Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Shoe with Balance Ball Technology

I saw this article and had to share it with everyone.

Apparently the study testing the effectiveness of the balance ball technology shoes was 5 women walking 500 steps in the shoes and measuring the muscle activity compared to walking in "regular" shoes and barefoot. Really! Only 5 women walking 500 steps. Are they kidding? This study seems more than a bit weak to me. I had been considering the shoes until I read this. Now it seems like they could be just another marketing scam.

Do you any of you have these shoes and if you do what do you think of them? Have you been able to measure any difference after wearing the shoes?


  1. Hey, I thought I'd pop over to your pad for a while since we've been hanging out at mine. :) Oh, I added a comment to your last one by the way. And, yes, five women does seem like a pretty weak study. Maybe add two zeros to that. Have a great, chilly day!

  2. Blessedmama,

    Thanks for letting me know you agree. I am a little surprised by the size of the study. Since it wasn't peer reviewed and was so small and of short duration I don't see how it can be of any value other than marketing.

    I hope you have a great chilly day too!

  3. Slightly related, I'm a huge fan of Vibram FiveFingers shoes. Since they have only a very thin layer of rubber, you are essentially walking barefoot. I use them primarily for running, but when I first got them, I walked the dogs while wearing them (probably about 2 miles a day). I could immediately feel my leg and feet muscles tiring. This is because the lack of shoe cushioning is compensated by the body to reduce impact.

    Also, the 500 steps is ridiculously short. That's more of a concern to me than the number of subjects.

  4. Matt,

    Thanks for mentioning the FiveFinger shoes. I have been looking at those since I am definitely more of a barefoot kind of a girl. Do you think they would work well for yoga? In other words do you think they would slide around or stick.


  5. Alicia,

    The Vibram website advertises them for yoga, but I don't know of their popularity for that purpose (not that I've been looking). I've read that they are somewhat popular for pilates and I know they have a cult following for body building.

    The big advantage for these activities is that the foot fits perfectly inside the shoe so there is no wobbling. I can't imagine that you could slide around while wearing them. In my ignorance, I figured that yoga practitioners always go barefoot, but now I'm guessing that is not the case.


  6. Matt,

    Thanks so much for the insight. I can't wait to try them now.

    BTW, barefoot yoga is great when the weather is warm, but right now it is a little cool for that. However if these make my feet stick better they may be something I use all year.

    thanks again for the advice,


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