Up until a couple of years ago, fitness experts debated between running and walking- which of these old standby’s provides the best workout? Is one better than the other for scorching calories, or for supporting your joint health?
Enter Skechers, a shoe company that has seemingly been around forever. Once loved by skaters and those who liked rocking sneakers for fashion and not for utility, Skechers revamped the walking world with the release of its Shape-Ups line of shoes.
Designed to intensify resistance to certain muscle groups, Shape-Ups immediately became a hot item to women and men who wish to tone their lower-halves while simply walking as they would without these shoes. At over $100 a pop, they were a pricey shoe but a cheap alternative to a monthly gym membership.
Now, this post is not intended to debate how well these Shape-Ups work, or if they work at all. It is to discuss whether or not these kicks should be introduced to the kids’ market.

While our youth typically do not debate between training to run a 10k or taking up Cross Fit classes, they are being bombarded with pressure to appear fit and sexy – stressful enough feat for adults, and just downright daunting to children.
Does promoting booty-tightening shoes send the wrong message to children, or does it simply help them establish muscular fitness while playing as they normally would? Should we toss their Velcro sneakers and light-up shoes in the Goodwill bag and buy them pricey muscle toning shoes? Will this set them up for a healthy adulthood with appreciation for fitness, or for a future of body distortion and eating disorders?

Childhood obesity is an epidemic which must be tackled at various levels, home being the most important one. We can all agree that education and knowledge is power when it comes to our bodies and health, so are these shoes necessary for children?

I believe that we should educate our children by example- if we lead healthy lives as parents, they will most likely follow in our paths. There are generations upon generations of children who grew up strong and healthy without shoes to get them there – send the kids out on a bike ride, or take them for a nice, long hike. That will be far more beneficial in the long-run than specialty shoes, for both your child and for yourself.