Reebok have a new shoe out called The Easy Tone Shoe (RunTone for men). It claims to tone your butt up to 28% more, Hamstrings and Calves 11% more (more than regular walking shoes). The shoes are for walking only - they are not recommened for running. The way they work is by using balance ball technology to force your muscles to work harder to try to stabilize you body.
The design of the shoes (or flip flops if you prefer) appears to reduce stress on the knee and ankle joints. And one very common testimonial is how comfortable the shoes are.
Check out one of the commercials here - some people say the commercials are sexist, play on womens insecurities and fragment womens bodies...
I however, think it is fantastic marketing - and all the women in the commerical are active ( just remember, these womens butts and legs looked like that when they were hired for the commercial!)
A friend of mine, Trish wears them for her shifts at the hospital that can be up to 12 hours long. She said that she would buy them again purely because of how comfortable they are. She said she has not noticed any extra toning from the shoes, but knows people who say that they have.
That brings up an issue I have with the shoe and reeboks claims - there has been no independent studies done. Which means that all the information out there about the shoes is coming directly from reebok.
On Monday the 21 I am participating in a study where I will be walking in the Easy Tone shoes, regular Reebok Runner as well as barefoot. - the study is for reebok to get more numbers behind their claims
I will keep you posted on what I think of them - if they really are comfortable and take stress of my knee then they might be worth it just for that.
If you are looking for more tone of your leg muscle - I would recommend strength training over buying a pair of runners any day. But if you do a lot of walking already, or having them would encourage you to get more active then check them out.