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Paige Waehner

The Truth About 'Toning' Shoes

By July 29, 2010

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Can shoes really tone your butt? That's the burning question that has emerged this year, what with the introduction of 'toning' shoes like the Reebok EasyTone Shoes, Skechers Shape-Ups and MBT Sport Walkers.

There are plenty of 'toning' shoes out there, but do they really help you burn more calories and tone your hips and thighs as the ads claim? According to the American Council on Exercise, the answer is, not really.

In the ACE-commissioned study, researchers had a group of women go through a series of treadmill trials to compare how they responded to exercise while wearing different shoes - regular running shoes, Skechers, MBT shoes and EasyTones. They then measured muscle activity using EMG (electromyography) to find out if the muscles responded differently while using the 'toning' shoes. The results:

  • The toning shoes showed no significant increases in muscle activation
  • There were no significant differences in rate of perceived exertion (RPE), oxygen consumption or calories burned while wearing the toning shoes as opposed to the regular running shoes.

Now, some readers who have reviewed the Reebok EasyTones say they think these shoes work because they can feel it in their legs and butt. Some even reported being sore after wearing them, concluding that there must be some kind of toning going on if they felt it the next day. The experts say that isn't the case. Wearing any shoe that's different may cause some soreness, but that doesn't necessarily translate into toning the butt and thighs.

So, should you avoid these shoes? If you're buying them just for the toning benefits, you might be better off with regular running shoes and a solid cardio and strength program. Aside from the lack of toning, there is some concern about long-term wear and the potential for injuries. Some readers have reported problems with their knees, feet and Achilles tendons, but there's no way of knowing who might be at risk for these types of problems or who, on the other hand, might actually benefit from wearing these types of shoes.

What do you think? Does a study like this make you re-think buying 'toning' shoes? Or maybe you've tried them and have some experience one way or the other? Leave a comment and tell us what you think or, if you can review specific shoes here: Reebok EasyTone Shoe Review, MBT Shoe Review, and Skecher Shape-Ups.


Porcari J, Greany J, Tepper S, et al. Will Toning Shoes Really Give You a Better Body?. ACE. Retrieved 7/27/2010.

July 29, 2010 at 8:41 am
(1) Lisa says:

I actually wear them because they take pressure off my ankle, which is very weak. When I walk in most shoes, stepping down is very harsh and jars my ankle, making it hurt but with these shoes, I can be on my feet most of the day. Oh, I have Sketchers shape ups.

July 29, 2010 at 8:42 am
(2) bj says:

Thanks, I have enjoyed Reeboks DMV Max walking shoes for years, but like everyone else they just can’t leave a good product alone.

July 29, 2010 at 11:10 am
(3) bev says:

I find the toning shoes make me stand taller and pull in my abs. I’m a 56 year old nurse and feel the benifits of my toners on a regular basic.

July 29, 2010 at 11:36 am
(4) Curious Visitor says:

I’m glad the ACE is looking into this, though it’s been more than 10 yrs since the “introduction” of MBT shoes… But isn’t the claim of Skechers, etc., that they give you more of a workout in *ordinary* activities (like clearing dishes off the table) throughout the day? Might or might not change the results, but I think they’re competing against espadrilles during errand runs, not Asics on the treadmill.

July 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm
(5) Donna says:

I am on my feet all day and have had severe problems with Plantars Fasciitis, a very painful foot condition. I’ve been wearing Skechers Shape-Ups for several months now and I no longer come home at night with excruciating, aching feet. Don’t know about the shaping aspect of these shoes but they definitely provide the best arch support. They are so comfortable!

July 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm
(6) Sylvia says:

I’ve been using Reebok Easytone. I don’t see a big difference with the regular shoes so the results of the study don’t really surprise me. They are comfortable though and I intend to continue using them.

July 29, 2010 at 6:53 pm
(7) Pam says:

I have the Danskin Now rocker bottom shoes. I think my calves and hamstrings are more engaged when I walk in these because they create a rolling foot step or gait as you walk, just what you want to happen when you are doing a good power walk. They actually help you with this, so I think they do indeed offer benefits to walkers. I know that running in this type of shoe would probably be dangerous, however. For $25 I don’t think I have wasted my money. They are very comfortable and cute, as well. I don’t think I want to sink $89-100+ on one of the higher end pairs though.

July 29, 2010 at 6:56 pm
(8) Dale says:

Can’t speak to the “toning” aspect, but can tell you that wearing my MBTs prevents pain in my shins which I used to get with conventional walking shoes following vigorous walking.

July 29, 2010 at 9:16 pm
(9) Deb says:

I have the Skechers and they are great for long airplane rides–I think the higher sole takes pressure off the back of my legs. Anyway, my ankles don’t swell when I use the Skechers for a long day of flights.

July 30, 2010 at 1:46 am
(10) mary says:

I felt they really did make me work harder and were very comfortable. However, when I turned my ankle in them because of the fact they don’t turn very well with the height difference, now they are in the garbage.

July 30, 2010 at 3:58 am
(11) allyson says:

I think the truth of the matter is that these shoes do nothing for burning calories and if you read many of the ads, they seldom say you will burn more calories. And their claims of 30 percent chance and such, if you think about really don’t ad up to much. I feel if the shoes make your feet or legs or mind feel better, then get them. Personally I rather have a good pair of running shoes for the same price.

July 31, 2010 at 8:30 am
(12) Anoop says:

An another exercise gimmick to fool people.

July 31, 2010 at 1:16 pm
(13) Debra says:

I’ve been looking at these types of shoes for a long time – not willing to spend over $50 for a pair. After reading this article, and all the comments, I’m not going to spend the money. Any pair of shoes I buy, whether the cost is $10 or $100, doesn’t last longer than 6 months for me. After that length of time I develop serious pain in my calves and feet. I buy a new pair and the pain is gone, for about 6 months.

July 31, 2010 at 6:22 pm
(14) Casey says:

I wear Sketchers Shape-ups and love them. I am 65 years old and I feel taller and straighter when I walk and my back has wonderful support. I wore them walking all around New York City and my feet never hurt!

