One of the most important pieces of fitness gear for many people is the shoe. There are shoes for running, walking, climbing, and more. I have always been skeptical about the rocker-bottom type shoes and their fitness benefits. Walking is a part of my fitness routine so when I was asked to review the Skechers Shape-ups SFT shoes, I was excited to find out how they would work.
How They Work
What these shoes are designed to do is to change the way you walk by simulating training on soft sand. The idea being that the natural instability built into the shoe may help activate muscles resulting in stronger leg, buttock, back and ab muscles.
The Shape-ups footwear features a kinetic wedge insert and dynamic rolling bottom. These two features are made to simulate the training in soft sand effect. What makes up the shoes:
- Sockliner – Antibacterial treated helps prevents odors and wicks away moisture.
- A.S.I – Advanced Stabilization Insole may reduce fatigue by supporting and stabilizing the foot to prevent it from flexing before the proper point.
- Midsole – A two-part, firm-and-soft density midsole which creates a rocking effect.
- Roll Bridge™ – Increases side-to-side stability.
- Rubber Outsole – Maximizes traction while enhancing cushioning.
- Kinetic Wedge Technology – Gives each stride a gradual transition.
How to Use and How They Feel
When walking with the Skecher Shape-ups you first need to find your center of balance by placing your feet parallel and hip distance apart. You’ll need to stand up straight with your shoulders back. When I first stood in these shoes, they did feel awkward in the sense that I’m accustomed to the feel of running shoes when working out. I had to adjust to the feel of the rocker-bottom soles.
Each step should be focused with “heel, roll and toe push.” Again, I don’t normally focus walking that way in my shoes, so stepping with my heel, rolling, and pushing off with my toe was an adjustment. However, getting the hang of it took no time at all. The key is to stay looking ahead and maintaining good posture.
Overall, the shoes are comfortable and actually quite fun to walk in. They also don’t look bad at all. If you enjoy walking outdoors for exercise or even on a treadmill and need a good fitness shoe, these shoes may provide added benefit for improving posture and activating muscles.