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MBT's, Shape Ups & Easytone: The truth?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Griff, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. Griff

    Griff Moderator

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    The American Council of Exercise has published its results on an independent study of ‘toning shoes’ (MBT’s, Sketchers Shape Ups and Reebok Easytone) and their comparison with running shoes.

    The results/conclusions?

  2. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member

    Had a lady in yesterday who had bought some Earth shoes, she proceeded to tell me how they improves circulation, posture and back pain and keep her fit by increasing her exercise while working. They are absolutely wonderful she exclaimed.:bang::bang::confused::deadhorse::craig: The only notable thing about the design technology these shoes was the advertising lies.. Seems that advertisers, whatever the product, can say or imply anything they like nowadays without the slightest hint of proof or fear of inquiry or prosecution. And what's more sad is that people are willing to allow themselves to be gullible and suspend their common sense and disbelief so they can buy into fantasy that lets them shed their responsibility to themselves.

    Having said that my Sketchers Tone ups really did improve my looks, made me wealthy beyond my dreams and cured my fear of those spiders with long spindly legs that just make you shiver ooooh! plus I now have a huge male Chicken, which incidentally I had to choke to death this morning before coming to work. I've attached a picture below. Before sketchers it was just the normal size Amazing!!


    Regards Dave
  3. Conradm

    Conradm Member

    They call their shoes "Physiological Footwear"

    I had to try them and gotta admit that after a full day standing and walking on a concrete floor my knees felt better then with work boots.

    But the more I wear them the more it seems a lot of the changes they make to posture and gait are because you have - attached to your feet - a constant reminder to improve your posture etc...and maybe a string around my finger or putting my work boots on the wrong feet would also work?

    I now call them my Psychological Footwear
  4. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  5. Not wishing to appear Anal, but quite willing to if I must....

    Running Shoes Skechers MBT EasyTone
    V• O2 (ml/kg/min) 14.3±1.17 4.1±1.07 14.1±.95 14.3±1.18

    Either this is a misprint or sketchers cause an almost miraculous drop in oxygen demand!! Yes, we read the raw data.

    That, however, is a LEGEND of a study! Love it. Can't wait to share.
  6. Griff

    Griff Moderator

  7. I read the post match report. Classic!:D

    I'm afraid I just don't "get" twitter. The concept eludes me.

    I think he should sue, if only to print the retraction on the 2nd ed of his book!

    "ben goldacre does not tell lies", Gillian McKeith.
  8. CPedTechie

    CPedTechie Member

    Thanks for this. I just wrote an article about these shoes for the PAC Pedorthic Quarterly. I remained as unbiased as possible. It's good to see some more conclusive evidence other than the studies funded by the manufacturers themselves.

    I've been a skeptic of the claims since an orthopedic shoe store I worked at started selling MBT's a few years ago. At that time, the brand was new to Canada and the reps did their best to answer all of our questions. The bulk of our customers and patients wore orthotics, but we could not recommend combining the shoes with their CFO's. The instability of the platform rocker with what resembles a soft SACH heel design created all sorts of uncontrollable dynamics. We were trying to help people with existing lower extremity issues, while the marketing by the company seemed to be aimed more at the female fitness market. Celebrities wore them, and people were sold on the anti-cellulite claims, and the idea that the footwear could develop their core with minimal effort. (read:tighter butt and less cottage cheese thighs) MBT have more recently addressed the clunky aesthetic problems with their footwear by developing a less firm, lower profile version, which brings up even more questions regarding the initial therapeutic claims.

    Sketchers Shapeups are a cheap knockoff of the MBT's. The Reebok Easytones appear to just be using the existing pods from their DMX technology and simply filling them with more air, to make the sole more unstable in the FF and heel. I'd love to see the numbers on the amount of overuse injuries related to these types of shoes. (Some may joke that this is good for business in the long run; sell the shoes that cause the injury and then charge to fix the damage afterwards!)

