Los Angeles — Skecher’s Shape-up shoes promote heel-to-toe walking motion. The concave bottom shoe encourages a rolling motion which encourages a greater push off from the feet and ankles. This greater push off also encourages longer strides and causes people to engage their dominant muscles while walking. Walking or running with Skecher’s Shape-ups will encourage more efficiency with less stress and injury. Skecher’s Shape-up shoes can be helpful in preventing foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, hammertoes, and bunions.
Having said all this, these athletic shoes are not a cure-all. Shape-up shoes are meant for walking and running. Standing for long periods of time may not see any benefit by wearing Shape-ups. Some people will not find enough benefit from wearing the concave shoes. Part of the dissatisfaction can be arising from weakness in their foot muscles. In such cases, the person may need to undergo a foot strengthening program before getting benefit from the shoes. I’ve included a video which shows some beginning foot strengthening exercises.
Because of the round shape of Skechers athletic shoes, the wearer is encouraged to walk by landing on the heel and pushing off with the toes. This is the walking motion that we are meant to do. When we push off with our toes, the foot and ankle are properly engaged; and the toe muscles are being used to propel the body. The toe and foot muscles are an intrinsic but often neglected part of the body. We need to use these foot muscles to maintain posture and prevent physical problems.
All too often, people walk without employing the proper heel to toe landing motion; or they walk without using their feet and toe muscles. When our walk (also known as gait) is off, it can negatively affect the entire body. Poor gait can lead to problems in the hip. Sometimes, a person that develops bunions will walk improperly and later develop tightness in the hip. This is one pattern for people developing low back pain.
When wearing the Skechers Shape-ups, the person is encouraged to use their foot and toe muscles. The push off from the toes develops the ankles and encourages the wearer to use their larger lower body muscles for walking. These muscles are the buttocks, hamstrings, and calves (in addition to the already mentioned foot and toe muscles). All the above mentioned muscles are critical to maintaing a healthy back. Shape-ups promote the user to take longer strides because the larger muscles of the lower body are being engaged. Longer strides will open up the hip and low back muscles. When you wear Shape-ups as walking shoes, you walk more efficiently. Less stress is placed on the body. And less chance for injury. Potentially, many lower body problems can be prevented with Shape-up shoes. Plantar fasciitis, shin splints, hammertoes, and bunions may all be prevented by wearing Shape-ups while walking or running. However, if someone has any of those problems, shapeups will not correct the injury.
Some people just starting out with Shape-ups may be naturally weak in the ankle and foot muscles. Those people will need to strengthen the muscles of the ankle and feet to get more benefit. Some foot and ankle strength will develop naturally by wearing and walking with the shoes. More detailed foot and ankle exercises can be found in the Active Isolated Stretching protocol.