Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Skechers Shape Ups Review

It's About Time

After many years of trying many sport shoes for walking and suffering the pain of hot spots, blisters and swollen feet, I finally decided to give one more pair a shot. The Skechers ad kept calling to me, blowing in my ear of sorts, enticing me, drawing me in.....could it be just another gimmick....some say yes.

For years I have been wearing my Tevas for power walking since they were the only shoe that left my feet feeling good and without getting hot or swollen. The only thing is, I knew they weren't the best choice for really powering up or breaking into a slow jog when I wanted to.

Enter The Skechers TV Commercial

There she was, the lovely Brooke Burke, modeling her not so fashionable Skecher shoes.....tantalizing you with the virtues of owning a pair as she spins and flexes, showing off her ever perky, tight tush, making the claim, "wear a pair of skechers and you too can have a new body."

Of course I scoff at this claim, "ME, have a new body simply by putting these shoes on my feet?" My goodness how simple is this.....but of course I ignored and changed the channel.....laughing I think, "yeah, that will be the day when I get suckered by this bogus promise." The woman's body is perfect and she didn't get it by wearing her Skecher shoes, I can tell you. A lot of exercise and proper diet had a lot to do with husband and I had a good ole laugh over that one.

They Called To Me From Across The Store

Okay, last week my hubby and I were at the mall strolling through Penney's, and as we walked by the shoe department the Skecher assortment were visible from the aisle, all lined up on the wall with every color and style imaginable. I stopped, paused for a moment, grabbed my hubby's arm, and pointed with a gasp in my throat as though I discovered the Holy Grail.....Okay being overly dramatic, but I am telling a story here.

I wandered over, appearing to be "just looking" so as not to get the shoe salesperson too excited. I picked them up rolled them around in my hand, checking out every aspect of the shoes and with great conviction, asked, "could I try a pair of the Skechers Shape Ups in a size 6, please?"

Now they had Skechers Tone Ups also, but wasn't entirely sure of the difference at that time.

The sales gal opened the box to my silver and light blue pair of Skecher Shape Ups and for a moment I felt a twinge of excitement. Composing myself, I slipped them on and began to walk around the store. They have a rocker designed sole which simulates walking in soft sand, and they weren't kidding. What a unique experience....I had never tried anything like this before. I had to consciously make an effort to pay attention to my balance while walking. I also test drove them to see if they rubbed anywhere or pinched my foot, since I knew this would only turn into another expensive pair of discards if they gave my feet grief.

So far so good.....then I inquired about the Skecher Tone Ups and they are a much lighter shoe designed for jogging, and all other forms of exercise in the gym. The sole also creates more stability for the wearer. My Skecher Shape Ups apparently are strictly for walking, along with some jogging, and probably recommended as such due to the shape of the sole. You can be thrown off balance if not paying attention, at least until your center of gravity and muscle memory kick in when wearing your Skechers. Some describe them as a "feeling of falling over." Both were very comfortable, but I opted for the Shape Ups since I am not an avid jogger, but a walker with a slow jog to ramp heart rate here and there. And I really wanted to challenge the design to see if the claims to reshaping the way we walk, were actually true.

I explained my history to the sales gal with past workout shoes and she told me I could bring them back if I get a hot spot or blister from them. Basically I couldn't go wrong here since before, I just had to discard shoes in the past after being blessed with hot spots and blisters upon wearing them longer than 30 minutes. These were $70.00, half the price apparently, of what they were a few years ago, of which I didn't care to waste finding out they would be no different when really putting the pedal to the metal for powering up my walk.....and I would know with the very first outing.....not use and abuse them and then take them back. Plus I saved another $10.00 with a coupon.

Hal-le-lu-jah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hal-le-lu-jah, Sings In My Head

With the very first walk, I was hooked. Getting use to the balance was quick and easy and it felt like I was walking in a comfy slipper on a sandy beach. No hot spots, no blisters, just pure bliss.

The shape of the sole really does work the legs as though you are walking on the beach. My calves burned, my quads were on fire, my hamstrings tweaked and if you can believe it, my glutes were sounding the butt....tush....gluteous maximus....whatever, were singing the praises of this shoe design.

I took it slow with the first walk, getting used to the balance and then speeding things up for 15 minutes of fast walking. My heart rate elevated quickly and every muscle in my lower body was screaming, including my abs to a degree. These shoes were truly different.

Brooke Burke popped into my mind and I remembered here perky tush, thinking "this could be doable." I was excited again about taking walks, getting out in the fresh air and powering up. I have been wearing my Skechers out walking everyday and wore them downtown to our Saturday market, which also kept me in toning mode of my lower body even during a relaxing stroll. To my surprise, they were really working! Every time I use them, I have a recovery period of my muscles unclenching and calming down. The tiny twitch fibers were even firing when I took my walk.

Not A Gimmick

In my opinion these shoes are not a gimmick, and if used correctly, they will offer a nice workout of challenging your muscles beyond just taking a simple walk outdoors. They will fire muscles you forgot you had and you'll feel the power in your stride as you really have to push off with each step similar to being in sand, providing some definite toning action for sure.

They come with instructions and a workout DVD on how to use your Skecher Shape Ups. Believe them when they advise to stretch with your shoes on and start out slowly with a short routine. They advise to not exceed 25 to 45 minutes of actual exercise if you are not used to wearing these shoes. I was a bit more cautious and did 15 minutes only. Trust me, it was plenty.....ow! And no matter how many times I take a walk, my muscles never quit singing. Even changing surfaces from pavement to dirt trails, will cause the rocking sole to challenge your muscles as you work to sustain balance. Truly innovative!

They offer a multitude of designs and colors, and I advise trying on several pair in the same size since I discovered one color was smaller and tighter than another. So true to size may be a trial and error....but doesn't mean you need to go up a size since for me, they became a sloppy fit. But my blue pair versus the purple pair I tried, fit like a glove and the purple pair were rubbing my toes. You get the right fit, and you'll be in love with these least I am.

For those that have purchased Skechers in the past, apparently this shoe design was larger and bulkier. Penney's had the old style still to show me and they looked like heavy boots compared to the new design. They are now sleek and light, similar to the tone ups, so if you haven't looked at a pair of Skechers lately, take another peek, since I think you'll be much happier with the new trimmer design.

Well off to take my walk. Have a lovely weekend everyone!

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1 comment:

  1. Received from a reader and my response:

    Yes, yes! I bought a pair of Skecher Shape-Ups and a pair of Tone-Ups last summer after my 70-year-old step mother was singing their praises. They are VERY comfortable for older, arthritic-prone knees, and I even wear the Tone-Ups (the leather Mary Jane style) to work with my business casual clothing. I find that I walk more correctly in them...that the heel wears more evenly than with my other shoes. I have "converted" several of my co-workers, too!

    Pat K.

    Thanks Pat for writing in,

    So happy you agree with my assessment. I am loving them more everyday. Also glad to know that seniors are doing so well with them, since one friend of mine was concerned about her balance, so she didn't purchase them. They really are a unique experience and one I thoroughly enjoy.