Reebok RunTone Toning Shoes Review

Running Shoes With Instability Pods

Reebok RunTone
Reebok RunTone. Courtesy of

Reebok RunTone shoes have been discontinued. Some close-outs or used shoes may still be available. Reebok offered refunds for RunTone and EasyTone shoes in agreement with FTC over unsupported ad claims. The refund period ended in November 2012. This happened to many toning shoe brands that made claims for improved muscle tone and weight loss.

The Reebok RunTone shoes featured air-filled pods with moving air all along the sole and heel. This gives a bit of instability with each step, like stepping on a fitness disk. The instability is designed to activate and tone more muscles.

Unlike many toning shoes, they are relatively lightweight, flat, and flexible, all of which make them more suitable for walking and running than most other toning shoe designs. They flex in the right places, and you can get a proper roll through a walking step with them.

RunTone Shoes Beat Most Toning Shoes in Critical Elements

The moving air pods in the sole and heel of the Reebok RunTone shoes create a bit of instability with each step. It is like using a balance disk, but with far less of the unstable feel. This slight instability was designed to activate more muscles with each step, which would ideally result in more toning of the leg and buttock muscles. However, critics say that the studies behind those claims had questionable design, and a study funded by the American Council on Exercise found no "statistically significant" improvements.

While the Reebok EasyTone shoes are similar, they do not flex in the right places for a proper roll-through walking step. The Reebok RunTone shoes have many advantages for fitness walkers and runners over the EasyTone and many other designs of toning shoes.

  • Lighter in weight: Most toning shoes are heavier than the fitness walking and running shoes I recommend. While that may seem to help to burn more calories, our bodies were not designed to have extra weight on our feet. Heavy shoes can lead to strain and even injury. The RunTone shoes weigh no more than other lightweight performance training running shoes.
  • Flat: The RunTone shoes are flat enough to meet my standards for selecting a fitness walking shoe. Most toning shoes are extra tall. This may be why we have many reports of twisted ankles from falling off of tall toning shoes. A good walking shoe is flat, without a built-up heel.
  • Flexible: The RunTone shoes flex in the right places in the forefoot to allow a walker to roll through each step. This is critical. The EasyTone shoes do not flex in the right places, and many toning shoes are completely inflexible.

Trying out RunTone Shoes

I tried out the RunTone shoes in my local shoe store. I was very pleased with the fit and feel. They do not feel overly unstable while walking. The low height, lightweight, and flexibility of the shoe felt great for fitness walking. My feet felt very cushioned; they were very happy with this shoe.

However, I did not buy them because I have a bunion, and the tongue of the shoe was rubbing in the wrong place. That is a very individual issue that most people do not need to worry about. I would have bought the shoes except for that issue.

Take It Slow With Toning Shoes

When using any style or brand of toning shoes, it is critical to slowly build up your time wearing the shoes in order to prevent muscle pain or even injury. All manufacturers provide that warning. If you decide to buy the RunTone or EasyTone shoes, wear them only for 10 to 15 minutes the first day, just around the house. Then ease into any workouts with them for only 10 to 15 minutes and slowly add more time in the shoes. Build up your time by no more than five minutes a day.

If you experience any unusual pain other than mild muscle soreness, stop using the shoes.

It is best to buy toning shoes from a retailer that has a generous return policy so you can return them if you experience any problems with the fit or performance of the shoe. Wear them inside until you are sure you won't need to return them.

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3 Sources
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