I know I'm a sucker for shoes, but when I was offered a pair of Skechers Shape Ups to review by the guys at fitness footwear, I was slightly dubious about what my reaction might be towards them. With their particularly shaped sole, they do look a little "space age" . However, when I opened the box I was very pleasantly surprised by how stylish they were...and how incredibly light. My Shape Ups are in a black suede finish (Sketchers Shape Ups Optimize) and I have to say they do look really good with jeans, which I suppose if I am being honest is my standard dress when not in my running kit!
So what's so special about Shape Ups? Shape Ups are the new range of fitness shoes from Skechers which are designed to give you a better workout while you walk by mimicking the effects of barefoot walking. Apparently if you wear your Shape Ups regularly you benefit from better muscle tone - firmer buttocks(!), better posture, faster fat burn, improved blood circulation, tighter abdominals, reduced cellulite....this list goes on...and this all happens just while you're walking around as part of your normal day!
As a fairly lean runner, I don't really have much of a problem in the muscle tone and fat burn department, but my incredibly active cyclist/kayaking mother-in-law (or, as some say, "extreme grannie"), absolutely swears by these shoes. What they don't mention in the promotional information is that I think you can actually walk further before your legs start to feel tired. This is really important for me - after a 10 mile run sometimes the thought of walking the 3 mile round trip to school to collect my children seems rather daunting....but not with my new Shape Ups!
The best suprise for me of these Shape Ups is the all-important comfort factor. I could wear them for ever and ever. In fact, once you have put them on you just don't want to take them off. They may mimick the effects of barefoot walking, but they are certainly a lot more comfortable. We have a rule in our house that you must take off your shoes but I just want to keep my Shape Ups on, especially as most of my time at home is spent standing up in the kitchen - what I really need is an indoor and an outdoor pair!
For more information, take a look at the on-line guide to Skechers Shape Ups.