August 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm
(15) Laurie says:

I have been wearing L.A. Gear Toning walking shoes for 9 months and love them. The balance pods on the bottom seem to take alot of pressure off my feet and relieve my lower back pain. I can be on my feet for much longer periods of time. Not sure they are doing any extra toning for my legs or butt but they are light, comfortable and make me walk taller and provide less pressure to my joints. Check them out at a VERY reasonable price – under $25 on sale!~

August 2, 2010 at 4:07 pm
(16) ruth says:

I love my Sketchers. I feel like I am walking on a cloud. Due to using a full heel to toe movemnt when I walk, I am able to stretch the muscles in my legs. I have not had achy legs since I started to wear my Sketchers on a regular basis.

August 2, 2010 at 4:13 pm
(17) sheila says:

I have flat feet and have not been able to wear any brand or style of tennis shoes in my later years (i’m 55)for over two hours without having horrible feet and leg pain. I have a pair of Avia brand and I can wear these shoes for 8 hours and have no leg or foot pain. Like some of the other comments, my posture is better while wearing them. They have definitely been worth the money and risk of disappointment. I am more satisfied with these than any other tennis shoe ever.

August 2, 2010 at 4:46 pm
(18) Michelle says:

If toning shoes really did what they and it was that easy- everyone would have great legs! C’mon!!! Bottom line is..if you wanna look as good as the models that they have in the ads for them- you HAVE to put in the work! There is no magic pill or shoe- its blood, sweat and tears!

August 2, 2010 at 4:58 pm
(19) Stephanie Marcus says:

When you mentioned the shake weight I had to laugh. It is still around, as I saw an ad for it on tv a couple weeks ago. A guy was using it and my husband and I nearly fell off the couch laughing. It looked like a guy masturbating! As to the shoes, I somehow managed to collect 2 pairs of the incredibly expensive MBTs. After falling over a few times or twisting my ankle (not to mention how ugly they are), mine are languishing in the closet. I like my regular old New Balance shoes.

August 2, 2010 at 5:56 pm
(20) Mary says:

Seriously, is ANYBODY surprised by these findings???? It is just another case of looking for the easy way to weight-loss and fitness. There is no easy way, I spent most of my adult life looking for it!

August 2, 2010 at 6:04 pm
(21) woolbull says:

Good bad or indifferent, these shoes are very comfortable and that is my biggest concern. I never believed for a minute that they would burn more cals, strengthen legs, etc. But man do they feel good!

August 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm
(22) Julie says:

I’ve been wearing the Sketchers Shape Ups for about 6 months now, and while I’m no more toned than I was before, my knees no longer bother me when I walk. That alone makes them worth the money for me.

August 2, 2010 at 6:22 pm
(23) Debbie says:

I have been seeing an orthopediest for plantar fasciitis and achilles tendon issues. When asking about appropriate shoes to wear for these reasons and bad knees, I was told that the Sketcher Toners were actually very good for your feet. The doctor said that they keep your feet in a more natural position, thus leading to less wear and tear and possiblity of injury. He was very specific and said do not waste money on the cheaper knock off brands and those brands that cost a lot more than the Sketchers since with the cheap brands you don’t get the benefit of the Sketchers and the expensive brands only give you about 10% better benefits. He also said that the claims for toning were not legitimate. But for overall foot health he does recommend the Sketchers.

August 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm
(24) Jean says:

I have several pairs of Easy Spirit anti-gravity and just recently tried a pair of Sketcher Shape Ups that are a little less rounded than the originals. Both give a lot more cushioning and comfort than the New Balance I had been using for years. I can walk a lot longer on hard surfaces with no pain in my heel, have stopped using inserts, and these definitely help limit stress on knees. I prefer the Easy Spirit over the Sketchers because they keep you stable with no roll. The shape up benefit in my case is just walking a lot more.

August 2, 2010 at 6:34 pm
(25) Patricia says:

I injured myself with MBTs. They overstretched by calf and when I changed back into regular shows to exercise I injured a tendon in my ankle.

I would not recommend these shoes at all!

August 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm
(26) Bob says:

I have been trying out the SpringBoost shoes, thay are a bit different from the brands mentioned above in that they place the heel lower that the ball of the foot, known as dorsiflexion. I must admit I have really noticed a difference. I have had chronic problems since childhood with my calf muscles, so bad I used to have to do special exercises in my pre-teen years. Touching my toes was out of the question. If I wear these shoes and walk alot, especially uphill, it really seems to improve the situation. They make a lot of other claims for them which I won’t try to substantiate but I also notice my chronic hip pain is reduced significantly when I walk at least a couple miles a day in them. They are the best quality athletic shoes I have ever owned..leave it to the Swiss to make a very high quality product. Theu are quite pricey if you pay list but I got mine at a big box store for less than 1/2 price.

August 2, 2010 at 6:40 pm
(27) Michelle says:

I bought Fit Flops three years ago and have purchased them every year since. I love them because they are so comfortable. Other flip flops are so thin and provide no support. This summer in fact I was on a 50+ km backcountry hike and developed very painful blisters from my hiking boots. The last 11km I did in my Fit Flops, over rocks and up and down hills. I got many funny looks from the other hikers but I was fine. I workout daily (in regular running shoes) so whether or not they tone me further I can’t say. I would not consider buying the rocking-type shoes as I can’t see them being laterally very stable.

August 2, 2010 at 7:12 pm
(28) Susan says:

I have problems with plantar fasciitis for years, and love MBT Sports… they’re expensive, but I’m sound when I step out of bed in the morning. I’ve taken classes where I had to stand all day on a concrete floor, and made it through the day fine (in anything else, I would have been really sore, with swollen ankles)

That said, I treadmill in Asics. I don’t think the MBT’s do anything to work my muscles, but my feet love them!

August 2, 2010 at 7:29 pm
(29) Debbie says:

I have Sketchers Shape Ups. I like them because first of all I am short and they give me a little extra height. I also like the extra cushioning they give. As far as whether they actually tone I can’t say as I’ve noticed but then I work out on a regular basis at the gym. They took a little getting used to…a day or so…but now I even walk on the treadmill in them. I would not advise them for running or any activity where you had to make alot of quick movement but for everyday walking I think they are great!

