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Toning Shoes Review

So I decided to give the ‘toning’ shoe craze a chance.  People have emailed me about if I have ever tried the shoes and I want to be completely honest in this post. I hope not to offend anyone, but I really did a LOT of work on this review throughout the month of November. I wanted to be able to come back with details results of how it worked out for me. Now granted this is going to be a huge post, so in order to get everything to load, give it a second.

I started off with taking my measurements of my hips, butt and thighs on November 1st. (AHHHHHHHHH scarrrrrrrrrry! ha ha)

I’m no scientist. I’m not a personal trainer, nor do I know anything really besides what I learned in High School through my cross country coach. But I really wanted to put a lot into this experiment, so I did what we did so often in Biology. Write down everything. Logs of everything. I tried to get as much information as I could for this post. I decided I would take measurements every week along with pictures of my legs and a side view as well as log my workouts and what I did when wearing the toning shoes. I made sure to track what I did every time I wore them and tried to wear them at least 5 times a week. I wanted to give it a fair shot as to what I was doing and what I thought would be helpful to see exactly what I did to get where I was and if I happened to get any results then I would know that they were working.

See the workout log HERE! (You’ll have to zoom in) Out of 30 days of November, I only didn’t wear the shoes at all 7 of those days. I made sure to wear the shoes every single time I went to the gym or walked. I also made sure to wear the shoes if I was just walking around the house whether cleaning or just doing things around the house. I made sure this was also done when doing the small things around the house. I feel like the shoes are made and marketed to be worn when working out or walking, so that’s what I made sure to do. I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary in the shoes that I wouldn’t normally do. I think the shoes are suppose to help tone during daily life and the main use of them is to tone as you walk and do daily chores, not going above and beyond to work out and get toned through going to the gym. I feel like they are marketed to users that if you wear these shoes instead of normal shoes you’ll be toned and ready to go. I wore them as much as I could during the month of November and to the gym as well. Here is my ‘data’ below that I took. I have never done this much work for a review, but I felt like these deserved a fair chance and there has been much controversy surrounding them.

So onto the measurements. For the hips, I measured at my natural hips. For the butt,  I measured at where my butt was the largest and all the way around to the front. For the thighs, I measured 5 inches down from the joint of my leg.

November 1-7

Hips: 36

Butt: 40

Thighs: 19

Side View Week 1

Front view week 1

I half expected to be sore after working out in the shoes. I don’t know why but I expected to feel a difference. There was nothing different about the first week working out in the shoes. I felt normal and took my measurements to start week 2.

Week 2: November 8-14

Hips: 36

Butt: 40

Thighs: 19

Side View Week 2

Front View Week 2.

Still didn’t feel any different from working out with the shoes. I felt like my legs, butt and thighs felt the same as they always did. I knew I wouldn’t drop numbers in the first week but I was kind of thinking maybe something would happening in the third week when I took my measurements again.

November 15-21

Hips: 36

Butt: 40

Thighs: 19

Front View Week 3

Side view week 3.

After this week and the measurements, I was a little bummed. I felt like I was doing a lot in the shoes. I even was wearing them a lot when doing chores around the house, which is what a lot of commercials state. I really wanted my final week to show SOMETHING! Just so that I could have some change.

November 22-30

Hips: 36

Butt: 40

Thighs: 19

So after a month, my measurements ended up being:

Hips: 36

Butt: 40

Thighs: 19

I’m not going to lie, this was a LOT of work to do and track everything. I was actually really bummed that nothing changed after all that. I never felt like any muscles were getting ‘more of a workout’ than others and I never felt any different throughout the whole month. I thought I might get sore the first few days but everything stayed pretty consistent.

I can see these as being a great motivator to get yourself out the door if you have NEVER exercised ever before, but I can’t really see them as being a great addition to anyone’s closet who already works out. I also can’t imagine how far you have to walk in them to see results. I know that I walked about 2-3 miles in them when I did walk in them or work out in them, and maybe they give you results if you walked a far distance in them, say 5-10 miles, but if you haven’t ever exercised before, and decided to walk any amount of distance or added a few weekly trips to the gym to your routine, don’t you think that would make you lose weight without the shoes? Just a though.If you’re already using the shoe and getting awesome results, keep up the awesome work! It might just work differently for different people, just like some people can take GUs and I…. can’t. :) If this is what it takes to get you moving and groovin’ then keep it up! If you are looking for something different, try them out for yourself! I am just questioning the idea since I didn’t get any results.

If a huge portion of American’s are overweight, and a shoe claims it can tone you, make you lose weight and get you fit, and a group of these overweight of people start walking in the shoe and see results, more power to them! I’m happy that it’s getting some people off the couch and onto the streets. Whatever it takes to make Americans more healthy.

