Can Those Negative Heel Shoes Really Help You Lose Fat?
Can these negative heel shoes help you walk away fat?
Maybe they can. I’ve seen some surprising results with a brand unknown in the US. See the photo below for the shoes that work for me. I purchased them when I was living in S. Korea.
What are these negative heel shoes?
By now most people are familiar with those negative heel shoes that are supposed to help you lose weight and fat - just by wearing them. So far the most popular ones are the Swiss brand known as MBT; they are engineered to make you feel like you are walking barefoot in the sand - like the Maasai people of Kenya. A MBT salesperson told me that the shoes will boost muscle activity in legs, decrease stress on knees and hip joints - and by engaging more muscles I'll burn more calories. And - I'd need to watch a video to learn how to walk in them.
What about price?
I wanted to try these sneakers/shoes as I am a distance walker - but the price tag was a turn off. Everywhere I checked - they were running about $250.00. So I kept putting it off. Then the Swiss introduced another shoe known as the SpringBoost - designed to always have your heel lower than the ball of your foot and therefore it naturally engages more muscle fiber. They are nearly half the price of MBT - but still kind of expensive for me to just test out.
Here's my personal experience with a Korean brand
However, a few years ago, while living in Seoul, I happened to be in an Emart superstore and passed a Korean version of these shoes on display (see photos below). A video was playing a most convincing short movie about all the benefits which are like the MBT.
So I asked myself - will they improve posture?
I have no back problems so that was not a concern - perhaps I can prevent the problems then
Will they tone and strengthen my legs, abdominals and buttocks just by walking in them?
For the sale price of about $69.00, I decided I would try a black pair. I took them home and couldn’t wait to lace them up.
Immediately, I staggered around a bit but I did notice that I straightened up instantly - it felt good. Once outside in the street I did find myself feeling a bit off balance. But it only took a couple days for me to get used to them.
Are my thighs firmer? I think so. But what about weight loss? Probably. But not because of anything that the shoes are doing. I think it is because I can walk miles in these shoes with absolutely no discomfort, no tired legs, no achy feet or arches - I can't do that with regular sneakers or shoes. Just being able to walk comfortably for miles I suspect it what led to the improvement in muscle tone and the slight weight loss. I'm a city person and like to walk everywhere - these shoes allow me to walk for miles - comfortably.
They are addictive too. I simply cannot imagine not wearing these and wearing traditional sneakers - there is no comparison to comfort. After about 2 ½ years the shoes are beginning to show some wear but I do not know where to buy the Korean version in the USA.
Fast forward to a year in NYC wearing the shoes
Surprisingly, I have noticed muscles on the sides of my legs where I never, ever had muscle before - so I can honestly vouch for these shoes. Now, that they are a bit worn and I do not wear them all the time, this side muscle has decreased noticeably.
Recently I read about a new shoe called Fit Flops (and flip flops are my favorite shoe!) that run about $50.00. Very popular in the UK and a recent (and constantly sold out) item here. These shoes are supposed to activate what is called slow-twitch muscles - which is what gives long distance runners their long lean muscles.
Maybe I will try the Fit Flops in the summer of 2012 and write an update.