Fitness Products & Trends,  Self-Help

Toning Shoes Should Tone Down Their Claims

Over the last few years a new trend of tennis shoes, claiming to tone the legs and glutes, have popped up in every shoe store. Although I believe they have their place, the shoes are misused and misunderstood.

Although each brand of toning shoe may be shaped differently, their message is similar and, in my opinion, their claims are extreme. Do they have their place? I believe so, but people need to know how to use them properly.

Toning shoes are not for every activity. The idea behind toning shoes is they are much more unstable, forcing you to use your leg muscles to stabilize your body. The action is not extreme, but can strengthen stabilization muscles in the legs and improve balance over time.

Will this type of strengthening reshape your legs? Not in my opinion.
Wearing the shoes may slightly increase muscle tone, but I doubt the changes will be visible to the eye or help you lose weight without diet and traditional exercise.

The problem I see is people are relying on the shoes to magically tone their body or they are using the shoes for the wrong types of exercises.

When it comes to relying on the shoe to tone your legs, you really can’t compare a toning shoe with traditional gym equipment and leg exercises. If you planned on trading leg machines for toning shoes you will be very disappointed. It’s just not a fair comparison at all.

If you plan on wearing toning shoes to your favorite aerobics class you may actually risk injury.
Since the shoes are made to be unstable, the chance of spraining your ankle or falling is much greater. Aerobics classes, and conditioning exercises that include agility drills and plyometrics, require shoes that offer more stability and support like a cross trainer shoe.

On a positive note, the trendy toning shoe may have inspired more people to increase their activity.
The shoes have increased physical awareness and given some people the mental boost they needed to become more active. No matter what the shoes claim, if the shoes spark activity then they’ve made a positive impact.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” 
There will always be a new fitness trend or fad. The key is to have realistic expectations. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are plenty of fantastic products on the market, but know how to use them to enhance your workouts, not replace them. Remember, there is no great result that comes from little effort. Exercise and diet takes work and minor changes can’t bring major results.

Steve Pfiester shows 3 simple leg and glut toning exercises that WILL work – no matter what shoes you wear!


Owner of Lift Vero and motivational "pfitness, pfood and pfaith" blogger in Vero Beach, Florida.


  • Tara Burner

    yea I was pretty peeved at myself nonetheless, should’ve known better but yet went ahead and did the review anyhow… I’m doing a review for Brooks Running shoes and LOVE them!!!!

  • Alex Cartwright

    I have a pair of these that I wear around my office…figure it gives me a little extra boost to a useless bit of walking around. I don’t really figure it does a lot, but I like them and I figure it doesn’t hurt.

  • Tara Burner

    I had posted on my blog a few months ago about the Reebok ones because I was doing a review of the ones specifically for running and ended up totally whacking out my ankle to the point I had to wrap it, use artic ease and no running for weeks….
    and yep sadly a lot of people think if they just walk in these types of shoes they’ll suddenly miraculously have a firm butt and toned legs! LOL
    they dont understand they need to eat clean and exercise

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