Kim Kardashian doesn’t shy away from advertising her butt. Last year she was highlighted on a Super Bowl commercial for Sketcher’s Shape Up Shoes. These shoes, among a number of other brands including Dockers Active Balance, New Balance True Balance, and Reebok EasyTone claim they can help tone your legs and bottom, improve posture, and reduce joint stress.
The basis for these claims is that an unstable shoe, made unstable with wobbling balls on the sole, odd shaped soles or extra squishy material, force you to use more leg muscles to maintain posture and control. This may be true. New studies coupled with old studies demonstrate greater muscle activations with these shoes compared to traditional motion control athletic shoes. But its only a glimmer of hope because these studies had small sample sizes and studies that looked at long term use found no significant benefits. Most studies examining these shoes have had very ambiguous results. Not only do these shoes lack big results, but they also carry the risk of injury. Achilles tendonitis and even ankle sprains have been reported.
New research on shoes is expanding our knowledge on how shoes can influence our athletic performance but weather we can actually tone our butt without doing squats is still not proven. As easy as Kim Kardashian makes it look, it takes more than a new pair of shoes to be toned from the waist down.