Reebok Easy Tone the Easy Way Out?

Who’s that doggie in the windoooowww…

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I couldn’t help it. My mom and I went for a walk yesterday evening and could see a cat or dog peering out the front window of nearly every house we passed. It’s so nice to come home to this little face in the window every day :)

Rudy meanwhile, is only ever in the kitchen. He’s got one thing on his mind, and it’s in the fridge.

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I can relate though. I woke up this morning with food on my mind. More specifically, waffles. 

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I know, it’s Tuesday. But it’s hard to deny oneself of melted butter pooling in the squares of a waffle…

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And then drenching every groove in syrup. Life does not get much better than this.

Today’s waffles have been bought to you by Van’s.

 
Please excuse the teeny internet picture. My mother does not yet understand the importance of my photographing everything remotely food related.

Van’s sent me a couple coupons to try out their stuff. I really wanted to get some of their new French toast sticks, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. Instead, I was drawn to these gluten free Apple Cinnamon waffles. 

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The ingredients on these are “Susan approved.” Although, I thought it could use a little more apple and cinnamon flavour. The texture is slightly “off” compared to regular waffles because they’re made with brown rice flour. But it’s disguised well when toasted.

Paired them with my favourite source of fat and protein.

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Boiled eggs.

Pre-workout snack was something I picked up at a new local health food store called Sequoia in Moncton.

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I love Bumble Bars but don’t buy them often because they’re expensive, and I make most of my own bars at home now. But I had to pick this up because I’d never tried the Cherry Chocolate flavour before!

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I know I said I don’t like fruit and chocolate together yesterday. But I lied. I really like chocolate and cherry. And chocolate and cranberry. But that’s it – I swear!! :P

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Okay, and the chocolate covered cherry may be my favourite in the assorted chocolate box ;)

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This bar did not disappoint. In fact, it was more tart cherry than overly sweet chocolate. Don’t let the pictures fool you, this is a really chewy bar, not hard or crunchy in the least.

My foot is still hurting today, so I tried to be nice to it while doing a full-body workout at the gym.

Warm-up: 15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing resistance (ouch to the foot)

Alternating sets:
Close-grip lat pulldown 
One-point dumbbell row

Alternating sets:
Twisting standing chest press
Some exercise I do not know the name of where I stood in a static squat, and with dumbbells, palms facing the back wall, swept my straight arms backwards.

Alternating sets:
Standing barbell shoulder press
Curtsy lunge 

Alternating sets:
Twisting standing dumbbell curl 
Dumbbell front lateral raise with a side lunge

Alternating sets:
This ab move thanks to this girl
Prone jackknife 

Alternating sets:
Decline crunch
Reverse crunch 

Then I did an easy 10 minutes on the recumbent bike while reading a magazine and waiting for my mom to show up. Afterward, I showed her around the gym, pointing out proper form and techniques on the equipment. Especially for the cable machine, which I will do a post on in the future!

Needless to say, I was hungry by the time I got back home.

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A can of tuna is probably my favourite post-lifting meal. Today I mixed it with Hellman’s olive oil mayo (yum) celery, onion and pepper. Smooshed on collard greens and sesame ezekiel bread.

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With some crunch on the side.

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Blue chips > yellow chips.

Hit up a brand new grocery store with my mom and Nana this afternoon. We were all equally excited to be scoping out food in a new joint. It was hot out today, and when I saw this in the store’s cooler, I couldn’t resist.

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Damn refreshing that aspartame is ;)

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Accompanied by a snack of egg whites topped with coconut oil. Not a fan of the egg + coconut combo.

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I blew through my deep chocolate Vitatops and convinced my mom to get the Vitamuffins today. She’s hooked now too. ‘Tis a slippery slope with these things.

Then I spent an hour applying for my dream job while sitting on the deck. Le sigh.

The summer weather inspired the fam to haul out the bbq!!

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Mommy dearest made buffalo patties with Worcester and Frank’s.

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We were bunless, so I ate it atop a small piece of naan. Burger was topped with ketchup, mustard, relish and pickled jalepenos. NOM.

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More baked corn! My family may now be obsessed ;)

And what better way to end a summer-inspired meal than with a Mr. Freeze.

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Sugar-free. But not Splenda free.

 

So Is Easy Tone Really That Easy?? 

I got a lot of comments the other day when I mentioned the Reebok Easy Tone shoes. So I thought it would be worth it to take the time to explain why I don’t personally support them. Now, I’m no podiatrist or specialist, so my knowledge only goes so far. This is just based on my training to date, along with the biases of the experts who taught me.

 

Reebok EasyTone shoes have “balance pods” on the soles, which create instability, forcing your calves, hamstrings and glutes to work harder just by walking.

