Are Toning Shoes For You?

Toning shoes are popular among many walkers, joggers and runners. Some makers claim that toning shoes can firm and tone your legs while helping you to burn more calories to lose weight. Makers of toning shoes claim their shoes are designed to simulate walking barefoot or walking on uneven terrain to make your leg muscles work harder with ever step. Do toning shoes really firm, tone and strengthen your legs while helping you to burn more calories? 
According to the Mayo Clinic’s Edward R. Laskowski, M.D., there is no evidence to support the claim that toning shoes give you a better leg workout or help you to burn more calories. Dr. Laskowski stated that there is no harm in wearing the shoes and wearers may benefit from wearing the shoes if owning and wearing a pair causes them to increase their physical activity. 
Photo Credit: Steve Ling CC-BY-2.0
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) conducted a study to test the effectiveness of toning shoes. ACE tested the comparative effectiveness of toning shoes against regular walking shoes and found no evidence to support the claims that toning shoes burn more calories, tone or strengthen muscles. Researchers stated that if owning a pair of toning shoes provided the wearer with the motivation to get more exercise generally, then the shoes provided some benefit. The ACE study did not address the potential effects on the wearer’s balance due to the unstable design of the shoe sole.
The bottom line on toning shoes seems to be they provide no additional benefit to the wearer when it comes to burning extra calories or strengthening and toning leg muscles. If you like them and owning a pair motivates you to get more exercise, that is definitely a plus for these shoes. 
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About Robin R.
I’m an AFPA certified personal trainer & nutrition consultant, NASM certified corrective exercise specialist, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, online fitness coach and freelance writer specializing in health and fitness. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. I specialize in weight loss, functional strength training, total body toning, aerobic conditioning, plyometric training, nutrition planning, and home-based boot camp style workouts for women. My goal is to make every personal training session fun and effective for my clients. My services include both in-home personal training and online fitness coaching.

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