They're marketed as "The Flip-Flop With The Gym Built In."
They made Oprah's coveted "summer favorites" list, and have become a favorite among chronic knee-pain and back-pain sufferers.
Celebrities love them. Hilary Swank, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Garner and Jessica Biel have all been photographed sporting the fitness flip-flop. British Olympic long jumper, Jade Johnson, who suffers from a painful foot condition, told a U.K. newspaper that she gained the same benefit from wearing FitFlops as she did from exercises recommended by her physiotherapist.
What FitFlops claim to do
FitFlops were initially designed to help women squeeze a little more exercise into their increasingly hectic schedules. Slightly destabilizing, the FitFlop features a fusion of three different types of EVA foam into its center, challenging the muscles more every time you step.
Originally created with fitness in mind, walking in FitFlops has been reported to tone legs and glutes, alleviate chronic back pain, speed rehabilitation of injured joints, decrease swelling and aching legs after standing or walking, and result in inch loss.
What the experts say
The FitFlops and, of course, the MicroWobbleboard, actually do provide some great fitness benefits, says msnbc.com fitness contributor Jay Blahnik, a Laguna Beach, Calif.-based fitness trainer who has worked with celebrities, including Jane Fonda. It just doesn’t provide benefits anyone really wants. The wobbleboard makes walking a little harder for your feet, which normally don’t have to work very hard during workouts, when they’re stuffed in cushy athletic shoes, Blahnik says.
“The concept of strengthening your feet – that’s a great concept, but it’s not going to lead you to smaller thighs or a smaller butt,” Blahnik says. He thinks the FitFlops might also help improve your posture and balance, which aren’t often at the top of my reasons to hit the gym.
Gina Lombardi, a personal trainer and the host of FIT TV’s “Fit Nation,”compares the wobbleboard embedded in the shoe to a super small version of a stability ball or a Bosu, and she agrees with Blahnik – the benefits are real, but a bit overblown.
“That wobbleboard in there is making it unstable for the foot, so the foot does have to work a little harder, and it does kind of project on up the legs, and your quads and your glutes have to work a little harder – but it’s still such a miniscule movement,” Lombardi says. “It’s hard for me to believe that it’s significant enough for it to ever replace a workout.”
Click here to find out where to buy FitFlops.
Sources: Athlone Advertiser FitFlop MSNBC Worcester News StarTribune.com
My personal favorite flip-flop
They probably won't help me lose any weight or get me in better shape, but I just love my Crocs Athens flip flops.
My husband bought them for my birthday. I wear them all the time - except to the office. Right when I get home from work, I kick off my shoes and slip on my Crocs.
I can't explain how great they feel on my feet except to say my feet have never felt so good when wearing them. You may want to try a pair on and see what you think. My husband bought mine at a Hallmark Gold Crown store in town but they are available wherever Crocs are sold.
From Crocs website:
Introducing crocs™ rendition of a flip flop that won't stink
• offers a double cushioned, extra soft foot bed and the standard crocs circulation nubs
• slip-resistant and non-marking soles
• anti-microbial and odor resisant
• made with croslite™ PCCR material
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