Toning Down the Hype on Toning Shoes

You’ve probably heard about toning shoes – the shoes with a distinct curved sole that are meant to help build leg muscles and increase calorie burn. Like thousands of people in the Bay Area, you may even own a pair. I’ve had a few patients recently asking about whether these shoes can help them avoid a body contouring procedure in Walnut Creek such as abdominoplasty, liposuction or a body lift. While I always support a person’s effort to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle, I doubt that these shoes will contribute much to a person’s overall level of fitness.

Fancy Footwork

Toning shoes supposedly increase calorie burn and muscle toning by keeping people a little off-balance with their “rocker-bottom” soles. While this makes some sense in theory, potential drawbacks of the rocker-bottom shoes include higher risk of falling for people with balance problems (potentially causing fractures), as well as back and knee pain. The shoes change your stride; it’s what they’re intended to do, but those changes could have unpleasant results.

Ultimately, even if the shoes are safe and they help you exercise more and lose weight, a body contouring procedure may still be needed to create your ideal look. Pockets of unwanted fat may still remain, and if you lose a significant amount of fat, you may need to reduce excess skin as well. For that kind of improvement, surgery really is the only option.

If the Shoe Fits

If you really want to look and feel your best, exercise more and watch your diet carefully. If you get a pair of toning shoes and they help you raise your level of fitness, stick with them. And, when you’re sure that you’ve tried every possible solution, but you’re still not happy with the way you look, it might be time to revisit your surgical options.

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