Skechers Shape-Ups are Sketcher-brand’s version of negative heel and rocker bottom shoes that can strengthen your lower half, firm your abs, improve your posture, and burn extra calories just by wearing them around. Essentially the concept is to put you off balance, accomplishing this by designing the heel slightly lower than normal shoes while the bottom of the shoe is curved. This keeps your muscles constantly contracted to keep you balanced and centered.
The Shape-Ups feel very cushiony, and Skechers offers many colors and styles in this new line. These shoes will indeed give your legs a workout that goes beyond mere walking—if, that is, you can get over their looks. But a key benefit for these type of shoes, much like their competitior MBT, is that you can gain some strength-training-like exercise while doing normal day-to-day activities. You might surmise that they’re heavy. Not really. They might feel bulky, but they don’t weigh much more than traditional-soled shoes. I’d have to say that the calf was the muscle group most exerted when I tested these. I didn’t feel much from my abs. In any case, they are a viable contendor to the MBTs for about half the price. (www.sketchers.com, $110-$135)