Move Over Wonderbra, Now We Have Shoes to Shape Our Legs
Do shoes that promise to shape you up really do the trick? Are these claims evidence-based?
Hey, inquiring minds want to know, especially when one is attached to a pair of legs happy for any help they can get! The lure of shoes capable of firming calf muscles, minimizing the derriere, tightening the tummy, strengthening the back, exciting circulation, improving posture and even burning calories was too much for me to ignore. Where do I sign up?
Getting My Hands, and Feet, on a Pair
When my all-black pair of Skechers Shape-Ups arrived by mail, I half expected them to jump out of the box on their own, make dinner, then tidy up the kitchen before finding their way to my bedroom closet.
It so happens I purchased the all-black style, with a hint of sparkles along the edges, because I am usually in an office situation - one in which the wearing of running shoes is frowned upon. So these black numbers hide discreetly beneath my ubiquitous black slacks. And hey, if anyone does mention the fact that they resemble athletic wear, perhaps I can claim they are indeed as essential to my health as an in-your-dreams all-inclusive HMO. Ah, but I digress...
They're in Demand
I bought these advertised gam-enhancers on the Web at the only online service which carried my very average shoe size. They were sold out everywhere else I looked - at the mall, at stand-alone shoe stores and at other Internet shoe warehouses. This, I assumed, was a good sign. These things evidently have the enthusiasm of John Q. Public and his missus, Jane Doe (she's modern, kept her maiden name). But more interesting to me was the fact that online literature suggests that the patent-pending shoes have been studied and researched and that their claims have been born out in actual clinical trials. Wow! That's a shoe with a pedigree.
Now lest you think you can simply tie these babies on and start moving: Listen up. The shoes arrive with an instructional CD (I kid you not) and printed instructions on how to walk in them! Oh, and there are pictures to show potential wearers how to warm up before they start walking in them. Rock this way, then that way... In addition there is a warning to start small and build up to wearing them for longer periods of time!
What had I gotten myself into? Would I be able to handle these new-age leg reshapers? I have never considered myself much of an athlete, but to my great surprise I found that I mastered the technique quickly: Put one foot down, pick other foot up, repeat.... Hmmm.... I may not exhibit perfect form, but I find I can wear these slightly cumbersome, inanimate fitness coaches from morning to night in complete comfort.
Do They Deliver?
Now the litmus test: Will they beautify my legs? REALLY? Other inquiring minds seem to want to known as well, because I've been asked the question multiple times by others noticing their "unique," if not somewhat bulky, rounded shape. I have even been stopped on the street by strangers who undoubtedly noticed I had cleverly mastered the art of walking without falling on my head. "Do they work?" they ask.
Well, the answer is.... It's too early to tell. But I did take my measurements before the first wearing, and I will take them again in a month or two. (Now if you think I am actually going to publish my measurements right here, you better strap one of these shoes onto your head and hope it works on your brain, too!) But I promise I will report back on whether I've seen the promised improvements.
And I can tell you one thing, right now, for sure: When walking in these things I do feel a certain tensing and engagement of muscles found in that general region where my body meets my chair. And I do feel a little smug superiority in knowing I have found a way to "work out" when I am walking to the vending machines.
Imagine! Shoes that shape you up! What will they think of next? How about gloves that can clean out a toilet bowl or a hat that can file income taxes? It could happen.