August 2, 2010 at 8:02 pm
(30) Magret says:

I have two pairs of FitFlops and I love them. They are amazingly supportive and comfortable. I was skeptical about the workout benefits, and haven’t noticed anything with my glutes, but you can see each calf muscle in extreme definition, after two months of wearing them almost exclusively. If you don’t want to have big, defined calf muscles probably you should stay away from these.

August 2, 2010 at 8:32 pm
(31) Kathy Lynn says:

I started wearing these after a few friends told me that their sore feet felt much better. I have Achellies Tendonitis. I have been through the cortizone shots, thousands of dollars of physical therapy with none of it helping me. Now that I wear the Sketckers Shapeups. I can walk all day without the pain.

August 2, 2010 at 8:41 pm
(32) Joyce says:

I have been wearing Sketchers for about 6 months now. I don’t think they do anything much for toning, but I have no knee pain any longer. It is worth it just to be able to walk and not suffer with the knee problems afterward.

August 2, 2010 at 9:59 pm
(33) Pat says:

I wear the Dr. Scholl’s version, they have gel pads inside the shoe to cushion your heels. I love them! I walk every day, I find I walk faster because of the curved sole and I can walk a lot farther than I did in my other walking shoes. Twice this weekend I walked 4 miles on city sidewalks and my feet were never tired. Yesterday I stopped by an outlet mall wearing flip flops and today my heel is killing me.

August 2, 2010 at 9:59 pm
(34) Mattsmadre says:

Thanks for the info. Have to admit I was thinking of buying them but wasn’t sure if the claims were true. I think I will go with regular training shoes. Thanks.

August 2, 2010 at 11:38 pm
(35) ms. g. says:

I purshased Toner’s by Champion at Payless. I purchased the slip on tennis shoes and the sandals.
Well, I rolled my ankle and fractured it, wearing the sandles. They are very easy to lose your balance in. Will have a plate put in my ankle tomarrow 8-3-10. (Broke it 6-13-10 tried to heal it wearing a cast~6 weeks). Now I will be out another 2 weeks non weight bearing cast and then Rehab. BE CAREFUL and PAY ATTENTION WHERE YOU ARE WALKING.

August 3, 2010 at 12:25 am
(36) Joseph Schumeckers says:

It started with the MBT’s. (Massai Barefoot Tech,) Ever looked at a Massai’s foot. Flat, and wide, that’s what they are.
The foot consist of a tri-pod. The toning shoes will never allow your feet to find a stable point which is important for your nervous system to rest, stability and balance. But hey. as long as people go with these stupid ideas of marketing I, stay in business, because they always need somebody to fix them once they messed themselves up. Keep going folks. Defy nature and evolution.

August 3, 2010 at 2:39 am
(37) Angie says:

I bought my very first pair of Fitflops a couple of months ago. They have rarely been off my feet since (apart from bedtime, of course!). I wear them everywhere – all day and all night.

I do have doubts about their toning capabilities – but then I didn’t buy them for that reason – I bought them for comfort.

They are easily the most comfortable sandals/flip flops I have ever had.

August 3, 2010 at 9:01 am
(38) Jo says:

I bought Skechers Shape Ups as a birthday present for my Mom. There’s no toning benefit, but they have completely gotten rid of her chronic knee pain. She thought she had arthritis and was taking aspirins all day long. Now she says the pain is gone and she hasn’t needed any painkillers in months. She says the shoes are amazing and wears them everywhere now. They were totally worth the $100.

August 3, 2010 at 10:32 am
(39) Emily says:

I am a 54 year old nurse…on my feet for LONG days. I have the Sketchers. Have to say, I think they do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! A huge waste of $100.

August 3, 2010 at 4:56 pm
(40) julie says:

I bought MBTs a few years ago and wore them consistently over the cooler months. Since I workout regularly I did not notice a toning difference with my MBTs in my normal day-to-day life but 1 thing I DID notice was that my post-workout muscle soreness was extended if I wore the MBTs, so from normally being sore 2 days, it was now 4 days, proof that some muscles are being activated more and not getting a chance to rest. I agree though that they are very unstable laterally which might cause some other problems in the hips or knees (I didn’t though).

My Fitflops which I wear regularly in the summer are so supportive and comfortable. Way better than any other flip flop out there. I don’t feel any instability whatsoever in them though and my muscles don’t feel any different either.

August 3, 2010 at 6:03 pm
(41) Teresa McNeill says:

I tried on a pair of these shoes and I felt like they threw my gait off terribly. Anything that affects your gait can create a fall hazard. I certainly couldn’t see myself walking fast, let alone running. The same fad is true of the crocs. Everyone was on the band wagon, had to have a pair of crocs. I never bought the first pair. Later on we began hearing news stories of ppl sustaining falls with injuries. The best pair of shoes for any reason should be supportive at the arches, with roomy toes and doesn’t ride up and down on the heels which could cause blisters. I developed plantar’s fasciitis as a result of my job as a nurse and the podiatrist told me that the inexpensive pair of Dr. Scholl’s I had purchased at WalMart for about 20$ was actually a better pair of shoes than a 70$ pair of New Balance shoes I had purchased the day before my Dr. appointment. The podiatrist told me to do this test on every pair of fitness shoes I buy: Try to fold the shoe in half from toe to heel. If the shoe has rubbery soles with no stiff arch support, folding it will be easy to do. Don’t buy a shoe you can easily fold in half.

August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm
(42) jessica says:

I have a pair of sketcher shape-ups and I think they are great and very comfy to wear :-) they help my posture and soften the stress on my knees at work from standing on hard floors I would (and already have) recommend these :-)

August 4, 2010 at 1:15 am
(43) mags says:

I actually broke down and purchased the new skechers SSR Resistance Runners and I have to say that I am glad I did. I was a skeptic ever since any of the toning shoes came out. I have sciatic problems that initially just affected my left leg. I have a really bad left knee problem from a past roller blading accident and more recently, my right leg pains have started to amplify. I have heal pains that go up my legs and back. Well, I am a bit of a mess. I decided to try these shoes after countless shoe purchases and different types of heel insoles.

