Do MBTs & Skechers Shape-Up shoes actually tone your butt, legs & calves?

Thanks to a comment/question from AM, I have put together this little poll to ask you that age-old question?

Do those weird MBT/Skecher Shape-Up shoes actually work?

They claim to:

  • Tone your calves, legs, butt, abs & back
  • Improve your posture & balance
  • Burn fat
  • Improve circulation
  • Solve world hunger & guarantee world peace

But do they?

Let me know what you think…especially if you have ever worn them.



  1. I made the decision to go to the Vibram Five Fingers route to strengthen my feet and improve my overall gait and posture. I just can’t wrap my head around wearing these Frankenshoes. They look silly and in my opinion probably contribute to injury since their job is to make you unstable (so your muscles do all the work of making you stable, therefore increasing fitness). I’m not a fan. If you want to be unstable and make your butt and legs look better, get a pair of Manolo Blahniks or Christian Louboutins. Way sexier!

  2. I don’t think these work to tone your legs and butt or whatever else they say they do, however, I have the sketchers flip flop ones and they are one of the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. I can walk all day wearing those and my legs don’t get tired. I wore them all over Universal Studios with no problems. And I am usually one of those people who cannot stand/walk for long periods of time without a good shoe (usually a cross trainer).

  3. Have never personally worn them. But just like every other ‘silver bullet’ that is advertised out there: one’s perception is one’s reality.
    Yes, I believe they are a waste of money. But, once again, just my humble opinion.

  4. I have the new balance version, because I couldn’t bring myself to actually spend the money on the goofier looking versions sketchers has…
    The difference isn’t HUGE like ‘Oh my goodness, what a work out just walking around in these shoes has given me’ but I feel my legs working harder to go/do what I need them to, especially up the stairs to my apartment and through the sand walking my dog.

  5. I have 8 pairs of MBT’s and I cant imagine a day without wearing them. I used to have burning heels, that have disappeared since I started wearing them. If they had slippers I would also buy those.
    They help a lot and make me walk and feel better.

  6. I don’t know about anyone else but after taking my dog for 30 minute walk, my lower abs,ankles, and butt were pretty sore. I haven’t worked out for a long time so maybe that’s why I’m so sore. I think if you’re a regular gym rat or you exercise frequently, you won’t really notice a difference.

  7. My husband bought a pair of MBT sandals, and the sales person was very clear about it: it’s not so much about the tonning of any muscle group (although they do, a bit) but rather about the taking off of some 30% of the impact (force) that walking has on your knees, hips and back. And, amazingly, they do perform as promised. They’re also hideous, by the way, which is the reason I’ll side with Ann ;))

  8. fantastic shoes,l am 66 year old. had bad feel like l am walking in the air. no pain . can do my gardening in comfort without being tired.take my dog for longer walk and they are not anymore idious than ordinary trainers.

  9. Ever time I see a person wearing shape ups, they tend to be female, and extremely over weight. I was at walmart the other day, and the chick ahead of me in line was sitting on one of those ( I am too fat to walk ) scooters. Take a wild guess what shoes she had on her feet? Yup Shape ups. I almost started laughing out loud.

  10. I’ve had the shape ups for two weeks and even wore them to the gym
    When walking (rolling heel to toe) I have felt a pull on my leg muscles
    In the two weeks of wear I have noticed a difference

  11. My husband is a fitness trainer, we both workout and do judo/ jui jitsu. Martial arts have given me some obvious knee and back injuries. He said these will take pressure off my knees and help my lower back. No they won’t make you able to skip the gym, but they are a great extra to wear on the treadmill, grocery shop, walking the dog, etc. I can feel a bit of a difference already during everyday use. But no I won’t be on a runway with these on, for those few short hours I’ll stick to my stilettos! 😀

  12. I’m not sure how anyone who has never worn them can make an honest unbiased comment. Anywho, I have had a pair of the Sketchers Shape-ups for four months. I wear them during my treadmill workout, which is always on a modest incline. These shoes have defiantly firmed my bottom. The first week of wearing them was awkward; in fact I thought what a waste.
    But I took the time to get comfortable wearing them, including rocking back and forth a few minutes at a time through out the day. I noticed while working out the pain in my left knee was not there. So I have concluded that the shape ups helped a lot absorb shock and tension from my workout, and the effort that I put into the workout produced my firmer bottom.

  13. I am a medical assistant I been wearing shape ups for one month I can see little diference in my legs,butt and calves you haveto keep ws esring them so that you can see big difference

  14. I have 2 pairs that I have had for almost 2 years. One for work and one to walk in. I wear them all the time but my legs have just gotten bigger, however they have helped with my plantar fasciitis. It has went away and I no longer have heel pain. Also now when I wear normal shoes my feet burn, I guess were they are not use to not having all that cushion between them and the ground. 

  15. I have plantar fasciitis and since wearing shape ups and the burning sensation has gone I can now spend all day on my feet. Made no difference to my bum. Oh and I am male.

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