We’ve embarked on a little experiment with two popular fitness shoes: the Sketchers Shape-Ups and Reebok Easy Toner. The first report from our man in the field:

So I’ve been enlisted to try out Sketchers Shape-Ups, the latest fad in footwear.  Like anybody else, I was thrilled at the prospect of being able to take better care of myself just by walking around more, but I’m a skeptic by nature; there must be a catch.  I began day 1 certain that these were no different than any other over-priced gimmick of sneakers past, like Reebok Pumps.

That ended about three seconds after I stood up in the Shape-Ups and started walking around.  There was a slightly awkward feel to my gait at first, so it’s not that they were overwhelmingly comfortable, but the immediate benefits to my posture were too strong to deny.  The brochure says it’s designed to simulate walking on sand but I found it more akin to standing on stairs with just the balls of my feet and letting my heels drop.

Ancient kinks in my back began to release and pop like I’d just hung upside down for 5 minutes, and I could feel the energy around my knees and hips begin to take on a more fluid character as well.  It’s only been a day but I’m excited to see where this shoe experiment leads.

Looks like shoes really do shape the body.