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Monday, 24 May 2010
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).
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.
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.
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!