Can special sneakers speed weight loss?

February 2, 2009 8:47:37 PM PST
It's a growing trend- people buying special sneakers that claim to help speed weight loss. Action News put them to the test. If you want to get in better shape but don't have hours to spend in the gym, the makers of 'the Muscle Trainers' say they have a quick fix! Simply by lacing up, the company claims you'll burn more calories in less time just by walking.

The infomercial says "Walking just thirty minutes per day burns up to an extra 300 calories than walking alone!"

So Action News took the sneakers which cost a 150 dollars a pair, to a walking club to see how they'd work. Meet our walkers: First up, 44-year-old Kathy. Her goal is to tone her thighs which she considers her problem area.40- year- old Jean wants to trim up. And 37-year-old Ali just had a baby a few months ago and wants to lose that extra baby weight.

"It's hard to imagine that the shoes can actually help you lose weight over 30 days," Ali Locascio of Haddonfield said.

The ladies agreed to trade in their usual sneakers, and lace up with the muscle trainers instead for one month. They also agreed this will be the only change to their usual diet and exercise regimen.

To test our results we had the ladies first meet with personal trainer Mo Orlando of the Cherry Hill Health and Racket Club. Mo weighed, measured and calculated the body fat of each of our testers on day one.

And, over the next four weeks, Action News checked in with the ladies on their morning stroll to see how the sneakers were working. Thirty days later, we had them check back in with Mo.

First up, Kathy, who over the four weeks says she didn't feel a difference. But, her results show she lost eight pounds, 2-percent body fat, and an inch off her waist. And as for her goal? She lost an inch from each thigh! "I'm totally shocked, I didn't think the shoes were going to bring these kind of results," she said.

For Jean, her results show she lost three pounds, two inches in her waist and almost an inch off her hip. She feels like she met her goal.

Our new mom Ali is also impressed. She lost seven pounds. She also lost body fat and inches. "I was surprised, I didn't think it was going to work, but it did," she said.

All the ladies said they saw better results with the Muscle Trainers than they had with their regular sneakers. The makers of the muscle trainers say the shoes work because each shoe has an extra two and a half pounds in its sole and that tones walkers' legs and makes them burn more calories.

But Doctor Chris Davis, D.O, a sports medicine doctor at Springfield's Sports Science Center says that could be a concern. "The body is not meant to have three pounds of weight on each foot," he said, adding if the the extra weight is used over a long time period, it could cause chronic knee, hip and back problems, especially for women.

"Women are already compromised because of the increased angle of their knees and their hips and putting unnecessary forces to different areas of these joints could accelerate arthritis or other problems," he said.

So with that both Dr. Davis and even the makers of the Muscle Trainers, recommend if you would like to give the special shoes a spin for yourself, do so in moderation.

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