Review: Reebok EasyTone Sneakers, Part 1

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Reebok EasyTone
Reebok EasyTone

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I wish I was motivated enough to work out everyday. Really, I do. When I can find the time to do something physical I feel great, but free time is nearly non-existent between my full-time job and owning my own business. My one saving grace is that I love to walk. If I’m heading someplace that’s within a couple of miles, I’d rather walk than drive—rare for a California girl. I enjoy parking in the farthest parking spot in the lot, just for the chance to get in a few extra paces. And on the weekends, I take long walks to clear out all of the cobwebs that accumulate in my head during the week. If not for my walking obsession, my body would be a big mess.

Given my love of walking, and totally inability to motivate enough to fit in any other form of exercise, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that I jumped at the chance to try out the new Reebok EasyTone sneakers. The idea of adding a special shoe to my already frequent walking in order to boost the effectiveness of each step was incredibly appealing.

EasyTone sneakers, which hit the market this year, incorporate “core” ball technology. This technology shifts air back and forth within the shoe each time you step creating instability (like the core train ball used in gym workouts) so your muscles get more of a leg-toning workout as you walk. Sounds fab, right? Here are the scientific specifics, straight from Reebok:

“EasyTone helps tone key leg muscles with every step. While wearing EasyTone shoes, a person will experience increased muscle activation* in her glutes (28%) and in key muscles in her hamstrings (11%) and calves (11%). (*Increased muscle activation up to 28% Gluteus Maximus, 11% Hamstrings, 11% calves. Based on tests comparing EasyTone Go Outside to a typical foam based walking shoe (Reebok Hex Express). Testing does not include EasyTone Flip.)”

I’m sure you’ve heard of similar products, which tend to be both pricey and not particularly aesthetically pleasing. But, Reebok EasyTone is a little different. EasyTone sneakers are designed to look just like regular athletic sneakers and are priced lower than the competition. The particular style I’m test driving is pictured here—the Reebok EasyTone in White/ Cucumber/ Champagne—and is currently available for just over $100.

Ok, so I started wearing my EasyTone sneakers a couple of weekends ago and have worn them several time since, including on a few of my fabulous 5-mile weekend strolls around my neighborhood. I was concerned that I might feel off balance or tipsy wearing EasyTone, but that’s not the case at all. The shoes did take a little while to get used to, but not in a bad way. They actually feel like they have extra padding under the foot—kind of like you took two or three gel shoe inserts and layered them inside your shoe. After I got adjusted to the extra springiness, I was off and walking. After one particularly long walk I did feel like my hamstrings were a bit more tired than normal, which makes me hopeful about the effectiveness of EasyTone and more willing to keep at it to see where this all goes.

I’ve been challenged to wear Reebok EasyTone sneakers for 30 days and report back, so stay tuned to hear more about my experiences with EasyTone!

Part 2 -- Part 3