Reebok EasyTone - what a crock

Tonight I have been bombarded with numerous ad for the Reebok EasyTone. This is the first time I have ever heard of them. If you happened to miss the commercials, they claim to tone your butt and legs by just using their amazing shoes. Of course I think BS immediately so first I go to Reebok’s website and they claim they have “proof”.

So I dug a little deeper. Their “research” is a joke.

Reebok’s EasyTone shoes by contrast weigh an average of about 10 ounces each, similar to its traditional walking shoes. Reebok commissioned a study from the University of Delaware, which tested five women on a treadmill with electronic sensors on their muscles. Electrical activity in the butt muscles—representing muscle movement—was 28% greater for the EasyTone shoes than for a typical Reebok walking shoe used as a control. Electrical activity was 11% greater for the hamstring and calf muscles while wearing the EasyTones.

The test involved only 500 steps, and Reebok acknowledges that the effect may diminish as wearers get used to the shoes.

2,500 steps = about 1 mile

I am sick and tired of these BS claims. I could probably get the same data from high heels. Maybe Reebok’s next great “innovation” will be a padded 6" spike. I wonder why they won’t pony-up and conduct a real study. :unamused:

Is this what you are talking about?

oh gaaaaaaawwwd.

dont get me started on this, haha. Needless to say here at work all these crazy health wellness shoes are getting alot of noise and the majority of them are all bs fad type stuff that will get forgotten about in 5 years, or less!

I think it will be interesting to see how these wear. My father always had a hard time with shoes because he’d wear out the portion of the sole on the outside of his foot giving him ankle pain. I can imagine these would exaggerate the effect of the users wear pattern.

The Easytone shoes and, even moreso, the Skechers “Shape-Ups” (cough MBT knockoffs cough) are getting a whole lot of attention at my office as well.
The Reeboks are not so bad looking, and I guess as far as fit and fitness go, they could’nt be worse than any torture device a woman might wear for the sake of appearances.
The Skechers are not my cup of tea though.
I could understand the Skechers selling to women, as the female demo is usually much more willing to experiment a bit in footwear. I think the Reeboks are a women’s only item, but the Skechers are being pushed hard to men as well.
I found an ad in the latest Car and Driver, which normally carries Skechers ads, and the numerous bullet points touting the benefits of the shoes stretch the boundaries of credibility.
IMO, this is purely hype, as I’ve not seen any dudes rocking these monstrosities yet.
I’m sure the brains behind MBT are seething over the Skechers shoes. At least Reebok has the decency to be original.

Could someone post some photos?

Here is another shoe design that is supposed to help make the shoe a better experience for the user. This time by having a spring loaded heel.

They are made by Gravity Defyer. I’m not really sure why they decided having a single sperm as their logo would be the best idea.

That’s the one.

Except that torture device for the sake of appearance doesn’t make any claims like Reebok. Their claims of fitness and and toning and other shoe manufacturers’ (see wsj article) weight loss claims without any real data should be made outlawed. Obesity is a serious morbidity and is pervasive not only in the US but throughout the world. People should not be wasting their resources on the empty promises of snake-oil salesmen.

I was hoping someone with more experience in that industry would chime in, but I guess not.

My thought is that this is just a symptom of how ultra-competitive the footwear/sporting good market is. Reebok can’t get another sku on the shelf for a “running shoe”, they need something new to sell. There aren’t any “fitness” shoes on the rack so it was an easy stretch.

It doesn’t bother me though. Let’s face it, it just means more work for designers and engineers.

Maybe someone from the industry could tell me something though: is the shoe per person ratio changing in the US? Globally? In other words, do people own more shoes today than they did 20 years ago?

Yes! i haven’t done a study on this other than almost every person that i have had conversations with shoes about confirms it. And there are so many more “sneakerheads” or even just people that moderately like shoes now that will own 5-10 pair (men that is, women perhaps a similar increase). Did their parents have that many pairs of dress shoes or tennis shoes… usually not, they just had maybe a black pair a brown pair a casual pair and maybe some boots.

i would love to see the data on this, but i dont think there is any way to find out how many pairs of shoes people had 20 years ago, other than just relying on their memory. But i think its just a cultural shift as well, i think the same can be said for tv’s, jeans, and other items that our parents used to have just one or a few that lasted for 10 years (tv’s, shoes and jeans) that now we just buy more and more of to have the newest and latest. Not everyone, but alot more people do it now than 20 years ago i would say. I think just looking the the number of sku’s in the footwear industry as well as the number of brands in the marketplace proves it as well. Sku’s cant triple over time if people aren’t buying more shoes.

