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Monday, 19 April 2010

Review: Reebok EasyTone trainers

I didn't do any exercise this weekend - but strangely I woke up on Monday morning with tired leg and glute muscles. Now I'm aware that folks who know me will find it hard to believe that I spent a whole weekend relaxing and not bagging a single Munro, cycling or running somewhere. But sometimes FionaOutdoors likes to totally chill out.

The campervanning adventure seemed to put me in a wonderfully relaxed mode and so while I'd planned to do a run or a cycle it never actually happened. Instead I ate lots of food and enjoyed a few drinks with friends and family.

However, I was wearing my new Reebok Easytone trainers, courtesy of the nice people at Greaves Sports in Glasgow. To be honest I wasn't really aware that these trainers, which are meant to tone your legs and bum as you walk, were doing anything much at all to my muscles. But now it seems they must have been because I am definitely aware of "worked" muscles at the back of my thighs, my calves and a little in my butt.

If you've seen the adverts on the telly then you'll know that female bottoms play a big - or hopefully a smaller (?!) - role in encouraging us women to buy a pair of EasyTones.

Here's the theory from the manufacturers. EasyTones have a built-in patented sole technology that aims to emulate walking on sand. Ie, barefoot walking, which is the same as the claims for MBTs, FitFlops, Chung Shis and, er, well walking without shoes on. Barefoot walking on sand is meant to be good for our bodies because it improves posture and forces the muscles in our legs and bums to work harder simply by walking.

In reality the EasyTone soles, with their spongy "pods" on the forefoot and heel, make it feel like you're walking in soft, marshmallowy shoes. And because every step feels rather wobbly your leg and bum muscles are forced to work a little harder to keep going in a straight and stable line. The effect is not over-powering but if you concentrate hard it's definitely there.

Reebok claim that walking in EasyTones produces a 28% improvement in muscle tone in the hamstrings, calves and glutes by up to 28%.

And while I can't say for sure that my legs have had a 28% better workout than simply walking around in normal trainers, I do think there has been some benefit to the "marshmallowy" EasyTones. I walked around the campsite, to the shops, around a supermarket and generally spent two days wearing my Reebok EasyTone "Reinspires". And the following day I could feel I had worked more of my leg muscles than normal. Indeed, after a weekend of doing very little indeed except walking, eating and drinking I feel I've had more than my fair share of toning up!

Another benefit of the EasyTones – priced between £75 and £90 (a flip flop version is £45) – is that they look acceptably normal. While MBTs have become more mainstream in their style, they can still appear a little goofy. And they are not ideal if you were to suddenly need to break into a run, either, as the MBT sole is very inflexible. Instead, the Reebok EasyTones look very similar to ordinary trainers and come in a range of reasonably funky styles and colours. The trainers will also accommodate orthotics.

While I reckon that a toned physique takes time and effort to acquire – through a combination of exercise and good diet – I can't see any reason not to wear the Reebok EasyTones. If you are walking somewhere, then why not pop these on? It's, aherm, as Easy as that!

Greaves Sport in Gordon Street, Glasgow, have a good stock of Reebok EasyTones – and you'll be sure to have specialist advice on fitting and style.

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