Monday, 24 May 2010

Deliberate Instability



It was nearly six weeks between when I signed up for the Reebok EasyTone trial and when my shiny new shoes finally arrived (Disclosure: yup, free shoes). Due to stock levels (possibly related to my awkwardly-tiny feet) they ended up being a different style to the pink-and-black ones I originally chose, but despite the space-age silver, I think you'll agree that these are very cute and very 'me' (by way of being largely purple).

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But it's the soles of these shoes that deserve the most attention. The 'pods' are basically big bubbles of air that compress a little when you walk on them... and it's a very strange feeling! They're really comfy to walk on - kind of like walking on deep-pile carpet - but also make me feel pretty unstable on my feet. It took a couple of days before I could walk without feeling like I was about to fall over.

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This is a design feature, of course. This is the whole point. It should make my muscles work harder, and that should (hopefully) help to strengthen the area around my still-slightly-injured knee - which should make me more stable, in the long run. So the day-to-day wobbly feeling will be worth it if that pays off.

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The Reebok advertising all revolves around the extra work that your muscles will do, with not a small degree of focus on getting a better bum. Does my bum look better for wearing these shoes? I have no idea. I don't spend much time looking at my own backside! But I can certainly feel my muscles working in different places when compared to normal-shoe walking. The level of work feels more like that of walking on sand.

Which brings me to an important point. I find these shoes near-impossible to wear on uneven surfaces, including grass. The added instability is just too much for me if I'm on anything more extreme than a road/pavement, and steep hills are also a challenge. This is a considerable limitation, given that I live in the middle of nowhere; I can't wear them out in the garden.

But for flat, gentle walks they seem great - if your normal walking was in a city, I'm sure these would help you get more exercise from your routine. I typically walk for around forty minutes a day, and I can definitely feel different muscles working when I wear the EasyTones. And my knee aches a little bit more when I've been walking around in these shoes, even when that's just the indoorsy walking around of going to make myself cups of tea - aches which suggest it's doing what I expected. That makes me hopeful.

As a quick aside, I also got some other Reebok kit as part of the trial, including a 'bra top' that I need to tell you about - an amazing piece of kit. When I first put it on, I thought it was a bit tight across my chest, but a few minutes on my cross-trainer proved that that's just what I need. Much more so than any sports bra I've purchased in the past, this top really stopped all that uncomfortable bounce. So I thought that was worth a mention for any other girls who have bouncy-chest syndrome when you try to exercise. It looks kind of odd (very long-line) but comfort always wins in my book!

38 comments:

L.C.T. said...

So how do we sign up for this free trial...?

Emma said...

I'm with L.C.T.....how do we sign up?!! I think I'm needing a pair of these! I damaged my knee during the London Marathon a couple of years ago and it's been playing up again just recently....might have to investigate how much they cost....any idea??

simplysarah2010 said...

I was wondering about those EasyTone sneakers! It seems like all the fad these days to make shoes that "workout" for you. How interesting that you feel so off balance on soft surfaces like grass! I wonder if they only intended for them be used on asphalt. Hmm. Well I'm curious to know how you feel about them a few weeks in! And how your bum feels, of course.

Writing Without Periods! said...

I saw these and wondered how they worked. Thanks for the information.
Mary

Rachel Cotterill said...

Sorry, guys, I was invited onto the trial, which was meant to start in March (like I said, it took a while!). I've had them about two weeks now. I think the RRP is about seventy quid, but I'm sure there are places that stock them cheaper.

BLOGitse said...

These could be just right for me. I need new shoes walking on Casa pavements.
Here pavements are mainly broken, in very bad condition. Do you think those would be too hard to walk with on that kind of unstable surface?

BLOGitse

Kimberly said...

I have a pair of these shoes, and I use them and the other pair of another brand name. I switch off, and then your muscles don't get too used to one pair of shoes. Keeps the muscles guessing.

lakeviewer said...

No! Those wobbly shoes would never work for me. I have difficulty walking on sand already. Great reporting, Rachel. You could test stuff for a living.

Expats Again said...

