- Promote Weight Loss
- Strengthen the back
- Firm calf and buttock muscles
- Reduce cellulite and tone your thighs
- Increase cardiovascular health
- Improve posture
- Reduce stress on knee and ankle joints
Ok, so I had been in France and I had been forced to eat rather too much French cheese and saucisson and I could have done with shifting a few pounds. And besides, Skechers were responsible for making my all-time favorite flip-flops which I had worn constantly for about five Summers until they had died a death and left me devastated in the process.
It was a no-brainer. I agreed to review them.
So when they arrived in the post, I was more than eager to put them on and start off-setting the thick layers of peanut butter that I had smeared all over my toast that morning.
But, alas, before putting them on it was recommended that I watch an instructional DVD. Now let me just paint a quick picture for you. This is mid-Summer holidays. I have two children. Under no circumstances am I allowed to watch anything on television other than Peppa Pig and Dora the Explorer without encountering so much resistance that I know it's futile to continue. And besides, an instructional DVD for a pair of trainers? Oh purlease. I may be verging on the lazy side, but I have worn a pair of trainers before.
So I tossed the DVD aside and slipped my feet straight into the superior quality uppers of durable leather and breathable mesh. Well you would, wouldn't you?
I almost toppled over there and then.
If only I'd watched the DVD, I would have heard the words of wisdom...
Take a moment to find your centre of balance.
But fret not. I managed to steady myself against the wall and as I did so I realised I could almost touch the ceiling. These trainers were huge. It felt like I was standing in five-inch heels, without the elegance or sophistication that heels bring, unfortunately. In fact, it felt like someone had tied two bricks to the bottom of my feet...extremely soft and comfortable bricks, but bricks nonetheless. And what's more, they made me about six foot tall. Now in the brochure that accompanies the DVD (which I quickly sat down and read just in case I was missing something important like 'under no circumstances should you put these on your feet if you are over five foot tall'), it states that;
With proper use, your body will appear taller.
The thing is, I don't really want to be taller. I'm quite happy being 5ft 8 already (ok, ok 5ft 7 and a half). No, but seriously, I'm above average height for a woman and my feet are definitely larger than average too. And trainers in particular have a way of making my feet feel like boats. And the Sketchers Shape-Ups, well they may be the QE2 of boats, but they're still boats.
However, I am a fair kinda gal and an open-minded one at that (no one mention poo please, this is a serious trainer review), so I regained my balance (not quite as easy as it sounds) and strode straight out of the front door to put them through their paces. Four hours later I returned home on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year (just my luck) and released my poor, sweaty, sorry feet. They were in agony. As were my legs, my buttocks and even my back.
When I did eventually watch the DVD (much later when the girls had gone to bed), I learnt that...
Shape-Ups will probably feel awkward at first.
Hmmm. Well, they're not wrong there. And it goes on to recommend that...
You should start by wearing them for short periods of time (ie 15 to 20 minutes).
Ok, so it serves me right for not having paid attention to the instructional DVD, but even if I had, it does state that...
Consistent use may result in soreness during the first few weeks of use. As your muscles strengthen, aches 'should' subside.
So how long is 'a few weeks'? Aches 'should' subside? What if they don't? Do I really have the time or inclination to wear a pair of trainers which are 'awkward' feeling and cause me pain for a few weeks, on the off-chance that my buttocks might be firmer? Anyway, who said I wanted firmer buttocks? My husband has never complained.
And then I watched the DVD again, just to make sure I hadn't missed anything. And do you know what they suggested? A series of exercises entitled Kick Back, Rock & Roll, Roll & Rock & Roll and The Lean. Exercises? But I thought they were supposed to tone up without exercising. Or was that without going to the gym? But isn't that the same thing? I mean, people who don't want to go to the gym (me), hardly want to stand with their palms pressed against a wall whilst they bend their knees and stretch out their leg muscles in repetitions of 5, do they?
Ok, so this is the thing. There's no denying that they look good - when I first saw them in the box I was impressed and there's also no denying that they're comfortable - the four separate cushioned linings see to that, but they're just strange-feeling. Kind of un-natural. And in fact, the brochure says that Skechers Shape Ups teach you to walk in a different way. But that's the problem. I don't want to walk in a different way. This is England. If I start swinging my hips and pretending to be on a catwalk then, apart from feeling like a prize plonker, I'll probably be beaten-up. And I'd really rather not be.
Soooooooooo. That's my review. Well, they did say in the e-mail that they wanted an honest review. And as one of my esteemed readers told me only a few days ago, my blog is one of the most honest ones she's ever read.
So there you go. You can't say fairer than that.
I'm sorry lovely people at Skechers. But seriously, my feet are still hurting...