Skechers Shape Ups and other similar shoes that are designed to help you tone up and slim down just by wearing them, seem to have become the latest fad in fitness. But do they actually work? Can just wearing a different kind of shoe help you tighten, tone and drop pounds? Based on a variety of reviews, in which reviewers used the shoes over a period of time, the answer appears to be a qualified yes.
How Shape Ups Work
The secret to Shape Ups and other brands of toning shoes is the shape of the sole. Instead of a traditional, relatively flat sole, Shape Ups are designed with a curving sole that changes the way your feet and legs move as you walk. This unique shape changes even a stroll on a flat sidewalk into a greater challenge, more equivalent to a stroll on much more uneven terrain.
Shape Ups also affect your posture. The heels are higher than the toes, and noticeably higher than the heels of traditional sneakers. This slight shift changes the center of gravity, making you hold your body differently. Between this posture change and the rolling gait necessitated by the shape of the shoes' soles, Shape Ups require you to use your muscles in a different way than you do when you walk in traditional sneakers. Most notably, Shape Ups affect the thighs and buttocks, as well as the core muscles.
Common Reactions to Shape Ups
Most people who have used Shape Ups have reported muscle soreness in the first few days, especially in the thighs and buttocks. Because the shoes are designed to work these areas of the body, this is to be expected. The first few days also serve as an adjustment period, allowing you to get used to the way the shoes alter your balance and center of gravity.
In the long term, additional results will begin to become apparent. These include:
- Improved posture
- Tightening in the thighs and buttocks
- Loss of inches in affected areas
- Stronger core muscles
- Some weight loss
Some people who had suffered from chronic back pain have experienced improvements and reduction in their overall discomfort. This is likely due to improved posture and strengthening of the core muscles in the abdomen and lower back that help support the spine.
Overall, Shape Ups do seem to provide significant results, though perhaps not as dramatic as you might hope. Just wearing the shoes, without increasing your levels of exercise or modifying your diet, will not lead to long-term weight loss and overall fitness. However, switching to Shape Ups can help you tighten and tone, stand straighter, and improve the efficiency of the all-important core muscles of the abdomen and lower back. This alone can be worth the effort and the price, especially if one side effect proves to be reduced back pain.
Combined with increased exercise and dietary changes, Shape Ups and other types of toning shoes can make a noticeable contribution to your overall weight loss plan. But you shouldn't expect the shoes alone to achieve your overall weight loss and fitness goals for you.