About The Buzz: Toning Shoes Can Shape Your Body And Help You Lose Weight?

TheBUZZ: Toning shoes can shape your body and help you lose weight?

Toning shoes help tone your body by engaging different muscles. They also help you lose weight while doing everyday activities.



A better body, without putting in any extra effort? Wouldn’t that be great!


Can a pair of shoes help you burn more calories, tone your butt, banish cellulite on your thighs, and curb joint pain? Rocker sole shoes started as a specialty shoe for people with diabetes and ankle problems, but have increasingly been marketed as toning shoes. Regardless of color, design, or technical differences between shoe brands, the basic principles remain the same.


These shoes have an unstable, strongly curved sole resulting in the same concept of exercising on a balance or wobble board in the gym or barefoot along a sandy beach. Advocates say that this instability forces you to use muscles that you otherwise would not, leading to weight loss. The shoes also claim to change your posture and gait, taking pressure off of achy, overused joints.


The real question is, can they really help you lose weight without having to change your exercise routine or eating habits? A few research studies have put these shoes to the test.



A new study, released by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), shows that toning shoes including Skechers Shape-Ups, Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT), and Reebok EasyTone don’t help you exercise more intensely, burn more calories, or improve your muscle strength and tone. Across the board, none of the toning shoes showed significant increases in either exercise response or muscle activation during any of the treadmill trials in this small (24 subjects) study.¹


Another study published in Gait & Posture found that unstable shoes, such as the Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT) shoe, activate the extrinsic foot muscles and could have implications for strength and conditioning of these muscles. The study, however, did not test these shoes to see if they were beneficial in terms of weight loss.²



With all of the dieting and fitness quick-fix products available, it’s easy to become overwhelmed! Here’s what works … exercise and eating a healthy and balanced diet.


4 Effective Ways to Keep it Simple …

  1. Exercise. Engage in 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate activity or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity per week.
  2. Strength Training. Engage in strength training 2 or more times per week.
  3. Balanced Diet. Eat a balanced diet consisting of foods from all food groups. See Balanced Healthy Menus
  4. Nutrient-Rich Foods. Get the most ‘bang for your buck’ when it comes to food! Choose foods that offer the highest amounts of nutrients per calorie. See Calorie Comparison Chart

Having trouble cutting calories? It’s easier when you fill half your plate with fruits and veggies! Here’s how that helps …

    • Fruits & veggies are full of fiber—to keep you satisfied longer
    • They replace other high calorie and high saturated fat foods
    • They’re low in calories and saturated fat

Check out our Healthy Menus and adjust portions for calorie recommendations specific to you!




² Landry, S., B. Nigg and K. Tecante. “Standing In An Unstable Shoe Increases Postural Sway and Muscle Activity of Selected Smaller Extrinsic Foot Muscles.” Gait & Posture (2010); 32; 215-219.



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