In order to keep myself from going into a rant, I will not delve into their borderline offensive commercials and marketing campaign. I trust you can click on that yourself and be astounded by what some tactless marketing team came up with.

There are several other shoes that are similarly designed and carry the same claims. There’s the Skechers Shape-ups.

The Fit Flop.

And the MBT shoe, aka the “anti-shoe.”

We will also ignore the fact that these shoes are downright hideous. I am by no means a fashionista or particularly concerned about my appearance. But I would not be caught dead buying groceries in the above MBT shoe.

During my personal training instruction, I was taught that proper body mechanics hails above all else. My PRO trainer made sure that we all left with some form of expertise on how the body is meant to move and work. I’m beginning to hone my skill in watching people, and can now pinpoint when someone isn’t moving correctly. I can tell by my mother’s grip that she has arthritis, or that my friend has inflexible shoulders by the way she does a push-up.

My problem with these shoes, is that they do not align with our proper body mechanics. It is one thing to put your body off balance for brief periods of time to challenge yourself during exercise. It is another thing to completely change the way you walk, with a distant hope of maybe-sorta-kinda making your butt firmer. Not to mention, at a cost of $100. I’m sure fellow runners out there cringe with me at the idea of wearing a shoe that is designed to make life harder on your muscles.

The other thing is that the body is highly adaptable. Your body will adapt to your new walking gait, and within a few short weeks, your muscles will not work as hard in the shoes. It may feel sore the first couple times. But wear them every day for two weeks, and you’ll no longer feel the results.

I’ve also heard claims that these shoes will burn more calories and zap cellulite. I am sorry, but bullshit. The only way to burn more calories is to increase your heart rate. Skip the $100 price tag and walk faster. Cellulite is a tricky kind of fat, and even people with near-perfect diets still have remnants of it.

Reebok claims that the Easy Tone shoes work your glutes 28% more, while working your calves and hamstrings 11% more. Instead of walking around town all day to do this, I have another suggestion. Do a set of bodyweight squats. Climb the stairs at work. Save your money, your ankles, your knees, and your back. Please, do real exercise, and buy some real shoes that give your body the support it needs.

 

Now there’s my two cents – what’s yours?? What are your thoughts on toning footwear?

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Posted on May 18, 2010, in Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 48 Comments.

  1. i miss having waffles, i havent had them in forever, although they do sit in my freezer as i type this! i have vans as well, never disappoint! yours look delicious!

  2. I was waiting in anticipation for the easy tone post! I didn’t know much about them (other than that I don’t want to drop that much $ on an uglyshoe), but your argument makes sense!

    Besides, anything that says building muscle and losing fat is EASY PEASY if you use their product is bound to be BS.

    It’s just a matter of time before lots of studies follow yours! Maybe you should write an article and get it published real fast before other people do!

    :)

  3. I am an idiot because I just saw my podiatrist two days ago and I failed to ask him about this. But I’m not a big fan of these shoes at all. Even if they DO follow through on their promises, you’re right — the body will adapt and then you just threw your money out the window.

    I am displeased. Especially my ankles. But thank goodness I did not spend $100! :p

    <3 <3

  4. hmmm. I was considering getting some of the reeboks. But you made some really good points. I’m reconsidering.

  5. I absolutely agree! I just watched that advert and it made me sick! Are we really still in that era of advertising?! SO GROSS.
    I feel identical to you about these shoes. They are a gimmick and a dangerous one at that! Seriously. Do some normal exercise and just work a bit harder. A shoe isn’t going to come CLOSE to doing what vigourous, healthy exercise can. Bah.
    I can’t keep going or I’ll just rant and rant and rant…

  6. I agree! Bullshit.

    How about instead of find the easy way out…. actually work out?

    Those are my thoughts.

  7. I agree w/ you 100% about the shoes! It’s unnatural!

  8. Toning footwear seems like the “easy way out” that so many people want when looking to get fit. I agree that your body will adapt and the effect will be lost.

    What do you think of Vibram’s Five Finger shoes?

    • I haven’t read Born To Run yet, so I’m still a bit of a skeptic. On the other hand, I’ve read tons of reviews online and they’re all positive (where are the negative reviews hanging out?). I will say, there is a huge difference between someone who grew up running barefoot in their village in Africa, and someone who’s grown up wearing shoes and all of a sudden wants to wear Five Fingers on asphalt. It will shock your body and I’m scared it hasn’t developed in a way that can support it.

  9. Archie is so cute! How are you going to leave him?

    Those shoes. First off, I despise the word “toning”. Ugh! And, they are just another gimmick to get people to think they can be exercise-free and get in shape. However, if they actually get people to put them on and move about, it’s better than nothing.

