Tuesday, July 20, 2010

FitFlop Sandals….Do They Really Work?

Designed and tested at the Centre for Human Performance in London, the FitFlop sandal has become increasingly popular among consumers seeking the same benefits as the Skechers ShapeUps and MBT shoes. The company has designed a broad range of styles from sporty to trendy to accommodate almost every situation imaginable.
The premise behind the FitFlop technology centers around the company’s trademarked Micowobbleboard technology that is designed to increase the amount of time the wearer’s leg muscles are engaged while walking. By creating an unstable platform, the body must put forth more effort to remain balanced. The midsole material is comprised of a high density heel for shock absorption, a low density midfoot portion for instability, and a mid density forefoot which helps maintain pace while walking. The company claims that the sandals can reduce back and ankle stress, realign force through the body while walking, and activates leg muscles by up to 30% more than regular shoes. These claims come from user perceptions as well as research conducted by the company itself on 15 women. Currently, the UK government has given a 2 year grant to FitFlop Footwear to continue research on the benefits of the FitFlop and the Microwobbleboard technology. To read current research the company has performed, click here.
User reviews are positive among consumers in regards to overall comfort and cushion of the flip flops, affordability, and overall aesthetic appeal. Many consumer review sites have claims that the flip flops really do engage the leg as well as core muscles. Most negative reviews are that they simply can’t find the footwear or that stores are sold out! The FitFlop Footwear company has an extensive FAQ site that answers many questions from general to medical about the FitFlops.
FitFlops have received the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) which is awarded to companies whose products have been shown to promote foot health. There are currently no third party research articles specific to the FitFlop. In regards to whether or not the product really works, the best answer is probably. People with foot problems should consult a podiatrist before purchasing a pair of FitFlops. (A claim the company makes on its website.) Also remember that buying new (proper) footwear in general can lead us to become more motivated to exercise more often than usual and live a healthier lifestyle. No piece of footwear can help you lose weight and gain strength without the wearer actually putting them on and doing some work. So if a new pair of kicks is what helps you become more active, then make a trip to a local shoe store or FitFlop retailer and get fitted! For even more information on selecting proper footwear, click here, then click on "shoes" on the right side of your screen.