Tone-up or Tune-out?

If you are like many people, you heard Kim Kardashian and Joe Montana talking about how easy it was to get in shape with Sketchers Tone-Ups.  Just lace these shoes on and walk your way to a better body.  It was that simple.  These magical shoes, with their rocker bottoms, were a fashion hit to help people get in shape faster and with less effort than the traditional workouts.

From the beginning, Podiatrists had their doubts.  Podiatrists knew that the rocking motion that had Sketchers claiming that these shoes could work more muscles than traditional shoes actually caused more harm than good.  The design of the Tone-Up shoes has a rocking sole that causes the foot to be in an unstable position.  This instability has all of the muscles working harder to keep a person balanced.  This focus on balance is what Sketchers used to claim that their shoes provided more of a workout.  However, these shoes caused people to be so unstable that more and more people suffered ankle and foot injuries.

After years of what Podiatrists have been warning, Sketchers is finally being held accountable.  Sketchers settled a lawsuit for $40 million dollars with the Federal Trade Commission in May 2012.  Consumers who purchased Sketchers Shape-Up shoes or its Resistance Runners, Tone-ups or Toners are entitled to a refund for claims of false advertising.  Sketchers USA Inc. President Michael Greenburg defends the company against any wrongdoing saying that the company agreed to settle the lawsuit to prevent any additional legal fees and not to admit guilt.

If you go to the Sketchers website, the shoes are still for sale, although, boasting a little less benefit than originally claiming.

“Foot instability is the root cause of a lot of the conditions we treat here at Kansas City Foot and Ankle.” Dr. Mark Green said, “Sketchers Tone-ups and other shoes like them on the market actually promote foot and ankle instability.  The risk for injury is too high and can sideline people for an extended period of time which is exactly what people do not want to happen as they try to get fit.”

Pain and discomfort associated with foot instability can often be alleviated by fitting patients with custom-made orthotics that are molded to the patient’s foot in our office.  Dr. Green manipulates the foot into the correct, most stable position and a mold of the patient’s foot is taken in that position.  The orthotics can be slipped into almost any shoe.  The orthotics, along with a variety of other treatments like cryoanalgesia, alleviates the pain and discomfort of many painful foot and ankle conditions.  The goal at Kansas City Foot and Ankle is to keep the foot in the most stable position so that our patients can exercise to their fullest potential.

Take it from an expert, skip the Tone-ups and tone up the traditional way with a good pair of running or walking shoes, some custom made orthotics and then hit the walking trails.  Your feet will thank you!