Should you Buy Shape Up Toning Shoes?

pros an cons of shape up shoes

Shape-up (or toning) shoes are a fitness trend that theoretically benefits your muscles, burns calories, and tones your legs and glutes.

Today we’ll take a look at shape up shoes. We’ll tell you all you need to know about them, from their purpose to the controversy that led to their downfall. 

What Are Shape Up Shoes?

tonning or shape up shoes

Shape up toning shoes are shoes designed to challenge your balance while you walk.

Making it more challenging to walk helps you tone your calves, hamstrings, core, and glutes. 

They are one of the newest trends in the fitness world, and you can find them in different styles depending on the brand. 

These new shoes have a built-up sole that will bring your gravity center forward, making you use your muscles to keep you balanced. If compared with regular sneakers, you’ll notice the difference. You will burn more calories while using shape-up shoes.

Shape up shoes are a perfect option for you if you love walking or you already walk a lot. You can use them to work from home to work, school, or even to the gym. They will make the time used for walking a lot more beneficial. 

The rocker sole of the shape up shoes will make walking a lot more comfortable too, and it’s a well-appreciated feature by walking enthusiasts. This shape up shoe model offers much more comfort than regular sneakers or even some orthopedic shoes. 

If you plan to get some, you should keep in mind that these shoes are only for walking. Do not attempt to perform any other type of activity with them. Shape up shoes are not suitable for trekking, hiking, running, or gym use. 

Benefits of Shape Up Shoes

Shape up shoe manufacturers claim their shoes offer many different benefits, and we’ll list them for you: 

  • They will improve your posture. 
  • Shape up shoes will help you increase your walking endurance. 
  • They can also help you burn more calories thanks to the extra energy you’ll be using while walking.
  • Shape up shoes will help you shape up your body. By using more effort while walking, they will tone your lower body and will increase its strength. 
  • The shoes can also strengthen your core. Therefore, they help you achieve those incredible abs you want. 

These shoes offer a lot of benefits. However, not everything is perfect with shape up shoes. There are downsides to using them, and they are even considered dangerous by some experts.  

Do Shape Up Shoes Work?

benefits of tonning shoes

There is great controversy about this particular question.

Many orthopedic experts believe that shape up shoes or toning shoes do not work and can be dangerous in some circumstances. 

However, the information about it is split between those that claim it works and those that say it doesn’t. 

The Positive Side of Shape Up Shoes

People tend to focus on how comfortable the shoes are. The boots also add a couple of inches to your height, thanks to their design. 

Overall, although the shoes promise many benefits, the only one we can truly rely on is their comfort. They can help you with your fitness goals, but only if you use them regularly and exclusively for walking. 

The Negative Side of Shape Up Shoes

When it comes to negative aspects of toning shoes, there are plenty to pick from. The shoes are known to be dangerous for running, trekking, and gym use. Even strolling presents complications when using shoes. 

Here’s a list of all the disadvantages of using toning shoes (also called shape up shoes):

  • They are dangerous for anything that is not walking.
  • If not continuously used for walking, they won’t give you many benefits. 
  • When using them, you’ll be walking weirdly. This is not something people care about that much, but it can be a disadvantage if you don’t like calling attention to yourself.  
  • Even when walking, you can still fall while using them. 
  • There’s no scientific evidence proving that the shoes work. 

Research shows that there’s not much difference in calories burned between regular shoes and toning shoes. However, it doesn’t mean they won’t work for you. It only means that, scientifically speaking, there’s no evidence to back their benefits.

Note: Shape up shoes shouldn’t be used if you suffer from chronic back pain, ankle pain, or any sort of imbalance disorder. It can be extremely harmful if you wear them, and you have any of these health issues. 

Are Shape Up Shoes Dangerous?

wearing shape up shoes

Many experts believe that wearing shape up shoes can be dangerous in certain situations.

This is especially true for those with pre-existing conditions that can make them more vulnerable to the shoes’ effects. 

Experts believe that the overuse of the shoes can lead to feet, hip, and back pain. They also claim that many manufacturers use misleading marketing to make users believe that their shoes will work correctly for them. As of today, there are many lawsuits filed against shape up shoe manufacturers. 

People claim that using toning shoes led to broken bones, neck and back injuries, joint dislocations, and other health issues. That’s only for short-term use. There are other complications found in the long-term use of the shoes. 

Some of the long-term health problems presented for wearing toning shoes regularly are: 

  • Broken bones
  • Straighten ligaments
  • Pulled muscles
  • Chronic pain
  • Neuromuscular problems

Should You Wear Shape Up Shoes at Home?

It all depends on what you’ll be doing while wearing them.

The shoes are meant for walking, so if you’ll be walking around the house, then that’s okay. Try not to overuse them when walking at home because it can lead to health problems. 

If you are looking to wear these shoes while performing cleaning or cooking activities, we do not recommend this. These shoes are meant to make you walk off balance, and it can be hazardous when cooking or cleaning. 

The shoes can make you fall, and you can get injured or cause an accident if you wear them while cooking. 

Shape Up Shoes Today

Skechers was one of the first manufacturers to offer a shape up shoe or toning shoe.

They started the trend, so it was expected that they would be the ones to end it. They introduced the shape up shoes in 2009, and in 2010 sales peaked for the model. 

In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission fined Skechers 40 million USD for their misleading and false advertisements. Following the lawsuits and the FTC fine, Skechers discontinued the shape up shoes. 

Today, you won’t find any shape up shoes from the most prominent manufacturers like Nike, Skechers, or MBT. Nor will you find shoes under the tag shape up shoes or toning shoes in official online stores. 

Alternatives to Shape Up Shoes

activities with tonning shoes

There’s no magical way to get fit. It requires effort, sweat, and consistency.

However, if you are not into doing squats or running, there are other options to improve your core’s strength and tone your muscles. 

Trekking and Hiking

If you enjoy nature and walking, this is the best option. Hiking involves walking for hours around outside, while trekking consists of doing the same action over days. 

After a couple of weeks of trekking or hiking, you’ll notice the difference in your abs and legs. 

This exercise type will also help you breathe and do wonders for people suffering from depression and stress.  

Alternatives to Squatting

We know that squatting can be challenging and sometimes tedious, but it’s not the only way to get toned glutes and legs.

You can make lunges with small weights at home. Three or five minutes a day will give you those perfect legs you desire in a month or less, depending on your diet. 

Another excellent alternative is to perform superman sets. This exercise consists of lying face-down on the floor. Then, all you have to do is straighten your arms and legs on the floor. Proceed to raise them while you keep your neck neutral. 

One more popular option that does not require any equipment or too much effort is an exercise called the bridge. 

All you need to do is lay over a yoga mat with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Then, all you have to do is raise your buttocks and back off the ground as you inhale. Place them back on the ground as you exhale. 


Shape up shoes can work if you use them only for walking. But suppose you try to use toning shoes for running, exercises, or other activities.

In that case, you’ll run the risk of falling and suffering an injury or worse. You will also have a hard time finding a reliable manufacturer. 

Toning shoes were discontinued by most of the significant global shoe manufacturers. The reason was that they used misleading and false advertisements to let users believe the shoes were going to work. 

If you want toned legs, glutes, and an overall fit body, we recommend doing some exercises at home. There are excellent alternatives to squatting that you can do for a couple of minutes a day and get speedy results. 

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