I have more in common with Helena Christensen (pictured here) than you might realise. We're both 41, and mothers of ten-year-olds.
But Helena looks like a supermodel, whereas I look like the 41-year-old mother of a ten-year-old. But now all that is set to change - as I have been wearing her shoes.
Not Helena's actual shoes, but Reebok Easytone Trainers just like the ones in the picture here. So all I need to do is wear them for a bit and I'll look like that, right?
Reebok claims that wearing these shoes will make your muscles work up to 28% harder than normal. Your bottom, thighs, calves and hamstrings will all get a workout just by wearing these trainers instead of ordinary shoes.
Shoes that claim to keep you fit have really developd in the last few years, whilst I have been getting toned the old fashioned way, going to the gym every week.
So I wore them during my daily business - on the school run, during our day out to Legoland, at the shops.
Did they work? Are they worth the money? Can I now rip up my gym membership card?
Well, they definitely did something. When I'd been wearing them for a few hours, I could feel an ache right up my leg - exactly the same feeling I get after an hour-long martial arts class with lots of kicking.
They're incredibly comfortable to wear; it feels like walking on tiny trampolines. They feel bouyant, but secure. The only time they didn't feel secure was when I wore them whilst leaping around in my Body Combat class. Maybe they're best kept to the road?
There wasn't any inch loss, but my legs did look more toned after a few weeks of wearing. I took my daughter swimming and she said Mum, you've got really muscly legs. In ten years of taking that child swimming she has never once remarked on my body, apart from laughing at my stretchmarks. I asked my partner if he noticed a difference, and he replied You always look lovely, which as any wise man will tell you, is The Right Answer.
As trainers go, they're very stylish. I wore the Easytone Trend style in silver and purple (RRP £70). Mums at school were coming up to me to compliment them. People never usually remark on what I'm wearing, unless it's to point out that my label's sticking out. Unlike other workout shoes which tend to have thick soles, these look like normal trainers, and will go with anything.
I also tried out some more of the Reebok kit - I liked the capri pants because they had a wide stretchy band across the stomach. Many workout trousers have a drawstring waist which is not kind to any tummy over a size 10. The short sleeved top has mesh panels to keep you cool, a godsend in the current weather. It's a nice range, though I would prefer it if it came in proper dress sizes rather than S, M, and L.
Whilst it seems that you do get a good lower body workout with these shoes, that still leaves the upper body. So I won't be cancelling my gym membership just yet. No point in having super-toned legs if your arms are weak as a kitten. But during the school holidays, when it's harder to find time to fit in exercise, I intend to wear my Easytones as much as possible. And then stand next to a ladder in the nip. Me and Helena, you won't be able to spot the difference.
Other shoes claiming to tone your legs whilst you walk include:
- Skechers Shape-Ups - Read Emma's review of the Skechers Shape-ups
- MBT shoes - the originals with the curved soles
- Fit flops - the sandals that give you a workout