  10. Fattie Fatterton

    I’m so glad that you wrote about those shoes. It proves again that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

  11. My friend was just telling me today about a wonderful buffalo burger she had this wknd and I’ve never heard of such thing…must try soon! And I hate when I am going to work and the last thing I see if my dog in the window-it breaks my heart!

    I don’t buy into the whole shoe claims that it will help you achieve a great bod and work your muscles even more. If it did, we would all buy a pair. It’s like when people ask me what have I done to lose weight and I answer ” Eat better and exercise more”. It’s so simple yet some people just don’t want to put in the extra effort.

  12. Uhhh…I want some research on the shoes before I go out and buy them. Maybe even a few testimonials? I find it hard to believe that these shoes have worked for anyone. About 4 years ago, I had a fitness instructor that wore these to class! It was an abs and glutes class, and she did squats and lunges in these things. How?!

  13. You won’t be thanking me when your abs are screaming tomorrow ;) Or maybe you will. Mom and I did some of those tonight too! I love them!!

    I love doggies in the window!

  14. Three cheers for your thoughts on the shoes. I couldn’t have said it better. I think they are ridiculous and just a marketing ploy. People are always searching for an easy way out and that is what those shoes claim to be. And that commercial makes me mad. So sexist!

  15. i will never get sick of doggie photos. i hope you buy a pup in T town. and i love the word smooshed. and i loved your honest review and opinion. and after reading it i agree with you. ohh and i love that BBQ meal! and that you blew thru the vitas. and everything about you, always. im a creep. oh wait, i dont love DC. but i do love that cute bottle it comes in. ok, that’s it, i swear.

  16. My mom had a pair of MBTs when they first came out and she thinks they helped her posture, but that’s about it!

  17. I couldn’t agree more! I did a post on Skechers shape-ups once (it was like…the first week of blogging or so) and made some of the same points. And I can’t believe that commercial! It’s weird because I think it’s targeted toward females and no offense but I don’t want to be staring at another woman’s chest for a minute long commercial lol

  18. I just can’t imagine those shoes would be good for ankles/back/hips/knees – any joint at all really. Yikes. And you’re right – hideous city.

    The doggy window picture is too. cute. for. words. Gah!

  19. I had the exact same response when I heard about those shoes!

  20. I actually participate in a Reebok ‘new products’ forum to test the water. They recently sent me a pair of these goofy shoes to try.
    I agree with everything you’ve stated above. I am supposed to wear them for 3 months, and I can’t stand them. It feels like ‘corrective shoes’ for being pigeon-toed, or something, but…worse than that.
    They’re uncomfortable, and they don’t do anything.
    There are no shortcuts to fitness and health.

  21. 1. I love how yummy the butter looks in those waffles! I’m a big fan of Van’s and haven’t come across any of their products I don’t like.
    2. I think those shoes are the dumbest. thing. ever. What have we come to where we think wearing ugly shoes will make us in better shape and look better? how about some freakin hard work?!

  22. Gluten free Van’s…finally a waffle I can love! :)

    My old doctor and his staff all wore those MBT things. Sooo ugly. I think stuff like easy tone shoes are marketed towards the diet pill crowd. People who want to sit on the couch with cheetos and lose 50 lbs. The people who tune out when you mention eating healthy and exercise.

  23. I have never heard of these shoes, but then again, I don’t watch commercials or magazines. Good review. That commercial is horrible! It really just made me mad.

  24. I’d heard about these shoes from friends and the commercials. It always seemed gimmicky to me. This was informative. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Hahah 110% agreed! My mom got a pair of Skechers, as well as an earful from me about how heinous and ridiculous they are!

  26. hahaha they are so hideous…I mean if they want people to buy them, at least make them attractive right!?

    i acutally got suckered into buying the fitflops, which aren’t totally hideous and although I think they do nothong for my ‘tone’ they are EXTREMELY comfortable…in the summer if I am going walking somewhere and I want flip flops, i always use those!! they rock in that sense!

    great review on the VANS waffles! i was going to get them the other day but didn’t! now I know that maybe NP or Kashi waffles have a little more flavor!!

    • Yes, I’ve read many reviews that the shoes are comfortable. And the sole on the Fit Flops is at least look a little normal ;)

      Never tried Kashi, but Nature’s Path will always have my heart! (or, err, stomach)

  27. I love chocolate cherry stuff :D Do you like chocolate covered raisins? After your post yesterday, I was thinking about choc + fruit combos…raisins, cherries and nutella/banana sandwiches were all that I could come up with.

