By Patrick Jak
On September 28, it was announced that Reebok settled a $25 million claim with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding their EasyTone and RunTone shoes. You know those shoes that claim to increase hamstring and calf strength as well as tone the butt? These shoes hit the market about two years ago and are designed to be slightly unstable. The designers claim this instability makes the wearer work harder and therefore they are able to strengthen muscles more and provide extra “tone.” According to the FTC, these claims are unsupported and cannot be proven.
What?!? It can’t be proven that unstable shoes increase strength or lift the booty? Say it ain’t so!
Along similar lines, Skechers has also acknowledged that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FTC are investigating advertisements on their line of Shape-ups shoe. It’s about time they did. Skechers tried to prove that the Shape-up shoe allowed a wearer to burn 2 calories per minute more than a traditional running shoe. But the real reason is not because they are unstable or better made. They help the wearer burn more calories simply because they weigh more. That’s right, if you wear heavier shoes while you run and workout, you have to work harder. Work harder, burn more calories.
Simple isn’t it? Common sense isn’t it? Work harder, burn more calories.
Yet in this current age of information, we continually skip common sense and continually fall for the marketing hype and quick silver bullet. “It’s gotta be the shoes.” It is further disappointing to hear that Adidas, who owns Reebok, is still refusing to accept the shoe is poorly designed and it’s claims are inaccurate. Adidas wrote in a statement, “Settling does not mean we agreed with the FTC’s allegations; we do not.” The company still stands behind it’s unbalanced shoes. Have we become that cynical, lazy, and mindless that we want to rely on a shoe to give us health and fitness?
Whatever happened to hard work? Folks, your fitness and ultimate health success doesn’t come from a shoe. It comes from the 5 D’s: Dedication, Determination, Drive, Direction, and Discipline. Let the World know what you want to accomplish. Be a true believer in your cause. Get with a coach or trainer and learn how to build a plan that helps you achieve your goals. Work hard and stick to it through thick and thin. Instead of spending money on shoes that are unbalanced, why don’t we spend more time keeping it simple, and getting our minds and bodies balanced?
I guess there is some relief in all of this. It finally supports what us coaches and trainers at Fitness Quest 10 have been saying about these shoes.
1) They are shoes, nothing more.
2) They won’t help you tone up, they won’t make you stronger, they won’t get you in better shape, they won’t get you slimmer.
3) But they will unnecessarily make your wallet slimmer.
And finally, at least we have one government agency supporting our fight for fitness. David Vladeck, head of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau said, “There is no such thing as a no-work, no-sweat way to a fit and healthy body.” Amen, Brother!
So work hard, sweat away, and we’ll see you on the playing field.
You can read more about the settlement here:
HYPERLINK “http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/29/business/reebok-to-pay-in-settlement-over-health-claims.html” o “blocked::http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/29/business/reebok-to-pay-in-settlement-over-health-claims.html” t “_blank” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/29/business/reebok-to-pay-in-settlement-over-health-claims.html
BS, CPT, USAC II, USAC PBTC
For a decade, Pat has worked with performance athletes, teams, and fitness conscious individuals from all walks of life. With one-on-one consultation and customized training plans, he coaches and trains all levels of cyclists, multi-sport, and endurance athletes including beginners, juniors, seniors, and masters, including several World, National and State champions and medallists. His workouts have been featured in Bicycling Magazine and he is currently Director of Metabolic Testing at Fitness Quest 10, Team Coach for the Swami’s Pro Development Team, and Head Coach of the University of California San Diego Cycling Team.