About RTÉ Television
The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Shoes with Secrets!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Today we look at the shoes that do more than simply cover your feet. Some claim to improve posture, others to improve your posterior, but do these actually work? Today, we put them to the test and check them out in the style stakes too!

AnnMarie O'Connor-Stylist & fashion blogger:

According to her website -

"I've been a style writer for more years than is fashionable to mention. Suffice to say I have worked with the likes of The Irish Examiner, RTE, Dazed and Confused, Elle, Trace, Image, IF, The Dubliner, The Irish Independent, Prudence, and interviewing designers, chasing trends, styling, profiling and lying about my spiralling shoe habit. My mantra-burn the tracksuit honey and learn to walk in a pair of damn heels. Life's too short not to look tall and fabulous".

Annmarie is a freelance fashion writer, blogger and personal stylist. Her credits include The Irish Examiner, Elle, Dazed and Confused, Image, Trace, IF, The Irish Independent, and

Over the past 8 years she has interviewed the likes of Terry de Havilland, Zandra Rhodes and Ben de Lisi, and has gained a cult following with her blog: I Blog Fashion which is being made into a book. She is also the organiser of the monthly Fashion Bloggers' Brunch events in Dublin

Outfit 1

MBT - "the anti-shoe"

Concept - Modeled shoe on the gait of the Masai tribe walking over sands. Conventional shoes stabilise the body in such a way that the body's supporting muscle system is neglected, which can result in joint and back pain. MBTs help continuously stimulate the postural and stabilising muscles of the whole body.

. Its sole is curved, not flat.
. It is unstable, not stable.
. It activates your muscles instead of undermining them.
. It has a positive effect on the entire body, not just the feet

How it works - Step. Rolling action. Step. Rolling action.

MBTs activate and strengthen the small supporting muscles which are the body's "natural shock absorbers". The key to the MBT is the patented sole construction, at the heart of which is the soft Masai Sensor. It is located directly beneath the heel and simulates walking and standing on uneven ground. This creates a natural instability, to which the body responds with small, intuitive, compensatory movements. The midsole, with its integrated balancing area, requires an active and controlled rolling movement with every step. In conjunction with the Masai Sensor, the body's entire musculoskeletal system is activated and exercised, the muscles in the buttocks, stomach and back are strengthened, posture and gait are kept relaxed and upright and stress on the joints and back is relieved. Not only does the anti-shoe increase the fitness levels of its wearer with every step, it also has sustainable health benefits.
www -

Outfit 2

Stretchwalker shoes

Concept - Regain the ideal positioning of your body's centre of gravity. Gain immediate comfort from the roll bar that allows for an immediate shift of weight.

USP - feature Xsensible Stretch Technology that allows the shoe to comfortably adapt to your natural movements. Aside from comfort, Stretch Walkers also offer innovative technology that can improve your workouts. The Balance Ball principle, an amazing new concept that tones muscles and encourages better blood circulation throughout the whole body.

How it works -

1. Lessens the Load on Your Joints
. The soft, low rebound EVA foram acts as a cushion to decrease the impact on your joints (like walking in sand).

2. Encourages Good Posture
. The ideal positioning of the bodys center of gravity is said to be 47% away from the heel. A lot of people have weaker toes, causing the center of gravity to fall behind the ideal position. Stretch Walkers help to regain ideal positioning of the body's center of gravity.

3. Tones Muscles and Increases Blood Circulation
. Uses the Balance Ball principle (as the logo indicates) to tone muscles, encouraging better blood circulation through the whole body (the legs are your second heart!).

4. No Training Required
. The low rebound EVA foam combined with a midsole Roll-bar allows for ease of weight shift so you do not need to get used to wearing Stretch Walkers. They are immediately comfortable and easy to walk in!
www -

Outfit 3

Reebok Easytone

Celebs who love these are Helena Christensen, Mel B, Kim Kardashian

Concept - Natural instability - like walking on a beach - helps encourage muscle activation.
USP - tone your bum by 28%; tone your thighs by 11%
How it works - The slanted heel propels your foot forward and balance pods create natural instability, much like walking on a sandy beach, which encourage toning through increased muscle activation in 3 key areas of the leg.

Outfit 4


FitFlop's prettiest sandal so far, the patent leather Pietra sports a sleek metallic, microfibre-lined upper embellished with three resin jewel stones on the toe line. Built on a slimmed-width version of FitFlop's muscle-toning Microwobbleboard midsole, so you can look fabulous and feminine while firming your thighs.

A new leaner, lighter, more elongated vamp graces FitFlop's new Riata. With microfibre-lined snake-print leather and a delicately buckled back strap, this sandal offers incredible comfort and high style, with leg-toning on top! Available in two colours, Sepia and Amethyst.
Stockist details are available on

FitFlop - Get a workout while you walkT
Concept - Create a shoe that makes walking a more effective form of exercise AND is also fashion-friendly.
FitFlop footwear is biomechanically engineered to help tone and tighten your leg muscles while you walk in them

How it works -
Studies at the Centre for Human Performance at LSBU show that normal walking in FitFlop sandals can help:
. increase leg, calf and gluteal muscle activity,
. improve your posture,
. mimic the gait of barefoot walking but with more muscle load,
. improve muscle tone.

FitFlop sandals wearers have also reported relief from plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, chronic back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis, RLS (restless leg syndrome), scoliosis and degenerative disc disease."
www -

Outfit 5

Skechers Shape Ups

Concept - Natural instability - like walking on a beach - helps encourage muscle activation.
Improves posture, strengthens back, firms bum, thighs and calves

How it works - It features a soft kinetic wedge insert and dynamic rolling bottom to simulate walking on sand

Outfit 6


Springboost - great for athletes
Concept - unlike other shape up shoes which promote instability, Springboost shoes are stable and promote the body's natural walking ability with its Dorsiflexion technology -a foot position whereby the heel is placed lower than the forefoot.

How it works - recognises three central stages in a step. With 2 sets of insoles, the shoe helps you push from the balls of your feet - not your toes thus increasing muscular activity and improving posture. Also helps prevent damage such as deformed toes, shortened calf muscles, varicose veins and poor circulation - everything a high heel does!



MBT 'Flora' white , €209, stockists nationwide
MBT 'Flora' black, €209, stockists nationwide
MBT stores nationwide - 01 670 8666;
Additional stockists at


Stretchwalker 'Jupiter', €189,
Stretchwalker 'Atlas', €189,
Foot Solutions stores nationwide - 01 475 5100;

Reebok Easytone

Reebok EasyTone 'Reeinspire', €85, Lifestyle Sports
Reebok EasyTone 'Go Outside' , €85, Lifestyle Sports
Lifestyle Sports nationwide - 01 873 1037;
Additional stockists at


FitFlop 'Pietra' - €69.95, stockists nationwide
FitFlop 'Riata' - €99.99 , stockists nationwide
Arnotts - 01 805 0400, Champion Sports - 01 524 2850
Additional stockists at

Skechers Shape Ups

Skechers Shape Ups 'Optimise' €139,
Skechers Shape Ups 'Sleek Fit' €139,
Littlewoods -


Springboost Motion white/red €130, Pacelli Sports
Springboost Motion black patent €130, Pacelli Sports
Pacelli Sports, Wickow - 01 276 5155;
Additional stockists at

Models clothing from American Apparel