Bad news for those strutting their stuff around Jacksonville, FL in Reebok EasyTone shoes: Reebok recently agreed to settle a $25 million lawsuit filed by the FTC. The international shoe company claimed their EasyTone shoes strengthen:
- Buttock muscles (gluteals) by 28 percent
- Calves and hamstrings by 11 percent.
Although these are very powerful muscles (the gluteals lift the body up stairs and calves propel the body forward) the FTC alleges this to be false advertisement. For a shoe to boast these kinds of strength gains is amazing—and hard to believe.
Supposedly the shoe works because the unstable sole forces the individual to use other muscles in the lower leg to stabilize the body. At best, Dr. Reddy believes the unstable shoe could help to improve balance and strengthen some of the stabilizing muscles of the lower leg—possibly leading to improvement in athletic performance. On the flip side, feet like a flat surface and will bend side to side until they are leveled out. These unstable soles may actually force the foot into bending in ways that are harmful to the wearer. It may even damage the very muscles you are trying to strengthen!
Despite advanced technology and flashy marketing, it’s still best to wear stable and sturdy walking shoes. If you want to tone your calves and glutes you’ll get better results the old fashioned way—diet and exercise… Sorry.