I am really glad I did purchase these….I thought I had to live with this pain….and now, these shoes have really lessened the impact. I purchased these shoes last friday and walked out the store with them on…..and its now tuesday. i still have leg aches, but they are not of the intensity that made me soooo miserable.

August 4, 2010 at 3:51 am
(44) Suzanne says:

I have Sketchers and the Payless brand of toners. I found for my flat feet that I needed a bit of a lift in the Sketchers to help my arch…and they don’t stay on my feet as well, but not bothersome enough to keep me from wearing them…………The Payless brand actually have a little better foot support and stay on better, I love the looks of the black Sketchers better even though the payless brand is cute too. They both look to be designed the same way as far as the soles go. I have really loved these shoes. I love the way they cushion my feet. I notice that when I walk I feel ALL of my muscles move up and down my whole leg front and back and so I think there is something to the toning effect. And I have noticed a bit of a difference as far as being more toned……. I do have one MAJOR warning, do not wear them for ANY type of climbing or hiking… even just for a few steps..like going across a stream…I climbed up a few rocks recently and as I was descending, although I didn’t feel my foot slip or turn, suddenly I pitched forward and sideways landing extrememly hard on my side. I have really large bad bruises and cuts on my hip and leg and am very lucky that I didn’t break anything. I know they rock me forward and backward- which is perilous for hiking (or even going down stairs too fast) and I can’t say for sure that I wouldn’t have fallen otherwise, but I am not taking the chance from here on out, it was a lesson well learned and could have been worse had I been on a trail with a dropoff. When I went hiking recently I put on my old shoes…and my feet, legs and hips have hurt ever since! So enjoy them for plain old walking and nothing else…

August 4, 2010 at 8:54 pm
(45) kathy says:

I am also a nurse and spend a lot of time on my feet. Again, I really only feel a difference in my thighs and glutes when speed walking up hill or on an uneven road. I use the rocker bottoms. I so find that on the days I have to stand stationary a while, rocking back and forth to stretch my calves feels really good! I have sneakers and clogs, too.

August 6, 2010 at 2:59 pm
(46) Wendy says:

Interesting and good to have some back up research on this area. I wore MBTs for the last few years but stopped when my podiatrist said not to wear them as she felt they were the cause of my bilateral achilles tendonitis, something which I had never suffered before. 18 months on the condition has cleared and I am now in Asics which are fine.

August 6, 2010 at 9:35 pm
(47) Sue says:

I have a pair of Skechers ToneUps. I cannot wear them every day when I walk. They cause intense knee pain, hip pain and back pain. I do have some dehydrated discs in the lumbar section of my spine plus I have fibromyalgia. I was in bed all day with ice paks and heating pads on my hips. I have decided to just get a good pair of walking shoes and leave it at that. I usually wear New Balance walkers or cross trainers.

August 9, 2010 at 4:10 am
(48) Jeanne says:

I did not like these shoes at all. Everyone raved about them being so comfortable I broke down and bought some and after two days of wearing them My feet hurt so bad I quit wearing them. I have tried them a few times since and as long as I only wear them for short amounts of time they hurt my feet. I wear regular running shoes and do not have a problem.

August 16, 2010 at 1:48 pm
(49) Kit T. says:

#35 Ms. G has a definite point! These shoes are not for everyone…and the list gets shorter. My friend purchased a pair of the Sketchers version and also ended up in the ER with a fractured ankle when she lost her balance while walking. She also sprained her wrist and fractured her cheekbone, because she fell against a wall (trying to catch herself). Buyers BEWARE!

September 2, 2010 at 11:05 pm
(50) Catherine123 says:

My husband is a Letter Carrier for USPS. Some days he walks more than 9 miles, throw in all the stairs and you get the picture. His feet, ankles and knees were killing him. He bought the expensive MBT’s and right away could tell they would help. He later tried the Sketchers Shape UPS SR, and liked them as well because of the support, all leather tops, and good grip. He now wears both, switching between the two seems to work well. He admits that you need to be careful on uneven ground, they can be tricky. But his feet feel 100 percent better, and so do his knees. He does have killer legs, but then again he is a Letter Carrier. If you are looking for pain relief, they are worth the try. My father who has knee replacements, and needs his hips done, likes them as well. If you are looking for a killer body with no effort, good luck with that, but I think you’ll need to wait for the magic wand to arrive.

September 5, 2010 at 9:14 am
(51) Susan says:

I purchased the Reebok Easy Tone and Run Tone. The first time I tried them on they felt absolutely wonderful in the store so I purchased them both. I find that they feel great while wearing them but when I take them off my lower back is in constant agony. No magic wand to take the pain away. I’ll stick with my New Balance athletic shoes.

September 24, 2010 at 6:52 am
(52) peterharbson says:

I felt they really did make me work harder and were very comfortable

October 7, 2010 at 2:39 am
(53) Usque says:

All those shoes are rubbish. The only good shoes around that changed the world are Vibram Fivefingers. They are good because they are LESS. Instead of puttin insane amount of stuff under your soles, Fivefingers make you feel like walking barefoot. This is the only true way of walking in a healthier way! The way we evolved for million years and how we are supposed to walk around: barefoot!

November 20, 2010 at 5:16 pm
(54) Orpheus says:

Barefoot… natural… intended… sure. But in modern times, most of us are stuck walking on unnatural and totally flat surfaces. Can’t do that barefoot for several hours each day without some kind of awful discomfort/injury to the body.

December 28, 2010 at 8:08 pm
(55) Zeus says:

I bought a pair of AVON thongs of this type, because they were cheap at the time and I was curious.

I have now ordered a pair of toning sandals and a pair of sneakers.

I wear the old ones round the house and don’t get out of bed without them. Because they FEEL SO GOOD. I’m sure my ankles have slimmed down too.

A lady in a shoe store says a friend, who has never had a butt is raving about the effect.

Also I was at the local hospital and saw a nursing sister wearing them.

Why not buy a cheap pair and see what they do for you. No great loss then if you don’t feel any effects.

March 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm
(56) Vickie says:

I’ve been wearing rocker shoes for about two months now, almost exclusively, because they have been so comfortable. I have a wide foot and the female sizes were a little tight so I chose a man’s size which was equal to my female size, just wider. These shoes have been like heaven for my feet.