    On a side note, I always wondered how the rigid rockers on an MBT could simulate walking barefoot in sand? Maybe some more experienced clinicians on here can offer some insight on this theory. It makes no sense to me.

    How would the Massai tribes make out if they were offered the opportunity to wear MBT's for a week? I would imagine the MSRP on a pair would feed an entire village for a month.

    It's nice to know that my initial doubts have been backed by more scientific studies. They always seemed gimmicky to me.
  9. coupdevill

    coupdevill Member

    Just returned from the Outdoor Retailer Show (OR) in SLC, Utah. For those of you that are not familiar OR it is the number one show in the US for retailers/stockists in the outdoor channel and now a very strong showing from companies that are running focused i.e. Brooks, Innov-8, Avia, Saucony, New Balance etc.

    The overwhelming trend in minimalist footwear is only matched by the counter trend of rocker sole designs.

    Another trend, Applied Kinetics demonstrations used to "dupe" I mean pitch all the wonderful health benefits of hologram jewelry, footwear and the such.

    It's exciting times in the footwear business, minimalist footwear is going to have a huge impact on the active life style retailer over the coming years, let me say it again huge impact!


  10. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    The hologram band- why, when this is doing demonstrated, do people not ask where the study to support the claims is???? It would be incredibly simple thing to do a double blind study on these 'demonstrations'... Therefore, if they cannot organise this, then how can they be taken seriously?
  11. davidl

    davidl Member

  12. Can't remember where I heard it (think it was somewhere here) but I think the inspiration for the MBT was actually a peasant culture in paddy fields. But "Peasants" sound like a bunch of unhealthy primatives whereas "massai tribesmen" sound like a bunch of lean, firm buttocked outdoors types.

    Got to laugh!
  13. footsiegirl

    footsiegirl Active Member

    The only people I have witnessed wearing MBTs are rather large ladies, who, seduced by the advertising, think that by wearing them round the house and garden is somehow the equivilent to a good brisk walk or a work out...
  14. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    I'm also glad to see some decent research about this as I am pretty sick of being told that MBTs and the like are the cure to all ills (genital warts, scurvy etc)

    However, I must confess to having worn some to take the dog on the usual circuit on a couple of occasions and anecdotally have to say that it did seem like it was a bit harder work. It did not however, give me a 6 pack due to increased core activity so I instantly dismissed them. In saying that, many people anecdotally report the same - why should this be?

  15. Paulo Silva

    Paulo Silva Active Member

    New shoes from Sckecter's Now for running

    Don't know where to start; do they believe their claims?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  16. could be the same reason so many people spend ££££s on little bottles of homeopathic water which they swear have cleared up their boils?
  17. footsiegirl

    footsiegirl Active Member

    aaah.....that'll be stupidity then!:dizzy:
  18. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    I thought I was inured to such marketing with my Jedi like mind

    Obi Wan
  19. Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  20. Full text for anyone who wants to read.

  21. "Be mindful of the living Force, young Padawan. "

    What you know is what you know. But the marketing is not aimed at your logical brain but at your subconcious.

    Qui gon jinn;)
  22. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    I sensed that you were going to say that - there was a disturbance in the force( x distance)

    Obi Wan
  23. LOL!!
  24. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    And here is MBT's effort at a retort: http://www.sports-insight.co.uk/index.php/content/news/independent_research_shown_the_benefits_of_our_footwear/%E2%80%8F
  25. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    Just had a read of the MBT link

    "MBT says its pioneered 36 separate scientific studies into the benefits of physiological footwear."

    Then go onto quote figures from 2 of them.

    Why would you do 36, too much money in the bank account or is it because 34 did not give the finding that they wanted:confused:
  26. Pioneered = paid for = conflict of interst , well thats the way I see it
  27. Reading Between the Lines 101:

    What does this really mean?

    I think that this Reading Between the Lines idea deserves its own thread with the translations that we think best fit the sales pitch from the advertiser or doctor, don't you?

