoes promise to do it for you.

The fitness shoes have a “rocking bottom,” a sole curved like a rocking chair to cause instability forcing the wearer to work harder to balance. Studies have found this extra exerted effort can boost calorie burn and tone muscles.

As a result, toning shoes have raked in around $245 million last year alone. The 2010 projection is looking even more prosperous for fitness shoe earnings, estimated at up to $1 billion dollars.

But consumers should know the risks involved with toning shoes.

The fitness shoe inverted heel, meaning the heel is lower than the toe, can put the wearer at risk to Achilles heel damage. One Texas podiatrist warned that if you do wear fitness shoes be sure and stretch to combat the extra stress placed on your foot muscles.

Experts also raise the point that you can achieve the same results that the fitness shoes promise by wearing normal sneakers and working out a bit harder. And most of all the risk for injury declines.

It’s ironic that Nike, a company usually known as the leader in athletic gear, is not looking to come up with a toning product just yet. The reason? Nike’s brand is geared towards “real” athletes,” not the soccer moms and SMU co-eds the toning shoes appeal to.

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