    Not a fan of those shoes- my mom bought fit-flops and ended up falling over and breaking her nose! More due to her clumsiness, I’m sure, but they seem unnatural to me. I can see the appeal though if people aren’t aware of what they actually demand of the body and how they work. Would they be safer just to wear on the treadmill occasionally to work different muscles than regular sneakers?

    • oh, and I have seen floating around blogs waffles dipped in egg whites and cooked like French toast that looks good if you can’t find the French toast flavour (what happened to Quaker’s French toast oatmeal and Starbucks French toast bagel? This world needs more French toast flavoured stuff…)

      • Haha, I french-toast waffles all the time!! It’s how I sneak my protein in ;) And YES to chocolate covered raisins. Angela from Oh She Glows actually just featured a homemade version that you should check out.

  28. I’m not a fan….well I may be persuaded to try the fit flop (if they were really cheap!) but only because I live in flips all summer long…
    Otherwise, I agree with you: hideously ugly footwear!

    The only way to get fit is to sweat a bit (a lot!) No special footwear claims can do that for you!

  29. mmmm i just made tuna salad the other day with curry powder, fresh lime juice & onions and it was amazing! seriously sometimes tuna just does the job :)

    i haven’t had waffles in SO long. i think i’m secretly waiting for the kitchen fairy to drop a waffle maker off on my front doorstep.

  30. YES for diet coke. in fact, i am drinking one right now :)

  31. Those shoes are a total gimmick not to mention – just ridiculous looking. I’ve got to laugh….there’s this woman in my neighbourhood that I call her “Vanity Mom”…and I bet you know the type. She’s the woman who’s deeply concerned about how she looks doing menial tasks like raking the lawn and going for a walk. Anywhooo, saw her going for her nightly walk (nice and slow….we wouldn’t want to break a sweat, ew!) in her white yoga crops with matching jacket (really – working out in white?) and now, her white Sketchers Shape-Ups. Absolute insanity. I had to laugh becuase the woman who is SOOOOO concerned with her appearance seems to have absolutely no idea that her shoes make it look like she has orthotics to repair a club foot.

  32. LOL. I looove what you had to say about the fit shoes.
    Alsooo, Van’s waffles were basically my childhood in a box. I loved them! My parents wouldn’t let me eat them on their own though, I had to eat eggs first. That was before i loved eggs so much! The Van’s chocolate chip minis are my favorite. I used to heat them in the microwave as an afterschool snack.

    Ooo and fyi, those boiled eggs look perfectly cooked! mmm.

  33. Thanks for the post and all the great pics of the food you eat!

    I am going to rebut (pun intended) your take on the toning shoes. They actually do help work muscles in your legs differently than walking on regular shoes and that’s a big benefit to your lower legs muscles and feet. They are not “magic shoes” that you put on and automatically tone your legs, however, and that may be the marketing message that you take issue with. It’s fantastic that you have the time, energy and ability to devote so much time to working out. And I agree that there is no “shortcut” to fitness. But many other people do not have the time, motivation or physicaly ability to work out at a gym the way you are. (Again, kudos to you!) Incorporating toning shoes into a walking program can be a great way to more efficiently work the legs and gluts versus walking with other shoes.

    Another benefit of the toning shoes is that they provide instability while you walk, which makes your lower legs stronger and your feet stronger. How’s that you may ask? By providing a more uneven walking experience (similar to walking on grass, sand or other natural uneven surface), it gives the leg muscles more of a natural walking experience than you get on concrete and hard surfaces. (Which can save some people from plantar fasciitis, joint issues and flat feet)

    Will the shoes give you the butt of a 25-year-old model we see in the ads? No. But it will help people that tend to be sedentary get a better, more efficient workout while WALKING (they are not recommended for running). And if it makes more people walk, then that’s great!

    So, enjoy your great workouts! At the same time, don’t rain on the potential parade of the people that might actually benefit from the shoes.

    And, No, I don’t rep a shoe company. But I am a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach.

    Sue

  34. I bought a cheap version of the shoes. Not for the fitness benefits but because I have some serious sciatic nerve issues. I work on my feet all day teaching on hard tile/cement floors. I wore them to work and immediately noticed the difference! I was almost pain free from day 1. The cushioning helped that impact on my lower spine. I normally wore Birkenstocks which just weren’t cutting it with this pain. Sneakers were a little better but those hideous big soles just saved me so much pain!! I am currently considering the Reebok ones which look more like a regular runner but are more $$ than my ‘Champion’ version ones.

  35. It is about time we stop look for the easy way out. It was not easy getting to the point that we are in now. And it is going to take some work to get the ball rolling and keep the fire burning. And lastly about the shoe’s, We all like to get those shoes that fit just right, it makes for a better day.

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