Wearing them constantly has made me a little careless. Today I was playing kickball with my grandson. I decided to try a new move…..catching the ball bent over forward and looking down through my legs as the ball approached. I know I know, it was so stupid but I will do anything to make this kid laugh. The laugh was on me. I caught the ball as it rolled in from the back, but lost my balance as I started to straighten up. My rocker shoes did their thing….rocked backward taking me with them. You may be able to imagine it, maybe not…..I rolled backward onto my butt, curling back on my back (which was good), but slamming the back of my head, wham, on the pavement. I was pretty stunned, but managed to jump up hoping I wouldn’t die in front of my little 5 year old pumpkin. 3 hours later after a trip to the doctor, an MRI of my head (worth 100 x-rays to the brain) my husband and grandson brought me back home with a residual headache with no real damage other than to find out I have a few calcifications in my brain, but what the heck, I am a 72 year old gramma.

I won’t give up my fabulous fitting rockers, but I will limit myself to walking in them with great grace and long strides.

Do be careful!

March 17, 2011 at 11:36 pm
(57) lee says:

I am a 50+ diabetic woman with diabetic neuropathy in my feet and have sever pain when taking my shoes off at night. I recently bought some of the Danskin Toning Shoes. I skipped wearing them one day and wore my regular shoes ending in my achilles tendon in one foot swelling up and giving me problems. I wore the Toning shoes the next day and the problems disapated. My daughter keeps reading bad stuff about them on the net and telling me not to wear them. I have less knee and hip pain when wearing them and it massages my feet throughout the day helping with the neuropathy. So I have taken to switching between shoes throughout the day. When I wear regular shoes of any kind I tend to walk on the outside of my feet because of knee problems and think the relief with the Toning shoes is because of the thickness of the souls as well as the design because they make me walk correctly, heel to toe, balances, and they dont seem to give way like other shoes.

March 18, 2011 at 11:03 am
(58) Cara says:

I have been wearing Skechers Shape-Ups and not only are they extremely comfortable, I have seen toning in both my calves and glutes/butt. Possibly if you run already or do intense cardio, this would not be as evident, but because I started with them by just adding them to my walking/sprinting routine, I saw the difference. The next Accelerators are awesome, because they are designed to allow for running, so they are not as high, and, therefore, more stable. I love them. My best friend bought the Shape Ups sandals and sneakers and no longer has heel or back pain. Obviously not for everyone, but I will continue to buy them.

April 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm
(59) Texas J. says:

Skeetchers could be the reason I am now on crutches with a torn meniscus? I thought they helped with my walking, treadmilling, and hiking, but the pain in the knees became more intense with use of the shoes.

I really like the shoes but will give them up for the sake of saving my knees.

April 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm
(60) Linda says:

I bought the Avia fitness shoes because I heard they help with strengthening the lower back muscles and I have knots in my lower back that give me grief nightly. Well, I bought them at the end of August, 2010, and here we are mid April, 2011, and I am getting rid of them. Not only did it not help with my back pain, but it is worse, my arch in my right foot feels like I am walking on nails and now it has moved in my ankle and my right hip hurt so bad. So, I went and bought some Skechers De-lights, traditional tennis shoes and when I wear them, it’s not so bad now.

April 15, 2011 at 8:56 pm
(61) Lisa says:

I like the comfort I get from the sneakers, but I think they have had a bad affect on my knees. I began experiencing knee pain after a few days of walking on them (and I had aleady been walking for years with normal sneakers). My right knee actually feels “dislodged”. I won’t be wearing these anymore.

May 12, 2011 at 6:25 am
(62) Renee says:

Wow,What can I say,Here is a start!!!!!!MY FEET KILL ME!I wore these toning shoes for over 5 months,and to put pressure on my feet to walk hurts.I work out 5 days a week for the past 8 years and never had problems with joint pain.My hips hurt,knees,ankles and most of all my feet.I knew rite away these shoes are crap!!!!!

August 2, 2011 at 8:02 pm
(63) Sara says:

I just got a pair of toning shoes and I can tell a big difference between my Nimbus Asics and the toning shoes i got at walmart. The toning shoes, to me, are alot more comfortable
on my feet but my knee is killing me at the end of the day. Im in PT right now unsure of what the problem is with my knee (knee pain came before the shoe) and i was hoping these shoes might help but its feeling like its just going to give me more pain. I do love my asics but they wear out so easily that its usually not worth spending the money for them. Any good shoe suggestions would be great!

August 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm
(64) Kate says:

I don’t think mine “tone” me any more than regular athletic shoes. They seem to balance me differntly and that makes my back less painful when I work out. My knees, however, are killing me. Time to go back to regular running shoes.

August 14, 2011 at 2:49 pm
(65) Marisa says:

I own a pair of Chamion toner shoes (basic, canvas and leather variety), and they are some of the most comfortable shoes I’ve owned. I am skeptical about how well they tone, but their foot support in all the right places is unbeatable. My bunions never flair up, the shoes are wide enough, and their design provides arch support while minimizing pressure on the base of the heel, which has been a problem with other footwear. I tend to like a thick-soled shoe for extra support, particularly when standing or walking on hard surfaces. Hopefully these shoes are as beneficial as they seem, and not causing undetectable joint or muscle problems. It certainly doesn’t seem to be the case. Incidentally, I am very physically active, so perhaps that would reduce the risk of injury related to this type of footwear.

August 17, 2011 at 9:19 am
(66) Allison says:

I have seen people on the bus wearing them as I go back and forth from work. Only an idiot would wear them on a bus. I see people falling all the time as the bus jerks around because they have absolutely no standing power in these types of shoes. They look ridiculous to boot. If humans were meant to walk on rolling foot bottoms we would be born that way!

August 24, 2011 at 10:45 pm
(67) Carla says:

I have terribly flat feet and have never found shoes that are truly comfortable. I’m on my feet all day working in a pharmacy and the Danskin Now Athena rocker bottom shoes are the first shoe I’ve worn that is completely comfortable. Instead of burning aching feet at the end of the work day, I’m ready to do more. Other shoes would last 2-3 months at the most before I had to buy new ones. I’ve been wearing this pair (to work only) for six months and they still feel like new. I already have muscular legs so the toning didn’t matter to me. These shoes are so great that I bought the summer sandal version too and they are the best!