I really wanted results since I felt like I put so much effort into testing them. Maybe it takes longer than a month. Maybe it takes three months. I still wear them on occasion to the gym, but the fact that I never feel sore after I do workouts or walk in them, and I might be a masochistic, but I like the sore feeling, just a little bit, then I know what I’m doing is working. I guess I like the burn. When I put on my night cream and I feel it burning, I think it’s working. When I get a peel at the spa, and it burns, I feel like it’s getting rid of dead skin, so when my legs burn at the gym, I guess I think that I’m doing something right. I’ve always been that way.

So I guess I’m going to stick to running the stairs when I want to tone my butt, legs and thighs. I’ll keep doing my stair stepper routines at the gym and I’ll enjoy the burning feeling I get and the salty sweat dripping into my face. I’ll keep doing my donkey kicks to get my rear in gear and I’m glad that I gave them a fair chance.

I am really grateful for New Balance and letting me test these shoes for free. They were pretty comfortable, but I just wouldn’t say they ‘worked’ for what they claim to do.


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  • Reply Kelly

    I’m impressed with the time and dedication you put into this project! I can’t believe they didn’t work…then again I can.

    December 28, 2010 at 8:44 am
  • Reply Amber

    Wow – great review. Really thorough. Thanks for sharing. I’m not shocked that they didn’t work…but it would have been cool if they did!

    December 28, 2010 at 8:50 am
  • Reply Page

    Seriously awesome job dedicating so much time and effort to this review, D! And don’t worry, you were probably TOO nice in this review ;)

    December 28, 2010 at 8:56 am
  • Reply Page

    Also, at least they were cute toning shoes! Not like the other ones that would be a bit embarrassing to wear!

    December 28, 2010 at 8:57 am
  • Reply Jes

    Great detailed review. Its tough to be totally honest sometimes. I appreciate your willingness to be forthright. Perhaps for others they might really make a difference, maybe not for a runner who already is in shape??

    December 28, 2010 at 8:58 am
  • Reply Beth

    Great review. You put a lot of time and effort into it! The ‘toning shoe’ craze is a bit of a pet peeve for me. I have been on both ends of the equation (and like you, I am not wanting to offend anyone…just saying). I can honestly say that when I was obese at 280lbs, I would have been all over these shoes, as I was always looking for that “secret pill” to loose the weight. I mean really, just wear cute shoes and get a great butt?? Sure!
    Having worked hard and now have the weight off,(w/o a “secret pill” or shoe, they annoy me to no end.
    Did you see the booth at the San Fran marathon expo?? Come on…trying to sell these cute, bouncy, toning shoes to marathon runners??
    Whatever shoes you’re wearing…just move people. There’s your secret to staying toned and getting a great butt. Just move.

    December 28, 2010 at 9:12 am
  • Reply Kim

    Great work on this project! I’ve always been intrigued by “toning” shoes, but I figured it probably wasn’t worth the investment given how much I run and workout. Thank you for confirming this! However, I do think these are a great purchase for people that live in cities like Boston, SF or NY that do a great deal of walking and aren’t running 40+ miles a week, but probably walking upwards of 2-3 miles a day or so.

    December 28, 2010 at 9:24 am
  • Reply Naomi

    thank you for all the effort that you put into writing such a thorough review. now i can share it with all the ladies in my family who think these kind of shoes are their golden ticket to weight loss.

    December 28, 2010 at 9:38 am
  • Reply Mel

    I tried Reebok’s toning shoes before and I just found them completely uncomfortable! :p I ended up just giving them to a friend. They worked my legs only because they were heavy and bulky!

    December 28, 2010 at 9:40 am
  • Reply Julie

    Great review. I was hoping each week there would suddenly be a change for you. BTW I also can’t do GU ever since i had my gallbladder removed. What do you use? I have yet to find something I like. Plus it can’t be sticky since I’m in braces.(:

    December 28, 2010 at 9:44 am
  • Reply Tara

    great review! I think everyone knows that you gotta burn more calories than you take in to lose weight and like you said if these shoes motivate people to get moving then more power to them. I just don’t think they are the miracle shoe that some people make them out to be!

    December 28, 2010 at 9:44 am
  • Reply steveark

    Maybe your measurements were already just right and so the toning didn’t change them? But since I’m married to a woman I know that answer wouldn’t satisfy many female customers. This was your first blog post I’ve read though I follow your tweets, I noticed the blog on losing your mom and since I lost mine just before Christmas I was drawn to it. You have a wonderful narrative talent and I’ve found that same emotional release in running through situations where I could not find peace in any other way. Thanks for that, Steve from Arkansas

    December 28, 2010 at 9:45 am
  • Reply Jose

    Thanks for really giving the shoes a fair shot!
    I am not a big blogger so I have no qualms about offending anyone – these shoes SUCK and I am ashamed that a solid company like New Balance is marketing them.
    Yeah I know they are trying to make money, sure sure, but even beginning runners know there is no short cut!
    If anything, these shoes will discourage people who think “oh, going out to work out won’t help :(” and just give up.
    Couch to 5k and some real running shoes will do the trick far more for couch potatoes than these ridiculous shoes.
    If you are reading this and want to get in shape. DO IT!
    You can and will achieve results if you start slow and don’t give up.


