Toning or unstable footwear had been all the fad a decade ago. The promotors of those shoes made unbelievable promises for them. These promises ranged from enabling weight loss to eradicating cellulite to toning the glutes to treating sore backs. These shoes were built with a rocker on the sole aimed at increasing muscle activity to obtain those assumed benefits. Sadly, the evidence failed to back the alleged benefits and there was a great deal of litigation from dissatisfied customers and many manufacturers were forced to negotiate multi-million dollar agreements with the Federal Trade Commission.
Although all that is in the past you will still find some of these shoes available and they still do have some support from those people who are familiar with the toning shoes. The footwear do alter the way that you move and then for some individuals that could sometimes result in an improvement in some things like low back pain. Similarly, it could make some individuals with low back pain feel worse. There is a lot of research being geared towards investigating exactly what these shoes do and exactly who will benefit from them and who may be hurt by them. Different people are going to respond differently the shoe.
Podiatrists appear to particularly like these types of toning shoes due to the kind of patients that they see. The rocker sole design of the footwear makes them especially useful for those with a sore big toe joint, as with these shoes the joint does not need to move as much. However, while that may be helpful for that joint it does put more load on the ankle joint so could possibly create or make worse issues at the ankle joint. It was problems like this that led to the litigation issues in the past and need to be carefully considered by anyone suggesting or using these shoes. They do have their uses and they may help for the right people with the right condition.