Toning shoes have proven to be extremely popular with women everywhere.
It's hardly surprising - the prospect of getting a lower body workout by doing nothing other than wearing a different pair of shoes as you go about your normal daily routine does have a certain appeal.
However, 2011 wasn't a great year for toning shoes. An Ohio waitress filed a law suit against Skechers, alleging that the use of their Shape Ups toning shoes had caused her to suffer two fractures. It led to a good deal of bad publicity for Skechers - and for toning shoes in general.
It would be wrong to suggest that the toning shoe bubble had burst - but prospective buyers certainly had something to think about.
The prospect of a free lower body workout was as appealing as ever - but was there a genuine risk of injury associated with wearing toning shoes?
If you're thinking of treating yourself to a pair of toning shoes, or maybe if you already own one or more pairs, it would be only natural to harbor some doubts as to the safety of your toning footwear. However, there are, if you'll pardon the pun, some simple steps that you can take to ensure that you derive the maximum benefit at minimum risk from your toning shoes.
Follow The Directions
If you already own these types of shoes, use them in strict accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. If, for example, your toning shoes are designed only for walking, don't wear them when you're jogging or running.
Toning shoes work by generating a small amount of imbalance when you walk in them. Don't wear them during sporting activities that involve rapid changes in pace or direction. Further, if you have any pre-existing conditions that make it difficult for you to maintain your balance, toning shoes may not be a good choice for you.
If you're still looking for your first pair of toning shoes, then the best option for you is to choose a pair which have been awarded a "seal of acceptance" by the American Podiatric Medcal Association (APMA). The APMA seal of acceptance indicates that footwear is "foot friendly" and that it allows for normal foot function whilst promoting quality foot health.
Note that receipt of the APMA seal of acceptance shouldn't be taken as an endorsement of the claimed toning benefits. However, you can wear your toning footwear with complete confidence if it is APMA approved - which is certainly comforting to know.