    December 28, 2010 at 9:47 am
  • Reply Toronto Girl West

    Thank-you for pouring so much work into the review. It’s much appreciated!

    I have to say on the whole I’m surprised they didn’t even make you feel sore. I guess it just confirms what I already suspected – they don’t work!

    December 28, 2010 at 10:13 am
  • Reply Megan

    Good review and nice experiment! The toning shoes are something that I’ve been curious about … then again, why would I pay more money for “magic shoes” than I do for my running shoes?

    December 28, 2010 at 11:10 am
  • Reply Zoë

    Very good review. I’ve wondered about these shoes for a long time, and I’m glad you really tested them out. I can see “walking on sand” to be more beneficial than these types of shoes. Kind of a bummer, huh?

    December 28, 2010 at 11:11 am
  • Reply Shelley B

    Really impressed by your due diligence with this review. I pretty much suspected that they didn’t do anything, but like you said, if they will get a sedentary person up and moving, then that’s a good thing.

    December 28, 2010 at 12:37 pm
  • Reply ginny

    Thanks for posting. Your experiment pretty much turned out the way I had expected. I think I might get more of a workout wearing my new Frye boots — those suckers are heavy :)

    December 28, 2010 at 2:00 pm
  • Reply Cynthia

    Wow, thank you for putting so much effort and detail into the review! I’ve never had an interest in trying any of the shoes, but I was interested to read this!

    December 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm
  • Reply Jessica

    Those are cute shoes, but I think you are 100% right about them. I’ve never personally tried them myself, but I don’t see what all the hype is about. A few people I work with wear them every day, but they still look the same as they did when they started wearing the shoes.

    December 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm
  • Reply Marathon Maritza

    I am also impressed with the dedication and care you put into the this post. Great job being thorough and detailed.

    And SURPRISE, the shoes don’t do anything! I’m tired of people finding excuses not to work out. Sorry but there are no magic shoes for you, lard ass. Not you you, but you know…people.

    December 28, 2010 at 3:36 pm
  • Reply ilovesteaks

    yeah, whatever gimmick that’ll get anybody to exercise is a plus. Still one of my favorite toning shoe commercials: :)

    December 28, 2010 at 3:49 pm
  • Reply Heather @ Alis Grave Nil

    So glad somebody called the shoe companies out on their phony baloney advertising. They’re perpetuating the American idea that you can get something for nothing. Shame on them! Thanks for doing the post though. I think some people need to see it to believe it.

    December 28, 2010 at 4:05 pm
  • Reply Steena

    Thanks for putting all the effort into the review, I hope this review saves atleast one person from dropping $100 on the shoes. This is a hard experiment, because if someone who didn’t exercise used them & lost some weight, it would be hard to say if it was just because the person was now moving more than they used to.
    Either way, I think Americans tend to jump on the next bandwagon magic pill, and what it comes down to is to move more!

    December 28, 2010 at 6:08 pm
  • Reply Nicole

    I agree with Maritza….. well said sista! :) great work D… sorry there were no results… :(

    December 28, 2010 at 7:00 pm
  • Reply Kim

    You just confirmed my suspicions, so thanks for that. Sorry to be right about this though…you put in a lot of work!

    December 28, 2010 at 8:33 pm
  • Reply Nobel4Lit (A Case of the Runs)

    This is a much-appreciated post on a topic I’m sure lots of us wonder about. Thanks!

    Are you going to do the Shake Weight next? ;)

    December 29, 2010 at 9:40 am
  • Reply Sarah

    Wow such a great post Danica! I am also not shocked. Being in nursing school, it is more than apparent that Americans as a whole need a diet and exercise plan that works. Quick fixes and special shoes don’t teach good habits, they are just another form of a diet pill without the side effects.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:26 am
  • Reply Amanda@RunningOnCoffee

    Nice thorough review!

    My mom picked up the toning shoes earlier this year (the ones that look like the toning shoes) and she said she felt that she was using different leg muscles while wearing them – perhaps mostly from having to balance herself? She is not a runner but is not inactive by any means- she used to walk about 4-5 miles every week day (maybe that’s more like 3x/week now + one Zumba or kickboxing class at the rec center). No report of any increased “firmness” though.

    January 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm
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