I was hoping someone with more experience in that industry would chime in, but I guess not.

Wow. You are really starting to annoy me!
I’ll play along.
I’ve been designing shoes for 12 years. Ask me anything. I’ll stop what I’m doing and write you a book!

Seriously, the information that you would like is available, but is also a commodity. We pay for retail analysis and demographic studies. Or maybe you could do this research yourself. You certainly seem to have plenty of time to hang out on here all day.

My apologies Robin, I didn’t know! Good to have some background to your comments.

I’m pretty sure ratio of shoe ownership had significantly increased in the last 20 years. Here’s the current data of shoe ownership:

Age 13-16= 15 prs
Age 16-21= 25-40 prs

On average, females have: 19 prs

Men: 4 prs
Boys: 10 prs
GURU: 70+ prs

The U.S. Census Bureau. “Statistics for Industry Groups and Industries: 2000.” February 2002. States that The per capita consumption was about 4.9 pairs, per person, per year.

Let’s do some quick math: If there are 304,059,724 people living in the United states (july 2008)… Thats 1,489,892,647.6 sold per year. WOW!

I can’t find any data on footwear consumption in 1989. With personal buying habits, debt rate (credit card overuse), sneaker-heads / culture and the diversity of footwear trends in the last 20 years. There must be an increase.

:blush: I’ll just shut up now!

At what cost is this OK?

I’m not going to kvetch about any company from coming out with new shoes they claim are “cool” or whatever marketing spin they want. And maybe I take this too seriously, but a person’s health is the most important they possess and what amounts to lies about improving that health should not be tolerated because “it just means more work for designers and engineers”.

Listen, I’m never going to defend this kind of snake oil marketing, but do you really think anyone is taken in by this stuff?
What I mean is, if you are serious about your health, you probably know enough to do your own research, and any trip to a running store, walking store, fitness store that sells shoes will show you a marked absence of this type of cheesy hucksterism.
This supposed health benefits of these things are so transparent that you’d have to be a child or a fool to be taken in.
Its not much different in my mind than McDonalds selling a “healthy” menu.

How is this any different than all of the “wellness” junk in SkyMall?

The test involved only 500 steps, and Reebok acknowledges that the effect may diminish as wearers get used to the shoes.

:imp: Devils advocate :imp:
The benefits of any workout diminishes as the user gets used to it. instability forces your body to develope your support muscles to create stability. User becomes stronger and burns more calories in the process. Are they going out and running marathons? no, at least hopefully not in these, but it is a product that promotes healthier living.

This is all it is…


  1. an ingenious or novel device, scheme, or stratagem, esp. one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.
  2. a concealed, usually devious aspect or feature of something, as a plan or deal.

not any different than skymall. but yes tons of people are being taken in by it, people that are looking for answers. Not athletes or avid fitness or running people, they already have their answer. I heard the sketchers shapeups are ordering over 100k soles a month! 100k a month! they dont do that if nobody is buying into it.

do i dislike all of this… yes. does it technically promote a healthy lifestyle… yes. Is it frustrating to me as a footwear designer and moderately healthy fit person… extremely. haha. but oh well, there will be something new that is BS in a few years and my panties will get in a bunch about that too.

Yes I do. Especially if their claims are backed by “research”.

A fool and his money are soon departed. Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. Cliches are cliches for a reason.

And with a little pressure from the FDA, the “Smart Choices” labeling was dropped. BS is BS and should be called out.

Assuming they make similar claims, there is no difference. You will have to provide specific claims to make an intelligent judgement.

But you do bring up a good point. I have no proof to back my claims people will fall for this tripe. I will do further research. Except empirically, would Reebok spend tens of millions of dollars on an ad campaign that has no efficacy? And is that is the case, is there no efficacy to marketing? If the claims are so transparently false, why bother saying them at all?