I’m sorry, guys: this is another post about shoes.
Look, I said I was sorry!
Anway, these aren’t silly, frilly, shiny, toe-mashing, achy-foot-making, shoes. These are my Sketcher’s Shape Ups, and I love them. I’ve been reading about these suckers for awhile, and I finally broke down recently and bought them. Of course, I paid $80 for them and just learned that the ones I got are on sale right now for $60. Bygones. I have wide feet, so I bought mine on Amazon, where I could actually find them in Wide Width. I guess there are also different kinds of these shaping, toning, balancing, voodoo shoes, even within the same brand.
So, hey, let me give you the brief low-down on their marketing mumbo jumbo before I tell you what I think about them.
Shape Ups are designed to:
- Promote weight loss
- Strengthen the back
- Firm calf and buttock muscles
- Reduce cellulite and tone your thighs
- Increase cardiovascular health
- Improve posture
- Reduce stress on knee and ankle joints
I’m going to predict that you’ve got one question right now, besides whether or not I seriously wear these things out in public: Eighty freaking dollars for ugly shoes?! Do they even work?
Well, yes. Sort of. They work for me, and I think it will depend on what exactly you want from them and what your expectations are. I’m not convinced that they’ll help you lose weight, but I guess they might. They supposedly “activate” alternate muscle groups (whatever that means), which helps tone and strengthen those muscles and helps burn more calories. I’m not a doctor or a physical therapist, so I can’t even make an educated guess on validity here. But I can tell you that the reason I bought them was to help improve my posture and strengthen back and core muscles. I’ve read in other reviews that they can help reduce back and leg pain, so that was my other main hope for these shoes. Given that, yes. They worked for me.
My backpain decreased significantly, my feet hurt less, friends have noticed that I stand straighter, my sister even thought I was wearing special slimming pants when she saw me before and after putting the shoes on, and they correct how I walk. Normally I have a supination problem, which means that I tend to walk on the outsides of my feet. I have been told for years that I “walk funny” (because I do). I noticed the very first day with these puppies on that they forced me to straighten out.
I think there is some merit to the improved circulation claim, since I also noticed some slight light-headedness the first few days, which returns if I haven’t worn them for awhile. As a side note, the first day we were up in the mountains, so increased elevation obviously plays a factor here. At our normal elevation, the light-headed feeling is decreased, but still noticeable if I haven’t been wearing the shoes much for awhile.
I’ve also read complaints about toning shoes and balance, mostly about being rocked forward. I’ve found that in these I can get a little off balance, but it’s not pronounced, and they tend to rock me backward instead. I guess it has to do with how they help your posture. I did fall on my butt once in them, trying to get up from a sitting position with both kids. I started to get up, and then I didn’t.
In all fairness, this same problem may have ocurred at other times without any sort of toning shoe involved.
Do they tone and promote weight loss? This is probably
million eighty-dollar-question for most of y0u. And my answer is: I don’t know. I’m fairly certain they’ve had some positive effect on muscle tone, which has definitely affected my general pain level. However, if you’re thinking about the kind of muscle tone that you’re going to get from targeted muscle and body toning exercises, then no. In other words: these shoes ain’t gonna replace Jillian Michaels anytime soon.
That being said, I still like them. No, I love them. Were they worth the price tag? To me, yes. Absolutely! Clearly, your mileage may vary.
*Psst! This is not a sponsored post. I wasn’t paid or perked, I bought the shoes with my own money, and I have no relationship with either Amazon or Sketchers.