Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Sandals Developed For Toning While You Walk

Trendy FitFlops, which have already been given the “thumbs up” by Oprah Winfrey – are promoted to tone your butt and legs as you handle your daily activities. Developed by a personal trainer with input from a biomechanical engineer, FitFlops have a thick midsole, which encourages wearers to use feet and leg muscles more efficiently while walking. Research conducted by the manufacturer has shown that this thick midsole works the gluteals, hamstrings, thighs, and calf muscles more.

One thing is clear: FitFlops, which come in a host of colors and are available at many retailers such as Macy’s and Lady Footlocker, are flying off store shelves.
FitFlops give people an opportunity to add exercise to your already hectic schedule. The testimonials provided by the company based in London also include relief from back pain, heel spurs/pain and arthritis. They are not cheap though, ranging from $35-$50 per pair.

While FitFlops have certainly attracted consumers, are they worth the exorbitant price? They have a thick shock absorbing heel that tends to prevent overpronating, which in theory is a good thing. In people who overpronate, the foot continues to roll in when it should be pushing off, twisting the foot, shin, and knee -- and causing pain. However, FitFlops are a temporary solution and what will happen when you take them off? I prefer to train someone who is overpronating how to position their foot correctly while walking or recommend orthotics which are molded by an expert who has a degree.

The bottom line is FitFlops are a comfortable shoe to stand or walk in, so go ahead and use them. If you feel that when you stand in the shoe, the glutes and calf muscles are firing more, wear the shoe but don't overuse them.

Although, FitFlops have there place in certain people’s shoe collections, they are not intended for everybody. For example, the person with flat feet may experience an increase in calf pain as the sandal will push up on their arch. To determine if you can tolerate the sandal, I recommend wearing them at home for a couple hours each day prior to making your final decision whether to keep them.

In my opinion there are no magic bullets. You will tone if you walk and don’t just stand around. If I were to recommend FitFlops, they will only show positive results when combined with a healthy diet and a more active life style.