What happens when we cross a traditional wobble board with a fitness shoe?
– Something that is called a “rocker shoe” , “active walking shoe”, “the anti-shoe”, “unstable shoe” and recently ” a toning shoe”.
This kind of concept was introduced in 1990 in Pusan, South Korea, by MBT and RYN. Their designer, Swiss engineer Karl Muller,was inspired by graceful gait of Masai, of Eastern Africa.
New concepts are usually welcomed with mixed emotions and the “rocker shoe” was not an exception.
Things had changed in January 2009, when Skechers introduced their version, Skechers Shape-Ups, and poured a lot of money in promoting the concept of “toning shoes”.
In a very short time several companies jumped on the band wagon, which was pretty obvious at 2010 Atlanta Shoe Market, one of the biggest shoe shows in the world.
Science behind the concept
Dr. Benno Nigg from Human Performance Laboratory in Calgary is credited with fundamental studies in regards to “unstable shoes”:
Since 2004 several more toning shoe studies were published.
Ray Fredricksen from Sport Biomechancs is former technical editor for Runner’s World magazine.
In his opinion:
“Toning shoes such as Skechers do help enhance posture, strengthen intrinsic muscles of the lower extremity, and therefore encourage a more mid foot striking pattern that assists in providing more potential energy stored during footstrike to be used more dynamically during propulsion, or the active phase of foot contact.”
“However, with any new trend, their are many cheap knock-offs that make similar claims. Therefore, it is important that the consumer beware that not all shoes are created equal. Especially with Toning shoes, the consumer will get what they pay for. Companies such as Skechers, MBT, and RYN will continue to benefit in this category because they are legitimate brand with proven science to validate their claims.”
Shape-Ups feel different with the very first step. Early models are reminiscent of ankle weights, since weight per shoe exceeds one pound.
Stepping with the heel compresses the soft foam, which acts as a shock absorber. Walking on sand comes to mind.
Each material has specific rebound rate.Synchronizing cadence of our steps with the rebound of kinetic edge foam will create a harmony in motion.
Once we roll from heel to midfoot, rebounding kinetic edge will help to go over pivot point. Achieving perfect synchrony will take some time, as instructional DVD suggests.
During the break in period we will get the chance to learn more about our own biomechanics, correcting own posture in store windows.
Many exercise programs are bound to fail due to many reasons. Incorporating additional challenge into our daily routine is a win-win formula.
Not just walking but standing and rocking will further engage more muscles, creating better toned figure.
Joe Montana wearing these is not a joke. Even athletic men will benefit from wearing Shape-Ups on daily bases.
I ignored the initial break in period, thinking that only out of shape customers need to stick to this rule.
Lesson learned – follow the instruction or feel muscle sorness for several days.
The award is better toned, stronger body, ready for action.
Shape-Ups offers really good quality for the price of running shoes.
Wearing them for over 5 months did nothing to integrity of stitched and glued parts.
The outsole has no signs of wear, forecasting long life of these shoes.
Kim Kardashian will sport them during Super Bowl commercial.
Will you join her?