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Do toning shoes really work?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/toning-shoes/AN02122
- With Mayo Clinic physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.read biographyclose window
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
Dr. Edward Laskowski is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, including subspecialty certification in sports medicine, and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and a professor at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
He has been on the staff of Mayo Clinic since 1990 and specializes in sports medicine, fitness, strength training and stability training. He works with a multidisciplinary team of physical medicine, rehabilitation and orthopedic specialists, physical therapists, and sports psychologists.
Dr. Laskowski is an elite-level skier and an avid hiker, cyclist and climber. He approaches sports medicine from the perspective of a physician and an athlete.
In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Laskowski to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and he has received a Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Health and Human Services for his contribution to the Council.
Dr. Laskowski was a member of the medical staff of the Olympic Polyclinic at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and has provided medical coverage for the Chicago Marathon. He serves as a consulting physician to the National Hockey League Players' Association and is a featured lecturer at the American College of Sports Medicine's Team Physician Course.
Dr. Laskowski, a Cary, Ill., native, has contributed to Mayo Clinic's CD-ROM on sports, health and fitness, a website guide to self-care, and hundreds of Mayo Clinic articles and booklets in print and online. He is a contributing editor to the "Mayo Clinic Fitness for EveryBody" book, and he has presented lectures throughout the world on health, fitness and sports medicine topics. His teaching expertise has been recognized by his election to the Teacher of the Year Hall of Fame at Mayo Clinic.
"There are many myths and misconceptions about exercise and fitness in general, and also many traditions that don't stand up to scientific scrutiny," he says. "My goal is to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on sports medicine and fitness topics in a way that you can practically incorporate into your life."
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Do toning shoes really work?
I've seen ads for several brands of toning shoes. Can these shoes make my legs more toned?
from Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
Despite the claims, there is no credible evidence that wearing toning shoes will make your legs more toned or cause you to burn extra calories. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission took action against one manufacturer for making deceptive claims about the benefits of toning shoes.
Toning shoes are designed to simulate walking barefoot or walking on an uneven surface.Manufacturers say the unstable design of the shoes forces wearers to use their leg muscles more — which burns more calories and tones the muscles.
However, researchers have found no evidence that wearing toning shoes leads to improved muscle tone or greater energy expenditure. In addition, there are no studies that prove that the shoes improve balance or stability to a great degree.
In addition, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has received numerous complaints about foot, leg and hip pain associated with these shoes. Thus, toning shoes aren't a good fit for anyone who has problems with their feet or legs or has balance issues.Next question
Body fat analyzers: How accurate are they?
- Horsak B, et al. Effects of toning shoes on lower extremity gait biomechanics. Clinical Biomechanics. In press. Accessed May 1, 2013.
- Landry SC, et al. Standing in an unstable shoe increases postural sway and muscle activity of selected smaller extrinsic foot muscles. Gait Posture. 2010;32:215.
- Skechers will pay $40 million to settle FTC charges that it deceived consumers with ads for toning shoes. Federal Trade Commission. http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/05/consumerrefund.shtm. Accessed May 1, 2013.
- Are toning shoes unsafe? Reports of injuries raise concern. Consumer Reports. http://news.consumerreports.org/safety/2011/05/are-toning-shoes-unsafe-reports-of-injuries-raise-concern.html. Accessed May 1, 2013.
- Consumer Product Safety: New product complaint database. Consumer Product Safety Commission. http://www.saferproducts.gov. Accessed May 1, 2013.