Men's Life Today: Expert Q+A
I've been seeing ads for shoes that will help me build muscle just by walking in them. Sounds too good to be true. Is it?
By Todd Alexander For Men's Life Today
In a word, yes. You probably won’t do any harm to your body by walking in them, but you probably won’t do that much good either. I have a client who wore them for six months before she came to me. She saw no difference in her butt. Once she started working out her hamstrings and doing squats, abductions and kickbacks, all of that changed.
Which is to say: When it comes to getting in shape, nothing really replaces a proper diet and exercise. In my many years as a personal trainer, I’ve seen gimmicks galore -- BOSU balls with handles, Ab Masters, you name it. The benefits are not even close to what you get from hitting the gym.
When it comes to workout shoes, the best ones are not platforms, but act as a very light shock absorber -- that’s all. Your body needs to register the surface it is on, whether dirt, pavement or grass; it will automatically adapt. And a word to the wise: You definitely don’t want to wear these platform-style shoes for running. You’ll be asking for an injury.
If you’ve already got a pair just for walking around town and feel like they’re doing something for you, go for it. It’s certainly not going to be detrimental. I think there’s also a psychosomatic component here. But there has been no real solid evidence that they do work -- at least not from any resources that I respect.