Do toning shoes really work?

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Do toning shoes really work?

Question

I've seen commercials for several brands of toning shoes. Can these types of shoes make my legs more toned?

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Answer

Despite the claims, there is no convincing evidence that wearing toning shoes will make your legs more toned or cause you to burn extra calories.

Toning shoes are designed to simulate walking barefoot or walking on an uneven surface. Manufacturers say the unstable design of the shoes forces wearers to use their leg muscles more — which burns more calories and tones the muscles. However, an independent study by a nonprofit fitness organization found no evidence that wearing toning shoes leads to improved muscle tone or greater energy expenditure. In addition, there are no studies that prove that they improve balance or stability to a great degree.

If you like the way toning shoes look and find them comfortable and not too unstable, there's probably no harm in trying a pair. And if you increase your activity as a result, you'll benefit your overall health.

Last Updated: 2010-11-02
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