tonig shoes fitness trend

Illustration: David Wyffels

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Toning Shoes

The Idea: The shoes claimed to turn up the burn on your leg muscles and scorch more calories by simulating walking barefoot or walking on uneven surfaces. The same amount of exercise but better results? No surprise that this trend was hugely popular.

The Problem: "It’s bunk," says Glenn Gaesser, PhD, a professor of exercise science and health promotion and the director of the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at Arizona State University. "The energy expenditure that might be increased by wearing these shoes is trivial compared to the amount you'd need to lose weight." They're no more effective than regular sneakers, according to a 2010 study funded by the American Council on Exercise. Skechers had to fork over $40 million to the Federal Trade Commission in 2012 for the misleading advertising on their popular Shape-up shoes, which promised weight loss and stronger legs, butts and abs.

The Lesson: If wearing toning shoes inspires you to get up and move more, that's great. But, sorry to say, you're not getting a better workout than you would in your regular sneaks.