Toning or unstable shoes are a group of shoes that are supposed to increase the ‘tone up’ when walking or exercising in them. Due to the design of the shoe the muscles are working harder to overcome the unstable design. They also alter the gait and posture when wearing them as well. The marketing hype associated with these toning shoes has been recently brought down due to litigation and the lack of evidence that supported the claims being made. This does not mean that they do not have any use, it just means the science does not support the marketing hype.
My Advice for Toning Shoes:
I think all runners, especially if you are serious about your running would benefit from them. Shoes in the group include the MBT’s, Reebok Easytone and the Skechers Shape Ups. They are not for running, though some have tried! What they will do, is that if you wear them a few days a week casually, is that you use the muscles in a different way and change the posture in a different way. It is hard to argue against the potential that this might have in preventing injury. When exercising at a high level, it is often a good idea to mix it up. The variety loads and off loads different tissues.