Hey, FTC, Yeah I got these shoes from New Balance for free, but the words below are all mine.
While I was at FitBloggin last March, I signed up to send me a pair of New Balance Rock and Tone shoes. Received them a couple weeks ago and have been test wearing them ever since.
As I’ve spent over a year regularly wearing MBTs – probably the “gold standard” in rocker soled shoes- I wanted to see how the Rock and Tone shoes compared.
I have bad feet. Many people have bad feet or weak ankles. Or poor posture. Or weak balance. If you have ANY of these issues- rocker-soled shoes will help you. For me? There are days when they are the only way that I can walk around.
That’s why I originally purchased a pair of the MBTs. And why I was anxious to try the New Balance Rock&Tone.
In a “side by side” comparison:
1. The New Balance shoes are considerably lighter. The lighter shoes means there is less fatigue and less of a tendency for an altered gait because of the weight.
2. The New Balance shoes have a slightly reduced rocker profile. I like this- they look like “regular” shoes.
3. The New Balance shoes are cooler. I cannot wear the MBTs in the summertime. Using more muscles in my feet combined with the construction tends to make my feet warmer. Warm enough that combined with summer heat and I’m not wearing these when it’s hot.
The MBTs because they have a greater rocker profile do challenge me to balance/rock/stabilize more when I’m simply standing, a feature I enjoy. However over all, you will see me wearing my New Balance shoes more.
Now an honest assessment of any rocker-soled shoe ability to tone/firm/burn more calories. I find I DO work a little harder to maintain a good posture while wearing any rocker shoe, which might result in a slight increase in working the leg muscles; but, I don’t believe that I work THAT MUCH harder to tone these muscles. So, inspite of advertising, I wouldn’t purchase these just just to burn more calories.
New Balance- in the press release announcing these shoes- explained the reasoning for rocker soled shoes:
The design of New Balance rock&tone footwear was based on learnings from the pedorthic and rehabilitation communities which show that rocker bottoms encourage the use of alternative muscle groups resulting in additional toning and caloric expenditure.
Now many people when they walk will walk in a very mechanically efficient way- most of the work being done by their skeleton- stacking bone over bone with minimum muscle engagement. Have you ever heard a person who states that they walk 3 miles or more a day and don’t understand why they are not losing weight or getting firmer muscles? They are working “efficiently” but not working their muscles. Put someone like this in a rocker soled shoe and they will forced to change their gait to use their muscles more in movement.