When I first visited England a few years ago, I saw these really weird shoes in a trendy shoe store. Supposedly, they helped shape up your leg muscles and improved posture. And they kind of reminded me of that fabulous 1970s trend, the Earth Shoe:
I can clearly remember seeing that ad in magazines as a kid. And I know everyone had a pair of those ones on the right. But the point of them was, they had what was called a “negative heel” that was meant to simulate walking on soft sand. And that’s the same principle behind the strange shoes I saw in England a few years ago. Turns out they were MBTs, which is an acronym for Masai Barefoot Technology, which also function on the same basic principle, although MBT calls it “the anti shoe” instead of ‘negative heel’ (which is now a patented phrase of the re-launched, up-to-date Earth Footwear Inc.).
I really, really wanted some of these shoes, but I didn’t really like the £175 price tag, so I took a pass. Sometime later I found them here in Canada, but at $299, they weren’t that much more attainable in my shoewear budget. Oh well, I suppose I really could live without shoes that claimed to shape up your calves and butt by creating a rocking motion caused by their curved soles.
But then! Oh, happy day! I was browsing the local shoe store and I saw that Sketchers had come out with their Shape-ups line of shoes, shaped just like the MBTs, but boasting a price tag of only $145. Still not cheap, but significantly less than MBTs and well within reason for a quality athletic shoe. So, yesterday I bought a pair:
Now, you might think I’m off my rocker (in fact, many do) but I actually noticed that I was working while wearing these shoes. My gait felt slightly unstable with the rocking motion and I had to work to prevent myself from pronating. I walked to my kids’ school and back (about a 7 minute jaunt) and I noticed my legs (specifically my hamstrings and calves) working, and I was actually slightly winded. Now that’s about as much wear as I’ve gotten out of them because it FREAKIN’ WELL SNOWED YESTERDAY EVENING (a full on blizzard with thunder – yes, thunder) so we’re back to snow boots for a few days at least. But I’m really looking forward to getting out and giving them a good try when the snow clears.
So…off my rocker or not, I like my new shoes! But I don’t think I’ll be wearing them to my first “Learn to Run” class tonight at the Running Room. Talk about off my rocker…who convinced me to sign up for THAT???