August 31, 2011 at 11:21 am
(68) Joyce says:

these rocking shoes are very dangerous. i bought a pair of Danskin Now. wearing them for the second time (just walking slow) my foot turned in and sprained my foot very badly. i would not advise anyone to buy them.

September 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm
(69) alan says:

I have Diabetes type two and the numbness in my feet is getting worse , I also have hardening of the arteries ( I’m an 80 year old man and am the same weight as I was at 18 , 144 pounds) which gives me pain in the calf after walking half a mile and then eases if I rest for just a few minutes .
I thought I would try MTB’s and at first I only used them in the house , I then walked to the shops in them , half a mile away , within 200 yards my feet began to hurt but I carried on to the shops thinking no pain no gain , I will never know how I managed to walk home being only able to walk for a few yards at a time .

That evening I had pain in my left leg from top to bottom and my foot swelled as well , my doctor said it is most likely sciatica , the pain has lessened but my foot is still swollen and calf feels dead to touch but still feels painful in the calf muscle .

I am awaiting the results of a MRI scan ( it’s free here in the UK ) , I am reluctant to wear the MTBs again until I have the scan results .

I hope it is not the shoes as I felt they made me stand upright and they seemed to really tone my calves when wearing them in the house .

September 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm
(70) kaptnk51 says:

Some articles show that bare foot is the best as was done pre 1972.

There is so much marketing that the truth has gotten buried.

September 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm
(71) gladys says:

I will never recommend any type of toner shoes to anyone! I am now receiving Cortisone injections in my buttocks due to Ischial Bursitis. This was caused by wearing this type of shoe.
I was jogging/running before this and after wearing them less than 2 weeks, I am unable to jog or run. I wish I never ever put them on!
Was diagnosed by 2 MD’s and was told this was from the shoes.
If you want to use them, I would not recommend jogging/running in them, although the video said you could.

September 17, 2011 at 7:44 am
(72) Kate says:

I have Sketchers runners shape ups, and i already have bad knees, and have for years, i got used to the fact that when ever i walked duing the day, my knees would ake. however i bought these shoes about a month ago, and when i wear them, i dont feel pain in my knees throughout or at the end of my day. im only 16 and exersise quite a bit, so i would say im in good shape, i train in martial arts so i would also say i have good balance. maybe these shoes arent for everyone, but i love them.

September 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm
(73) Kathy H says:

I have been wearing FILAs for 3 years now. After I started running at age 50 had knee problems which arthoscopic surgery made worse. In addition, back injury during car accident made walking for long periods difficult. With the FILAs my knee and back pain went away. I even ran (old lady shuffle jog) in them for almost 2 years. I’ve tried going to sketchers jogging then running shoe and I’ve started having extreme aches and cramps in my legs from my hip down (but still no back or knee pain… go figure). I also had an issue with my foot which required a special insert in my walking shoes, but never needed it in my FILAs. Now if I could just figure out what is causing the muscle aches, pains and cramps. I don’t feel pain while walking, it usually pops up after a period of time at rest.

October 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm
(74) Anya says:

I purchased New Balance’s toning shoe “true balance” two weeks ago. They fit well and felt very comfortable, and I started feeling soreness in my legs the next day. The problem is thay after a day of wearing my old flat shoes, I’m having very uncomfortable back pain. Not sure if this means thay my flat shoes are bad for me or if the toninh shoes are the problem!

October 18, 2011 at 12:33 am
(75) Lori says:

I bought a pair of the Dr. School’s with the gel heel built in and they felt wonderful when I first tried them on. Then I worked in them for 6 hours and thought my feet would rot off from pain. They cause me to walk with my feet turned side ways and in (rock in and then out) which puts pressure on my foot bone that runs from the big toe to the ankle. These shoes also cause pain in my ankle on outside of foot as they are constantly pulling my foot in the wrong way.
I’ve been wearing these for the past 3 months on weekends only at my food demo job and this past weekend was the last straw. I stand for approximately 6 hours per day on the weekends and the pain I suffered this weekend was not good! I could barely sleep from the pain in my feet, not to mention the pain in muscles of my calf. I went online and ordered a pair of work shoes and the Dr. Scholl’s are going in the trash! They still look like new (I’ve worn them maybe 10-12 times over the past 3 months), but I wouldn’t give these to my worst enemy as they will ruin their feet and cause them excruciating pain. Whoever designed these shoes should be hung, and the people from Dr. Scholl’s should be forced to return our money to us for trying to ruin our feet!
I bought these shoes because they were black (I had to have black shoes), they were on sale ($39.00), and they felt comforable when I tried them on. Boy!!! Did I ever get bamboozled and ripped-off!!! These shoes were not worth bringing home had they been free! The pain I’ve endured this past weekend from wearing these shoes has been awful. They throw my ankles, knees, and hips out of place and make me feel like h$ll way before my shift is over!

October 23, 2011 at 10:38 am
(76) DayDreamer says:

At first Dr Scholls felt great; then they made my feet hurt horribly; finally I can honestly say my feet have adjusted. I’m toning up quickly (butt, legs, calves, stomach) AND losing weight. The only thing I can say is ease into wearing them. Start with an hour a day and build up. I wear them ALL the time now. I’m a nanny to 2 year old twins. And these shoes make all the running after them twice as beneficial. A treadmill test of the toning shoes is simply poor science. I’ve worn every tennis/ fitness shoe I could find and NONE have done what these toning shoes have done for me. Incredible! I work many hours and have no time to work out. These make every day a toning day!

October 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm
(77) Judy says:

After wearing FitFlop Goghs for a couple of years, I tried a pair of their Strollers. After one day the backs of my knees were in a terrible mess, to such an extent that I could barely go downstairs, and I have had to spend months improving my legs, butt and knees. When I contacted FitFlops to enquire whether they had changed the soles, I was told ‘no’ and that it was my fault! I recently bought a pair of Sketchers Toners (the one with the toning pods) and again they gave trouble to my knees, but this time to the kneecap area. They also made me feel very lightheaded. I do have some OA in my knees, but I train and exercise using specific exercises, recommended by my trainer. Not wanting to throw away either expensive pair, I have broken myself in with them, wearing them for short periods, and now find the problems diminishing. I am 69, and workout in the gym for about 6 hours a week. My trainer and podiatrist have both advised me not to wear the MBT type of sole.