Like lakeviewer said, you "could test stuff for a living" and I enjoyed reading about this product, but I trip over a twig on the cement. I'm sure I would kill myself with these.

smilla4blogs said...

I guess I have to rule these out in rural and rocky Maine...but it's fun to dream!

Priya Parmar said...

ooh--where can i buy that top! i feel like i have spent undue amounts of my life searching for just such a top...

The Blonde Duck said...

I've been wondering about those shoes! My mom and sister have been talking about buying them. I'll print this out for them!

Mary said...

Free is always good:-). Especially because you were able to discover the problems you might have walking with them before you hurt yourself. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary.

Chef E said...

I want to contact them, you have sold me!

Your bum does not feel tighter? Ask hubby they always notice those things :) Oh I am bad, yes sir'y

Blackberry Cottage said...

I'm so glad you posted about these - I've been tempted to try a pair. Let us know how you like them as you get used to them ;)
Thanks for the info!
Susan

Midday Escapades said...

I've been so wanting go try those shoes and good to know about the sports bra. You are lucky to have signed up for the trial.

Elizabeth Braun said...

It's OK for me - I have nothing to bounce!!!=)

I love purple too, but as I have collapsed arches, any shoe is a nightmare....

ScoMan said...

I walk quite a bit and I've been thinking about getting new sneakers. Maybe these are the thing.. I don't do much grass walking, but there are some pretty steep hills I would need to consider.

MelRoXx said...

I so love those shoes! You made me so jealous by putting that picture! :) lol

Deirdre said...

Sweet! Good luck. :)

carma said...

That was quite a "score"!! I decided to keep my Reebok Simply Tones. They certainly are comfy even if my butt and legs won't necessarily become uber defined.

Kristin said...

I totally have bouncy chest syndrome. Killer PSA!

LindyLouMac said...

Free trials, amazing!

Heather @ Gerber Days said...

They are really cute! I like purple. Are you a runner?!

I was looking at your recipe below, and it looks so yummy! I might have to make these for breakfast!

Ronnica said...

Cute! I hope you get used to them!

MJ said...

Argh. Bouncy-chest syndrome - I know it well! I used to be a trampolinist...

Mama Hen said...

Hey Rachel! Good to know about the shoes. I am do for a new pair. Really great to know about the bra. I need something with support! Hope all is well!

Mama Hen

Bitsy Baby Photography said...

wow, these are CUTE shoes and i loved this review! i've been considering these (before i broke my foot a month ago) and i think i will be interested when my foot is all healed up. Darned those tiny feet for making you get purple instead of your black & pink =) BTW, I am making the flapjacks tomorrow, I didn't realize my baby had eaten all my raisins that day =)

Bitsy Baby Photography said...

btw2, great photos of those shoes =)

Fly Girl said...

Very cute indeed! And they're my favorite color. I have a friend that was just talking about how she felt a difference in her legs and backside after just a day of wearing these. I've been considering them and since I live in an evenly paved city, I think they just might work for me. THanks for the tip.

WhiteSockGirl aka The Fabulous Bitch said...

Would have loved to see the pink and black ones,.. but the purple / silver ones look good to me.

I can use some tone,... but I want those shoes more.

Mademoiselle Poirot said...

Ah, please let me know more about the bra top - it's an important subject :-) Years ago I bought a pair of MBT trainers that promised to firm up my backside, not sure they did, but I got all the wrong kind of attention because they're sooo ugly... Have a great, sporty day. Love from London x

Louiz said...

Not sure the shoes are for me with my bad hip still, but the bra sounds interesting. Is it generally available or only for the trial, do you know?

Kazzy said...

I am a purple girl myself!

Holyoke Home said...

Wow! Thanks for the info. I am SERIOUSLY considering getting a pair of these for the gym (they make workout ones now.)

By the way? A belated but no less sincere and heartfelt 'Thank you!' for stopping by my home renovation and design blog on my SITS featured day! I appreciate it!

gennyfer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JennyCooks said...

Just have to say, I prefer the purple :-)
http://jennylearnstocook.com

Amy said...

I was so interested in these shoes! Sounds like they may be more trouble than they're worth, as I can't find a way to get a free pair myself... ;)

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