Top critical review
434 people found this helpful
on June 7, 2009
I am an MBT user and was really hoping that the Skechers Shape Ups would work because I like the appearance and price of the Skechers. I am a dancer and doc so I am very aware of how shoes are made and whether they can help or cause health problems.
However, while they may look similar on the outside (ie. chunky sole), this Skechers model is functionally very different that MBTs: when I wear the Skechers, the way the soft sole is constructed just makes my feet/ankle role inward (very bad if you have normal or flat feet). Also the Skechers bottom isn't as squishy/angled as MBT's so it doesn't have the MBT wobbly effect that forces my thighs/butt to tense up to "work out" while standing or walking.
In summary, the Skechers Shape Ups feels just like a regular sneaker with an extra-large cushioned sole, and doesn't have have the right amount/location of instabilty to match the effects of MBT. If you have very forgiving feet and just want a cute walking shoe, this might be right for you. But it definitely isn't going to give you the type of "workout" that MBT's do, and it can cause injuries in anyone with feet or knee problems.
(BTW: If you've never used MBT before, imagine yourself trying to balance on one leg while standing on a soft couch or mattress -- all sorts of muscles have to spring into action. A major difference with MBT's is despite the intentional instability effect that it is trying to create, my flat feet feel very well supported and doesn't cause my arches/ankles from sinking like with the Skechers.
There are lots of MBT styles online that aren't sold in stores. For example, if you search for the "MBT Lami" it looks very similar to this Skecher shoe. Check out zappos dot com or swissmasaius dot com for all the options.