Probably some of the most frequently asked questions I get is “what kind of shoes should I buy” Or “what you think of those shoes?” Often these questions are related when the person asking the question already has a type of shoe in mind. Maybe they’ve heard something recently about a new style or type of shoe being built by a particular company. Usually what people have heard is what the marketing people of those companies want them to hear! That this shoe is “innovative, different, or better for them.” And of course-most people want all of those things available to them!

This is a more recent marketing tactic to sell shoes or any product for that matter-that it is somehow better for us than their competition. For many years, the ploy was to utilize famous athletes or celebrities to sell us new athletic shoes. But in more recent years, companies have utilized a more organic approach that plays on our sympathies to not just work out-but to work out more efficiently.

Unfortunately, much of what people hear is in fact just marketing! So over the next few posts we will examine some very recent shoes and the claims that accompany those shoes about their unique abilities. Each post will tackle a particular type of shoe that has had a more recent addition to the body of shoes in general.

Let’s take a few recent examples of shoes that seem to be uniquely different and somehow “better for us.” I’m talking about shoes that make claims about being a superior shoe to the average shoe while somehow making our lives and body better as a result of using them. Some very recent examples: Sketchers Shape Ups , Vibram Five Finger Shoes , and Reeboks ZigTech’s .

In case you missed the marketing campaigns of each of these shoes I’ll do a little background for you-

Skechers Shape Ups

Skechers Shape Ups promised the consumer that they would “tone and shape up your legs and rear end.” The idea was that if you wore these rocker bottomed shoes-the groupings of muscles in your legs and derrière-would get used differently-thus toning and improving while you simply wore them.

Vibram Five Fingered Shoes

Vibram Five Fingered Shoes market themselves as the most natural fit to our foot possible. The concept here is that we don’t need shoes and that the closest thing to perfect-is our foot. This plays on a more minimal approach to shoe gear pulling on the heartstrings of the consumer to go with a more “natural” type of shoe gear.

Reebok ZigTech

Reebok ZigTech’s approach is with the concept that a zigzag pattern to the bottom of the soul would create a better return of energy to the person using the concenergy return from the shoe to increase the efficiency of the user during exercise.

Over the next few weeks I will be examining the claim of the manufacturer or the reputation of the shoe and evaluating it. I welcome the questions of anyone about other shoes which might seem unique or interesting for which people would like to more closely examine or discuss the reputation. Hit me with those questions!

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Dr. P. Roman Burk
Providing experienced private practice podiatry services in the Caldwell and Meridian, ID area since 2007.