Just in time for Summer, all those toning sneakers have evolved into seasonal sandals. Essentially, they are slightly unstable flip-flops that force you to work a little bit harder with every step, even though fitness experts question if working harder actually means better. Earlier this month, I received three different brands of toning flip-flops and have been testing them all out as I go about my daily routine. Here is my unscientific impression on these three sandals.
- Skechers Tone-Ups
- Price: $49
- Claim: "Burn more calories, tones muscles, improve posture"
- Looks: Thick sole gives it the appearance of a regular flip-flop on steroids. The sequins were a bigger hit with my young daughters than with me.
- Feel: Cushioned flip-flop, comfy, and easy to walk in
- Verdict: I found the Tone-Ups to be quite comfortable, considerably more so than the regular flip-flops due to the thick sole. You can feel the roll bar action of the sole, which makes the shoe unstable, very slightly. The shoes were easy to walk and move in. I am not sure I felt them doing much extra work on my lower legs though.
See what I think of the other two brands when you
- Reebok EasyTone Flip-Flops
- Price: $60
- Claim: "Improves muscle tone in the hamstrings, calves and glutes up to 28 percent"
- Looks: Looks like a classed-up thong with leather straps.
- Feel: Like you're walking on something squishy. The lining of the foot bed feels rather luxurious.
- Verdict: By far the cutest sandal of the three and I could definitely feel the small muscles in my feet working when I wore these shoes (not my butt though). I felt like "the balance pods with moving air built into the shoe that provided natural instability with every step" encouraged my feet to over-pronate (roll inward). The squishy motion also bothered the fascia on the bottom of feet. They do give you a little bounce in your step though.
- Price: $40
- Claim: "Wear your Trim Treads for 30 minutes a day for toned legs, lifted buns, a stronger core, perfect posture, stronger balance, and burning calories."
- Looks: Its profile reminds me of the Starship Enterprise. Top strap is terry-cloth.
- Feel: I felt incredibly unstable in these shoes. The soles are quite slippery making walking on hard wood floors difficult.
- Verdict: I felt absolutely ludicrous wearing these sandals. My natural walking pattern felt severely disrupted, and going down stairs — forget about it. When bending over to pick up my daughters bedroom while wearing these unstable, platform flip-flops, I could feel my backside working trying to keep me from toppling forward. I do not recommend.
I should also state that I am not a huge fan of flip-flops in general — they are great for showering at the gym, but not so great at supporting your feet. If I were to wear a pair of these around, I would choose the Skechers Tone-Ups just because they felt kind to my feet but not really because of the toning action. I think if you want to work your backside, take 15 to 20 minutes out of your day three times a week to do lunges, step-ups, and donkey kicks. These exercises are free and effective and will definitely tone your backside.
Do you have a pair of toning sandals? What do you think about them?