Pros: Great walking and workout shoes, bouncy, work leg, butt, and core muscles, made very well
Cons: Run slightly small, pricey, take a bit of getting used to
I love shoes that workout for me. I have FitFlops and the FitFlop Gogh Clogs. I have the FitFlop Billows and I have MBT MWalks. I have Shape Up Shoes that are flip flop style and Power Diet Shoes. And I now have Skechers Shape Ups for Women so I have a lot to compare these new shoes with.
I like them. They are like MBT Lites. They're like FitFlops Plus. They work my legs and make walking bouncy. I believe these shoes may be the perfect exercise and walking shoe for those who want to burn a few more calories and work more muscle.
About the Skechers Shape Ups for Women
SKECHERS Shape Ups-Strength fitness shoes: 1. Tone your muscles 2. Promote healthy weight loss 3. Make it easy to get in shape! Lace up sneaker.
These shoes actually come in a variety of styles each with their own name. Mine are called "Strength" and are black leather with white accents. No matter what style or color you choose, the bottom of the shoe is the same. All that changes is the color or the style somewhat on the top.
Having said that, these shoes are made from leather with fabric sides and are a traditional tie sneaker type shoe. They come in sizes 5-12 in whole and half sizes. I suggest if you are slightly between sizes to go up one half of a size. I got my true to size 8 and they fit but I decided to get a half size larger because I knew from experience that the rolling walk style of the shoe lends itself to toes touching the ends of the shoes. The 8.5 size works better for me.
Skechers Shape Ups for Women weigh about a pound each. They have a cushioned insole and a nice frame inside to stabilize the feet. This is one thing I noticed right away. I tend to roll my ankles inwards and the shoes keep me from doing that for the most part yet they don't feel hard or orthopedic at all.
The bottom of the shoe has a rocker type rubber sole with about a total of 2 inches height in the middle. They taper at the heels and toes. There is a layer of hard rubber and then an incredibly soft, spongy layer on the bottom which is unique to these types of shoes. That gives them a great springy feel. Compared to MBT's, the Skechers Shape Ups Walking for Women definitely bounce more when walking and feel springy which I really like.
Out of the Box and On My Feet
In the box is a pamphlet and a DVD. The DVD includes a five minute tutorial on how best to wear the shoes as well as 15 and 30 minute workouts tapered to use with the Shape Ups. You actually could do the workout with any shoes on but the Shape Ups make it more effective.
The shoes felt slightly tight when I first put them on and I considered wearing them and hoping for them to stretch. I changed my mind when I recalled I had the same issue with my MBT's and immediately exchanged for a half size up. Those fit better and much less restrictive. My toes had enough room and I couldn't feel the ends of the shoes even when my foot was arched forward.
The shoes definitely feel different from usual trainers or athletic shoes. You may feel a little off balance or wobbly at first. You will also note a springy feeling when you walk that feels cool. Skechers suggests wearing the shoes for just 30-45 minutes a day until you are used to them. As usual, I wore mine all day the first day, did the 30 minute workout, and walked a few miles.
My legs were sore the next day and my feet were a bit unhappy with me but really, I didn't need to ease into wearing the shoes as outlined. I suggest you do limit how long you wear them to a couple of hours at first though especially if you've never worn a similar shoe before.
I ordered the Skechers Shape Ups Walking for Women in black with white trim from QVC. They were also offering white on white and a beige color but I thought black would look best and stay cleaner longer.
Like the MBT MWalks, these shoes look slightly weird but they are not nearly as ugly as the MBT's. I think the MBT's have a higher sole and mine happen to be neon green and white with this big rocker type bottom that scream "WEIRD SHOES!". The Shape Ups look like typical athletic shoes but with a slightly strange sole. I actually once owned a pair of platform sneakers that were way stranger looking but were cool at the time. These sneakers won't make you look strange when you wear them out. They look fine, at least to me.
I laced up the shoes then took my dog for a vigorous walk. I loved how bouncy the soles were. Although these aren't super light shoes, they bounce like ones. They absorb shock really well too. I enjoyed my walk even more than my dog. He's old and I had to slow down for him several times! Having put the Skechers Shape Ups through the walk test, I watched the DVD and did the 30 minute workout. I loved it. Your core is always engaged when you wear the Shape Ups and the rolling way you need to walk and move in them works muscles deep down.
As I said, after a full day of wearing the shoes, my legs were a bit sore, probably owing to the workout, and my feet were a little sore as well. But I wore them again the next day and took another walk. Again, I enjoyed the way the shoes absorbed shock and how I literally had a spring in my step. I also liked that when I stood still, I had to correct my balance which meant my core was engaged and working. My posture seemed better and I looked taller.
Now, the question everyone has. Do these shoes really help burn calories and tone the legs? Sorry, kids, I don't have a definitive answer. I can say that my legs do feel it as I walk and that my calves, thighs, and butt feel as though they get a good stretch and a light workout and they are even sometimes a tad sore after I walk in my Shape ups for a while. I also can say that I probably burn some extra calories simply because the shoes are heavier than average (although nowhere near as heavy as MBT's) and because I walk with a heel/toes rolling motion that forces me to take full steps rather than shuffle along as I sometimes do in other shoes. Also my core is engaged every time I wear the shoes because the rocker sole keeps me just slightly unsteady so I constantly shift slightly to stay upright. This requires the abs to work so, at all times, my abs are actually working although I don't really feel it and no one can tell that is happening.
The big plus with Shape Ups though is that I can workout with them on. With MBTs and all the FitFlops shoes I have, they are strictly for walking. My Power Diet weighted shoes are supposed to be used only for walking as well although I sometimes wear them for light aerobics.
Skechers Shape Ups can be worn on a treadmill, stepper (Be careful!), and for just about any kind of workout. I have done dance aerobics, weight training workouts, cardio, and even a ballet inspired workout wearing my Shape Ups and I definitely worked harder with them on than with my usual exercise shoes. Because of that, I think Skechers Shape Ups are a great meld the other shoes I have that are similar and they are more versatile. They're worth the $100.00 I paid. I pay nearly that or more for workout shoes anyway so I get great walking shoes and workout shoes in one for the price.
Skechers Shape Ups are available on a number of websites on the net and in brick and mortar stores. The price is right around $100.00 for the lace up style and a bit more for men's styles and for a couple of women's styles including the Shape Up "Elasticity" boot.
Skechers Shape Ups are a good investment. I believe they do work the leg and butt muscles because I can feel it in each step. They have superior shock absorption and walking is bouncy rather than a drag. You can workout in the shoes or just wear them shopping or for casual events. They're not so weird looking that people will look at you funny, besides the style these days is weird shoes. You'll be taller, your core will be challenged and your gait will be better. I would size up one half of a size unless your true to size shoes are roomy. I give these shoes 5 stars. I think they work the legs better (and differently) than FitFlop shoes and aren't as heavy and unsightly as MBTs. They're just right!