November 4, 2011 at 7:35 am
(78) Tammy says:

I have a pair of white Dr. Scholl’s Persona Trainers that I had gotten on sale for 5 dollars @ Walmart. They were regularly 39 dollars. I wear them for my kickboxing every Tuesday for an hour. I find they have improved my balance & my calves seemed more shapely. I was wearing regular sneakers last year while I was doing the kickboxing & my feet hurt at the end of every session but since the Rocker sneakers were being used they are never sore. I feel the toning part of the workout but never have sore feet. I feel they are working & I seem to never have backpain either since I’ve been using them. For a 5 dollar pair of sneakers I think they were well worth the investment. I didn’t lose either way & I benifitted from the trial. I would definetly spend more if need be to get another pair but for now I only use them for my kickboxing. After all that’s when I’m going for my workout so why not double the calorie burning & toning. They seem to be working especially for my ankles.

January 15, 2012 at 7:18 am
(79) snyd med wordfeud says:

Hi there, You’ve performed an incredible job. I will certainly digg it and individually suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this website.

February 2, 2012 at 11:32 am
(80) onset para adv quad says:

Leave it to the “experts.” The rocker style sole shifts the standing center of gravity which lessens fatigue on the instep, calf, and low back which for me, a person facing giving up the pleasures of feeling those things to potentially live out the leftovers in something witha nice captain’s chair that equates to more comfortable mobility longer. I dare say any one of those experts could do the math on that equation and see the benefits. I have a spinal amputation belowT7 and an artificial pelvis. I am still erect with no more visible disability than a swinging gait because of the availability of products like this. Right now I would give up a lot to put my hands on a couple pair of danskin toning shoes in black in a Mary Jane. Nothing else is the same. That is huge.

March 17, 2012 at 9:47 am
(81) Linda says:

I’m commenting on a pair of shoes which is something I never do…I just purchased a pair of the rocker based toner shoe by Danskin, Transcend…I bought them bc they were on sale, and I figured what the heck…I have waitressed and bartended for over 25 years, have been a PCA and a PCSP, I’ve tried every style shoe possible but have ALWAYS suffered from middle and lower back pain, sometimes so bad I’ve gone to the emergency room for it…since the first day I wore my new shoes I have had NO PAIN AT ALL….I don’t care if it doesn’t help tone my legs…the amazing fact that I can be pain free and walk for hours, work, do everything I was always so limited on doing bc I’d have to stop and stretch, sit, try to relax…all of that is gone!!! I’m going later to buy the remaining pairs in my size, and am just thrilled I finally found a simple,easy and unexpected result from a basic pair of shoes…

March 19, 2012 at 8:51 pm
(82) Tracie says:

I bought a pair of Danskins Now Toning shoes and I love them. I had previously been given a pair of Sketchers Shape Ups and loved them too. I don’t know that they tone and that is not the reason I wanted them. I have really bad back pain from being in a car accident when I was three months pregnant with my son. I couldn’t do a whole lot after the accident and really couldn’t get treatment. When my son was finally born he was 12 pounds and my back was hurting really bad. I wear these shoes because they take the pressure and pain out of my back.

April 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm
(83) Traylynn says:

I just bought the toning shoe by Danskin primarily for the thick sole. I wanted to see if the rocking sole would be more comfortable while walking on the treadmill. I enjoyed my workout longer because of the comfort in the shoe.

June 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm
(84) Tatiyana says:

I got the Dr.Schollts version of the shape ups. Today I wore them for the first time. my head has been hurting so bad all day. I dont get it why I dont see any review of head hurting on these but here is one. My calfs and my butt bones hurt. Maybe because its the first day hope it stops cause I wont continue wearing them if it keeps hurting

July 16, 2012 at 7:30 am
(85) teresa young says:

I really upset I cant find them to me they were good shoes they help my lower back when I did do a lot of walking. I wish they come back

July 18, 2012 at 4:36 pm
(86) angela says:

I bought the Dr. scholls shape ups 3 years ago because I had bad heel spurs. The sneakers took all the pressure off of my heels!!! & I could walk with no pain!!! I have been searching all over for another pair & they no longer sell them I am so disappointed! I never wore them for the exercise aspect they work great if you have problems with your feet like I do!!

July 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm
(87) Amber says:

I love the Danskins. I never believed they would tone my butt, but my postural alignment has improved significantly. The calluses and cracked skin across both my heels have decreased due the smoother heelstrike and change in my gait pattern. But my calves look better than they have in 10 years. Well worth 25 dollars!

August 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm
(88) Terri W says:

I use Dr. Sholls. I love them. My feet always hurt. Shoe Padding was never enough for me, but with Dr. Sholls rockin sneakers my feet never hurt anymore. I cannot find them at Walmart anymore though.

August 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm
(89) annamaria says:

I bought that danskin now toner, I am on my feet for a number if hours, medical assistant, worst 15.00 dollars I spent cause I deal with knee promblems and aches and pain in tendons… thought I was just getting something to comfort being on my feet, but got more problems I’m dealing with then ever… do not invest,

September 13, 2012 at 10:09 am
(90) Julie says:

Never paid any attention to the hype of shape ups and tone ups.
Three years ago I was shopping at the mall with my daughter when my knees begain to ache so much that I told her we were going home. We were in Macy’s at the time and had just passed the shoe dept. She suggested that I try one of those “new” shoes. I put them on and all the pain went away. Eventually I had to have one knee replaced, but I thank my Skecher tone ups and shape ups for enabling me to keep my other “real” knee. I own 14 pairs and wear them exclusively

I also found that wearing the shoes has eliminated my heal spurs.