    Thanks Michael......great idea!!
  28. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    And here in lay the potential problem with companies such as MBT financing their own research - performing studies to 'prove' what they want or don't want them to. Research Methods 101; you don't go into a study with that bias. You ask a research question and then design the study to best answer that question.
  29. [

    I agree - Done Reading research papers - reading between the lines 101
  30. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    I just came across this entry on the 'barefoot professors' blog.

    Ignoring the slight (and unsurprising) bias with which he has written it begs the question: are Shape Ups (or any rocker sole shoe for that matter) capable of causing bilateral femoral stress fractures? If so by what mechanism?

    My understanding of the literature was that rocker profiles tend to have minimal effects on the kinematics and kinetics of the more proximal joints in the lower limb (i.e. the hip).
  31. One injury I have seen at least twice now from the Shape-Up rocker sole shoes is anterior tibial insertional tendinitis. Normally anterior tibial insertional tendinitis is an unusual injury, seen infrequently in my practice. However, I have now seen more of that injury in the last two years than I had in the ten years before and I suspect it may be due to the use of these shoes. Anytime I see these injuries now I'm asking about the use of rocker-unstable shoes.
  32. Ian Drakard

    Ian Drakard Active Member

    These papers may be worth a look at- not seen them but pulled the references from the 2009 Hutchins et al review from The Foot (thanks again Ian)

    Harris GF, Klein JP, Janisse D, Brown D, Shu Y,Wertsch J. Effect of rocker soles on
    lower extremity dynamicEMGpatterns. Gait Posture 2000;11:157–8

    Nigg B, Hintzen S, Ferber R. Effect of an unstable shoe construction on lower
    extremity gait characteristics. Clin Biomech 2006;21(1):82–8.

    Romkes J, Rudmann C, Brunner R. Changes in gait and EMG when walking with
    the Masai Barefoot Technique. Clin Biomech 2006;21(1):75–81.

    That review indicated that the Nigg and the Romkes studies showed increasd Tib Ant activity which would explain that that. Myers et al 2006 found decreased hip flexion throught gait with a negative heel rocker sole, but it's a big jump from that to femoral stress #
  33. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    This from the New York Times in the last few days:

  34. Perthpod

    Perthpod Active Member

    I'm getting a bit worried about these shoes being sold to older folk. I've had a couple of people over 80 come in that do not have great balance. The shoes they've brought in...I didn't take note of the brand were missing the posterior heel, and instead had about a 20 deg convexity at the heel! Great for when you become unbalanced and want to fall straight back...although this wasn't hard to explain to them, telling them that they'd parted with their cash unecessarily was. I might have to put up a warning poster ;o Do other pods agree or disagree?

    FOOTDUDE Welcome New Poster

    God made our foot to "bend" not "rock" Nuff said. Me no wear them. As Yoda says, "Bad they are for me no wear!"
  36. CamWhite

    CamWhite Active Member

    Some of the "Fitness and Toning" brands created powerful enemies when they suggested that the mere act of lacing up their shoes replaced the need to go to the gym.

    The American Council for Exercise is an organization that serves as a trade group for personal trainers and gyms. In a tough economy, many people have dropped their gym memberships out of their discretionary household budget. The advertising claims behind some of these toning shoe brands just threw kerosene on the fire.

    In response, the American Council for Exercise funded a study that ultimately concluded that the toning claims of these shoes were insignificant, and that they could be potentially dangerous. Given the source of this study, and relatively small sample groups, is this a potentially biased study?

    I am not arguing that many of the "toning and fitness" claims made by some shoe manufacturers aren't exaggerated. I think we all know that movement and activity are keys to strengthening our bodies and burning calories. But I am also suspicious of the ACE study, given their bias against a perceived threat to their industry.
  37. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    Here's the truth about MBTs.
    This is how I looked before I bought a pair of MBTs

    Attached Files:

    • fat.jpg
      File size:
      10.8 KB
  38. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    This is me after one 20 minute walk

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011

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