There are walking shoes, and then there are walking shoes that claim to boost your muscle tone by just walking around in them. Reebok’s EasyTone is one line that promises to increase your muscle tone – in fact, they claim it’s like taking the gym with you just by wearing the shoes. With celebrities like Stacey Keibler and the Kardashians promoting the Reebok EasyTone, it’s hard not to wonder if there is some truth to it. I’d love to be mistaken for Kim Kardashian from behind, and if these shoes are going to get me there, then I’m ready to try them!
When I took my pair of white Reebok EasyTone Reinspire out of the box, I was really shocked. I knew a little bit about them beforehand, so I completely expected the bottoms to look like some sort of space-age shoe with giant pods on the bottom. But, they didn’t look that way at all. In fact, I was surprised to find that they looked so much like regular walking shoes. The balance pods only protrude down about 5 millimeters or so, making them barely noticeable.
The shoes fit true to size, if not a little more snug. I like my shoes roomy, since I tend to have wider feet, but these shoes fit just right. While there wasn’t a whole lot of wiggle room, they definitely accommodated my wide feet comfortably. There certainly are balance pods on the bottoms of these shoes, but I never really noticed them unless I was concentrating on finding them. If I would roll my foot forwards and backwards, I would notice, but on the whole they were pretty invisible, and they didn’t affect or impede my gait whatsoever. I really just felt like I had a slightly more cushiony sneaker on. In fact, I almost felt a little more spring in my step. And the comfort was immediately noticeable; more on that to come.
Reebok EasyTone might look almost like any other walking shoe on the market, but what makes them different are the balance pods located under the shoe. They are like little pockets of air, one in the forefoot and one under the heel. Think of them as mini balance balls positioned under your shoes. These pods create a slight instability, which Reebok akins to walking on sand, and this forces your muscles to work a littler harder, which then leads to more toned legs. According to Reebok, this technology can improve muscle tone in your hamstrings up to 11 percent, calves up to 11 percent and glutes up to 28 percent.
The upper is comprised of synthetic leather and mesh for light weight and breathability. The last is specially designed for women’s feet, and the SmoothFit seamless technology reduces areas of rub and irritation because either all seams are hidden or eliminated. The molded PU sockliner sports an anti-bacterial treatment for moisture management as well, which is really helpful in workout shoes.
Walking Around Town
I would agree that these shoes are built for comfort. From the first moment I put them on, until I would take them off at the end of the day, I never experienced any rubbing or irritation. And it really was like walking on clouds all day long.
I first wore them for a long, all-day shopping excursion, and I never once had aching feet, or a sore back – something I experience often. I was thoroughly impressed from that moment forward.
So, I kept wearing them for any event where I would be walking all day, including our vacation to Washington D.C., where we saw every museum we could get to in a 3-mile radius. Every time I wore those shoes, I could guarantee I was in for a day of foot and back comfort. I even had to sprint after my four-year-old quite a few times, and I was not thrown off by the balance pods whatsoever. I tend to underpronate (or walk more on the outside of my foot), but I really didn’t notice that as a problem as much in these shoes. On the bottom of the shoe, there was a little more wear on the outside when compared to the inside of the outsole, but it was a lot less noticeable than I typically experience with regular shoes.
I wore these shoes a lot, and while I did get them a little dusty, they stayed pretty white on the whole and required little maintenance. The upper was very sturdy and showed no wear, no loose strings, no frays. The outsole did shoe a little wear, and after weeks of wearing them, it was harder to read the “Take the gym with you” line. But, after as much use as the shoes got, I think that is to be expected.
On a sidenote, I did happen to see the footprint of these shoes after stepping in some rainwater, and I thought they looked very cool. You just see two fingerprint-types of marks, one for the forefoot and one for the heel. And that’s proof those balance pods keep you above the ground, making those muscles work.
Fitness Walking Test – Is it really like taking the gym with you?
The Reebok EasyTone’s claim is that the shoe is like taking the gym with you. It’s hard for me to comment on that, because it really depends on what you do at the gym. If you regularly work out for half-hour or more doing intense cardio and weights, then this will not be your typical gym experience. But, if you’re a fitness walker, then I think you will love these shoes for their benefits, and not because they will replace your exercise time.
But, they will make your walking experience very enjoyable, regardless of what the surface is. I walked on concrete, grass, gravel, and these shoes were comfortable. In fact, I walked many miles at a quick clip in them, and I enjoyed absolutely every second of it. I felt like my posture was better as I walked, which took a lot of stress off of my back – the place where I typically feel the ache after a workout. While I didn’t notice any tightness in my muscles indicating that I had gained strength, without scientific lab confirmation, it’s hard to tell what was really going on. I am a pretty active person, so it might just be that I’m active enough that I did not notice the increased muscle tone. But, I can safely say that if you are just getting into fitness walking, or even if you’re a seasoned walker, you could not go wrong picking up a pair of these shoes.
Over-all, these are super comfortable shoes that I would recommend to anyone who is on their feet all day or who regularly walks for fitness. They wear well, are not too bulky, and look very similar to regular walking shoes, but with the bonus of cushiony air to buffer each step.
One thing I’d like to note: During my research, I did come across a review somewhere that had stated the balance pods had popped for someone. I wanted to address that in my review, just in case some of you happen to run across that. I ran after my kids, jumped, and walked a whole lot in these shoes, and I never once felt like the balance pods were going to pop, or were in the least bit compromised. I can’t imagine what you’d have to do in these shoes, short of puncturing the bottom, in order to accomplish such a feat, but as long as you plan on wearing these shoes in normal conditions (and not on a street lined with spikes), I think you should be just fine.
I think the only downside to these is I did not get a Kardashian rear. It’s really hard to tell if I did get a 28 percent boost in my glutes and 11 percent in my hamstrings and calves, but I do know that I enjoyed every step I took in these shoes and would recommend them to anyone for walking around town, to anyone who is on their feet a lot, or to anyone who engages in fitness walking. These are a well-made, comfortable pair of shoes that are worth checking out.
*Performance Review shoes provided by Eastbay*