FitFlop

May 11, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Fight flab with a flip flop. That's what a new shoe called the "FitFlop" claims to do. So Action News Consumer Reporter Christine Park tested this shoe that promises a work out while you walk. We all know how to work out the hard way. But what if you could get a leg up on flab and cellulite with the "FitFlop"? It's billed as the "flip flop with the gym built in."

For gym haters like me, any opportunity to put the workouts on hold or dump the gym shoes altogether is a step in the right direction.

I ordered them for 50-dollars from the Victoria's Secret website. Who wouldn't want legs like those models? The FitFlop website says the shoes incorporate "patent-pending micro-wobbleboard technology" in the midsoles that makes your calf, thigh, and butt muscles work harder than normal.

So I ditched the heels and wore the fit flops religiously, to the grocery store, on walks around the neighborhood, even around the halls of ABC30.

They're comfy, but with a suit, FitFlops are kind of a fashion flop.

But every step I took in my FitFlops was supposed to be toning and trimming my legs. So I marched on.

We took them into Fresno podiatrist Doctor Jay Mukker for a closer look. He liked what he saw. "It supports the heel; it's got a little bit more of an arch that you can see here, it's got about a one inch of heel which is good and it's got the rocker bottom sole."

We asked him why some FitFlop wearers actually report feeling a "workout burn." He explained, "The burn is the stretching that's going on in those tendons that aren't used to being stretched out."

Doctor Mukker went on to say that the shoes work by imitating barefoot walking, a far cry from walking in 3-inch heels. "The most normal way is barefooted. When you walk barefooted that's kind of the adapted way to walk and use your muscle groups, and there you're using every single muscle group."

We asked fitness expert Rhonda Murphy, "Worth 50 dollars?" She replied, "Not a chance." Murphy was skeptical. "I can see it stretching your hamstring, working your calf, but I think it's quite a bit a stretch saying it's going to take out your cellulite and burn that many more calories. I think it sounds good but it's too good to be true."

A company spokesperson told Action News, "Toning and firming depends on how long you wear them for, combined with a healthy diet, and sessions of walking in FitFlops. Many have noticed a change in 3 to 4 weeks."

We measured the body fat in my legs before and after I got the FitFlops. And after three weeks of wear, there was no change.

Fitness trainer Jody Ehrenberg, told me to go back to the basics, "Good old-fashioned exercise is probably the only way to do it." Her fellow trainer, Debbie Retherford agreed, "That's not a substitute. You need to go ahead and do your regular stuff and then if you want to wear that and you feel it gives you some benefit, go ahead."

FitFlop told us plenty of its customers are making strides. 900-thousand pairs have sold here in the US. Major retailers like Macy's, Victoria's Secret, Lady Footlocker and Bath and Body Works all carry the shoe.

In the end, if you're going to do the walking anyway, it doesn't hurt to walk a mile in these shoes. Just don't expect dramatic results.


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