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If you missed witnessing the toning shoe craze over the past few years, you have either been on a two year European vacation, or you don’t go to American malls enough. It seemed like you couldn’t go anywhere in public without seeing these ridiculous shoes with misshappen, overstuffed soles. If you bought into the marketing machine and you are an unfortunate owner of such shoes, click away, because I am about to get a little harsh.
No fit person actually believed the hype.
Fit people have recently ditched padded soles. Interestingly, the minimal shoe craze started at the same time as the toning shoe craze. The target consumer demographics were decidedly different for both ends of the fitness shoe spectrum. The toning shoe crowd is more likely to be strolling about with a soda in hand. The minimal shoe crowd is more likely to be running by, like a pack of rabid gazelles. Toning shoes were never marketed to fit people, because fit people know that only hard work and a lifestyle change makes you fit.
The sham is up, and profits are down.
According to the LA Times, Sketchers was one of the companies that had a large stake in the toning shoe market.
“On Wednesday, the company said it lost $29.9 million in the second quarter, compared with a profit of $40.2 million during the same period last year. Sales fell 14% to $434.4 million. The stock closed Wednesday at $14.30, down 4.5%, before the earnings report. The shares have plunged 28% year to date. Company officials blamed the loss mostly on a tough market for toning shoes.”
There have also been reports from consumers that toning shoes can cause injuries due to instability. San Antonio woman Erma Roig went to the hospital with a sprained ankle and torn ligaments after a fall foward on her toning shoes.
Exercise professionals have been advocating against toning shoes from the beginning.
The American Council on Exercise released a study last year that stated:
“Across the board, none of the toning shoes showed statistically significant increases in either exercise response or muscle activation. There is simply no evidence to support the claims that these shoes will help wearers exercise more intensely, burn more calories or improve muscle strength and tone.”
Podiatrists and personal trainers agreed with the outcome of the study.
Bottom line: Beware of products that promise to tone your body. As it turns out, the only way to tone your muscles is good old fashioned hard work, active stretching, and weight lifting. Never rely on a product to tone your muscles for you.
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