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Do 'fitness' sneakers shape up?

You've likely seen the ads for sneakers that promise to tone all those hard to reach areas, improve posture, and help you burn calories.

But can a shoe really do that?

A new study from the American Council on Exercise claims "fitness" sneakers don't help people exercise harder, burn more calories, or improve muscle strength and tone.

Researchers had nineteen women, aged 19 to 24, walk for five minutes on a treadmill while wearing one of three popular fitness sneakers.

Researchers compared those women to a second group of women who performed a similar exercise.

Both groups were measured for muscle activity in six areas: calves, quads, hamstrings, buttocks, back and abs.

The researchers found no significant difference in calories burned or muscle usage in the group wearing toning shoes.

The researchers also tested claims that the shoes cause muscle soreness.

They suggest that's because the shoes have an unstable sole design, causing wearers to use different muscles to maintain balance than they would with traditional sneakers.

That soreness goes away as your body adjusts to the shoe.

The bottom line from experts is exercising in traditional athletic shoes is your best bet.


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