There has been much talk from companies that manufacture "toning shoes" about how they will help you burn more calories during your normal activities. Many people have believed this to be true and have purchased such shoes. When they start to wear them, many have noticed they are getting pains in the Achilles tendon and back of the legs. Why is this?
These shoes can cause the center of gravity of your body to be towards the heel. This causes increased stress and stretch to the Achilles tendon causing pain from overuse during walking, running and activities. This is why many of my patients are coming into the office with leg and Achilles tendon pain after they started wearing these shoes. They are getting more stress to the Achilles tendon with each step causing injury.
Studies have not shown any increased calories being burned during activity with these shoes. What is happening is causing the person to use muscles at different times during the gait cycle due to the imbalance these shoes allow. That is why some people feel their muscles getting tighter.
These types of shoes may be beneficial for people with arthritis in the feet, who walk with a very slow gait because it will help them rock forward during ambulation.
A final word of warning! Be careful if using these shoes and be aware of any pains in the back of the legs and Achilles tendon. If you notice these symptoms, see your Podiatrist for care.
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