The Harms of Reebok’s Butt-toning Shoes

**This post picks on Reebok not because they sexually objectify women less than Nike in their ads or because Sketchers didn’t market butt-toning shoes first, but because Reebok currently making a killllliiinnnggg on these shoes.  We’re talking billions.**

Ever since I saw the first advertisement for Reebok’s butt-toning shoes on tv I was so angry for several reasons.

1) These shoes take advantage of women with poor self esteem, or women that feel guilty for not having time to work out, who think that wearing shoes can work out your butt.  Face it – Reebok hires women with already great butts and legs to model these shoes.  Even Nike admits that the health benefits Reebok promises are unfounded and a just “quick fix” solution.

Note: "The shoes work if you do."

Reebok states: “Discover a 28% more of a workout for your butt, up to 11% more of your hamstrings and calves. So 88% of men will be speechless, 76% of women will be jealous, and 0% will know the real reason is all in your feet.” 28% more of a workout than what?  Wearing normal tennis shoes?

How does the shoe even “work” at all?  Two balance pods under the heel and forefoot create instability when the wearer walks, forcing the muscles to work harder.  This is the same instability you would experience when walking in high heels.  In fact, some sources say that these shoes can actually do more harm than good.

Natural Bias says that Reebok Easytones prioritize appearance over optimal function:

Although unstable surfaces can be beneficial for rehabilitation and injury prevention, this doesn’t necessarily make it a good idea to be regularly walking on “balance pods” that are embedded in rigid soles.

Furthermore, the toes provide support and neuromuscular feedback which is important for balance and is likely to play a role in promoting proper walking mechanics. It seems that the “balance pods” in Reebok’s EasyTone sneakers would reduce toe function even more so than a normal sneaker.

Another concern is that the slight instability created by the EasyTone sneakers likely makes them inappropriate for certain activities, especially sports. Any activity that demands additional strength, balance, and agility, which can be something as simple as running on a bumpy sidewalk to catch a bus, will increase the need for stability.

Because Reebok’s EasyTone sneakers are intentionally designed create slight instability, they oppose this need and can potentially increase the risk of injury in such situations. Although most people might consider this to be a matter of common sense, I’m sure there are some who would assume that the EasyTone sneakers are safe to use for any activity that regular sneakers could be used for.

2) The ads used to sell these shoes sexually objectify women.  In nearly all of the ads women’s asses become the defining characteristic of women’s bodies.  Literally, women are a sum of their parts, and most of the time their faces aren’t even shown (as in the ads above and below).

Here’s one of Reebok’s ads which characterizes boobs as bickering women competing for male attention.  Kjerstin Johnson for Bitch Magazine also points out that their advertisements assume a heterosexual audience as noted by Reebok’s own percentages and their advertisements which refer to men’s attraction.

These ads also sexualize women with full-on nudity.  Keep in mind – shoes can’t make you beautiful.  But Photoshop, great lighting, self esteem, and good genes can!  And most assuredly, no shoes can make you curvy or give you beautiful breasts.

Kelly Brook in front of her own Reebok Easytone billboard.

Helena Christensen selling sex, not shoes.

Women!  Are we buying sex, self esteem, or shoes?  Can’t we work out to be powerful?  To be healthy?  Do we need sports bras that accent our workout shorts and waterproof makeup for the gym?  (The answer’s no.)

2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Harms of Reebok’s Butt-toning Shoes

  1. roro

    so i agree with you in a way, the advertisements are very sexual and i guess in a way degrading but… It’s also a good way to get women to boost up there confidence in little ways for example, walking to work in running shoes that automaticaly puts an idea in there mind that these shoes help reetone, in reality it’s just boosting up there confidence which would make them want to walk more with the shoes…it’s all an advertising stratagy but in the end, how would you reetone if ur sitting in a chair wearing the shoes? Nike is just being smart by saying quote “the shoes work if you do”…I think anyone thats buying a new pair of running shoes would automaticaly know that. This is just competition between companies. To be honest I really want a pair of the reebok shoes, not because i think the shoes will reetone me without me doing any effort, but because of the feeling that these shoes make you feel good because they HELP tone, so the work is not just you alone, it’s you and the shoes as ONE. They give confidence that i think all women need not just in having a better ass, but working out and feeling confident. I like the idea of the shoes, and i like the fact it’s all about women, AND YES, sex does sell, not just to men but to women as well. Theres nothing wrong with that. I was very impressed by these product and I’m really glad it’s selling well! I can’t wait to get a pair of my own and get my ass out to the gym as well! But I enjoyed your points and facts on your review. Thanks again!!!!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Gross | Cultural Granola

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