Edit: July 2010: I've been wearing these for about 4 months now and they've actually ruined my feet. Ignore what I've said in the initial review; they are so painful. I don't know whether it's the hot weather or what but the inside backs of the heels in the trainers have completely disintegrated and given me painful blisters - the backs of my feet are in tatters. I've taken to using bandages on the inside as a temporary fix and wearing plasters every day but COME ON - I paid £80 for these and they last 4 months before they shred my feet?? Reebok, sort it out. I am a standard size 5 and I always buy that size in every type of shoe I buy - yet these have either a) shrunk or are sized completely wrong, they are incredibly tight and I get pins and needles across the tops of my feet. They felt fine for the first few months after the initial 'wearing im' period but now they are so painful.
I took to recommending these to everyone I know but now I don't. The opposite in fact. Oh dear Reebok. Sort this out now.
Original post: Now that I work in London but don't yet live there, it's a 45 minute walk every morning from my house to Leighton Buzzard station. At 6.45. It's pretty terrible having to walk that much at that time in the morning, but I was wearing pumps/kitten heels/etc as well; obviously whatever I was going to wear during the day. It wasn't long before I'd destroyed my feet, and a few heels too. I didn't like the thought of wearing trainers (I never do) but figured it would be so much better for me: I'd take my shoes in my bag and change on the train.
I'd heard of Reebok Easytone and even though I was a bit skeptical, I thought if I was buying trainers I may as well pay a bit more for some that are supposed to help tone even more. I've seen Skechers Shape Ups and MBTs all over the place and I hate them: they're just so ugly, no matter how good they're supposed to be for you, they just look like orthopaedic shoes! So I was glad that Easytone look just like normal trainers.
There's a few different styles, in the end I went with the Curve version, which you can see above. I couldn't bring myself to buy white (and wear) white trainers, so had to go for the black ones, at least they sort of go with my clothes a bit. Althought tbh, it's not really about fashion at that time in the morning.
So I ended up paying £80 for my pair. Which literally hurt me: I never thought I'd spend that much on a pair of trainers. So what do I think?
I've had them about a month now, I wanted to wear them in a bit before I reviewed them.
First off, they initially felt extremely comfortable. When I tried them on in the shop they felt great, and really springy and nice. I didn't feel unstable, even though the blurb says:
"The EasyTone Curve, built on Reebok’s patented muscle-toning sole technology, creates a slight instability, much like walking on sand. They encourage toning through increased muscle activation in three key areas of the leg: the gluteus maximus, hamstrings and calves. Up to 28%, in fact. Like we said, sharp curves ahead.
- EasyTone balance pod technology encourages up to 11% more toning in the hamstrings and calves, and up to 28% in the glutes
- Synthetic/mesh upper for comfort, support and breathability
- Dual density medial post provides superior stability, while adjustable heel strap reduces heel slippage
- SmoothFit design ensures minimal rub and ultimate comfort"
At first, like I said, they were really comfortable. The first time I wore them, taking the dog for a short 25 minute walk, I came back and my heels had been rubbed raw and were bleeding. Very painful. I perhaps should have worn pre-emptive plasters, but still, I hadn't imagined they would rub like that. I had to wear plasters for 3 weeks after that to stop the pain, and thick pairs of socks for the first week or so. Not great.
I also realised, after a few days, that they were extremely tight over the bridge of my feet. I have wide feet and a high instep so have trouble with some shoes because of that, but I've never had trainers that have been so narrow. It got to the point that I was desperate to take them off on the train because I was having pins and needles. Luckily, things seem to have stretched a bit and they're not so tight anymore; I loosened the laces a lot as well which helped a bit. They don't make my feet feel numb anymore but they're still slightly tight. Perhaps Reebok should look into this and realise that quite a lot of people have wide feet/high insteps and trainers should accommodate that.
Despite them not being very comfortable for the first few weeks, I still wore them everyday because 1) I'd spent a considerable amount of money on them and 2) I could actually feel some effect, which I was surprised about. Even after the first week, my legs were aching more than I usually felt when wearing normal shoes to work.
After a month of using them, my calf muscles are definitely more toned. Not too sure about my thighs but that might come later. My mum commented that my hips looked slimmer so that might be an effect. But they definitely worked my ankle and calf muscles more, and I'm still feeling it when I walk to work, even on friday, on a very fast pace because I was late, I could feel my ankle muscles really working and they ached the next day. Which is a good thing of course.
Overall, they're alright. If they weren't so tight and caused rubbing at the beginning I would have hailed them as pretty damn good, as they do seem to be toning much more than normal walking. The fact that I'd already walked for a month every day to the station in normal shoes, vs using these, and I could tell there was a marked difference.
The other thing I have found is that I am able to walk faster in them, too. The springy base of the shoes is much better at propelling me forward and I can get to the station in 35 minutes now, if I walk really fast. Which means 10 extra minutes in bed/eating breakfast. I like that.
I haven't yet tried them out running; I'm not entirely sure if you're supposed to but I don't see why not. Apparently Reebok are bringing out Runtone and Traintone later.. for running and gym respectively. Slightly skeptical of that; possible money-making scheme saying you need three different trainers for three different types of exercise. I don't do a great deal of running and never go to the gym so I have no use for either. I'll stick with my easytones I think.
My verdict: If you do a lot of walking, and have the spare cash (which I really didn't buy hey ho), then you might as well. If you have wide feet, I wouldn't recommend it. It's taken a month of walking in them every day to wear them down to be comfortable and not tight or rub.