Unfortunately, one month ago I developed extreme pain in my lower leg. My back surgeon thought it was a pinched nerve and operated 2 weeks ago, but the pain DID NOT go away and in fact is worse. Reading what others have said about wearing the shoes makes me wonder if after all this time, they are beginning to have a negative affect. I will stop wearing them and see what happens.

October 4, 2012 at 8:03 am
(91) Donna says:

I bought a pair of Danskin tone ups, and my heels no longer feel like they are on fire after running around in the hospital all day. If you suffer from heel spurs, give these a try. A big tip: For 2 weeks, wear these only at home and be extra careful until you adjust to the gait change.

January 12, 2013 at 9:31 pm
(92) Elena says:

I got the super-expensive MBT Sports after two years of suffering terribly from plantar fasciitis. A foot/shoe specialist recommended them. I began walking regularly in them, at first with some sore glutes, but with ever-decreasing foot pain. I lost weight and completely lost the plantar fasciitis as well! It took about four or five months for it to completely disappear. From the beginning though, just wearing mbts brought such comfort and relief that I wore no other shoes besides those for several months.

Now I just wear them when I walk on flat concrete or asphalt and not ver often. They can be dangerous on uneven ground.

It’s so interesting to note that, while we are all so much the same, as humans, people’s bodies respond quite differently to various inputs, whether they be in the form of foods, medications, TV violence orr rocker-bottom shoes! MBTs GAVE ME BACK MY FEET while other folks relegate this type of shoe to the trash!

January 13, 2013 at 9:44 am
(93) Murali krishna says:

We are in the technological 21st century.Foot wear has become a part and parcel of modern gadgetry. Only humans wear foot wear. I will ask one question to all of you do you know how to walk correctly?

It is pity so much of medical knowledge is pouring in Right walking is not defined and not taught to Kids and adults as awhole.

MBT and Sketchers are trying to fill the void in the present scenerios.

Walking consist of to the common man 1.Heel strike
2.Foot flat
3.Heel off
4.Toe off

These are the stages described by the old timers with their keen observation powers.

These stages has backing from the body design of Bones and muscles. each stage is achieved by some stages of bony and muscular actions. hence any actions that promotes normal walking is fine. these foot wear are better than the flat footed foot wear.

Medical science has not described how much is the angle at the ankle at Heel strike or How much angle should be there at Heel off stages In an ideal conditions.

In such a scenerio lots of research needs to be carried out on walking.

some of the claims are good but they have exagerated it. Hence apart form the cost trying a variety may be of great help to each of the individuals.
lots of research needed in this regard in medical fields.


January 17, 2013 at 9:47 pm
(94) Terry says:

I have worn these types of sneakers(all various brands) for over 5 yrs. MY legs no longer ache at night/no cramps and I am on cement,tile floors all day. I will never go back to the old flat sneakers as long as they continue to make these. The extra rubber on the soles are worth it. I also have the sandels. I can walk for up to 8hrs without any aching legs. Love them!!

March 19, 2013 at 8:55 pm
(95) PAT Q says:


March 25, 2013 at 8:18 am
(96) Lore cas says:

I am a nurse, the ponding of my feet on the concrete floors with regular sneakers/ nursing wear put a toll on by legs, i would wake up and put my feet on floor and feel pain all over.I started using the sketchers shape up and it made a world of difference. More so I think due to the thick sole and distributing of the pressure on my feet. I don’t have the pains in my legs anymore. I also wear and alternate rebook, filas version of the shape ups and would not trade for these type of shoes in for the traditional ones.

March 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm
(97) Mags says:

I bought a pair of these as they were on sale via Wowcher, and thought I would give them a go. I wish I had researched them more though. I found them very odd to wear although I was getting used to them. They threw me off balance easily at first and I certainly couldn’t do more than a walk in them. I wore them for a week just walking around town, and I did a lot of that. However, I seem to have inflamed a tendon around my outer ankle and limping a good deal unless I use NSAIDs, oral and topical. Its been a week now and I might have to go see someone if it doesn’t ease up soon.

May 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm
(98) justice says:

OK, I have never hear of having heel pain but all of a sudden for the last month I have it. I bought some Dr Scholls tennis shoes at Big Lots last summer but only started wearing them in the last 6 months or so. They rock you around on your feet in a very unconventional way. NOW I HAVE HEEL PAIN! In the bottom of my left heel and it doesn’t seem like it’s going away after putting up with it for a month! Could it be that those shoes messed up my foot? That pisses me off! Do I need to sue?

I don’t have time to read all these reviews, I just need to know if anyone else has had the same new pain because of Dr Scholls exercize shoes?

June 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm
(99) Daisy Brant says:

I have been wearing NB rock and tone sandals for a couple of years-almost all waking hours. Loved them and even bought some for my grown daughters. “But” now I am having problems with my left heel and the bottom of my left foot–to the point that you can not even distinguish the bone that protrudes on the outside of my ankle. I can hardly walk on my left foot. Is there any long term problems with regular wearing these sandals?

August 18, 2013 at 9:02 am
(100) Willow says:

I bought a cheap pair of rockers from a shop in Italy. 10 Euro! I wish I had bought ten more! My vacation was completely changed. I’ m 61 years old and have flat feet and lymphatic issues in both legs. Also I’m Diabetic.

I would say that Rocking shoes are amazing and they do help you burn calories..by making it easier to walk and thereby enabling you to walk longer with no foot ache and total support on the arch area. They would be dangerous to wear for running yes…but for walking….they are superb. I walked miles and miles in action around Rome, and had a ton more energy be ause my posture felt better and I felt like I was on springs with fabulous cushioning under foot. Rome is full of cobbles and is hard work…but my rockers were superb!

March 7, 2014 at 7:21 am
(101) Dennie says:

I have ti say I love these kind of shoes… I work in a factory.. pounding pavement… for a full 8-12 hrs a day.. for what ever reason I’m prob to having or getting callous on the ball of my feet… improper fitting shoes.. ??? Maybe… but ever since I’ve slipped my painful callous feet into these shoes I have found nothing more then pure relief for my feet… ! I’m also having a very hard time finding them anymore so if there’s there is anyone out there to give me info on where & how to buy them. . Not wanting to spend over 50 $$$ on a pair of shoes though… any advice would be appreciated… !!!

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