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1. Does toning of shoes actually help in toning the different parts of body? What are the parts that may get maximum benefit?

Rocker sole shoes are increasingly marketed as toning shoes. Despite multiple brands available in the market differing in technical and design aspects, basic principle of working mechanism remains the same.  Few shoes have unstable and strongly curved sole. Walking with these shoes is as similar as exercising on wobble or balance board or walking barefoot on sandy beach.
Manufacturers claim that instability created in shoes demands the active work of muscles in human body like muscles of feet, legs, buttocks, and abdominals, also aiding in promoting weight loss.
Research Evidence by La.crorre- Winsonson, revealed that toning shoes showed no significant increase in either exercise response or muscle activation in a group of active women. The parameter tested includes Rate of Perceived Exertion, Oxygen Consumption, Energy Expenditure and It was found that there were no significant differences in any of the shoe brands.
Another study done by ACE (American Council of Exercise) on biomechanics of these shoes suggested that neither has it helped you to exercise more intensively, nor it burn more calories and improve your muscle strength.  Literature also stated that unfortunately these shoes do not deliver fitness or muscle toning benefits as they claim. Moreover, unstable shoe design causes temporary soreness of muscle with changes in gait patterns.
2. Are there any negative effects?

Researchers suggest that long term usage of these shoes may lead to neuromuscular problems like muscle soreness, ankle sprains, tendonitis, cartilage injuries, ligament injury, plantar fasciitis etc.
3. Do they have any effect on calorie burning?

Despite of the claims, there is no credible evidence that wearing toning shoes will make your legs toned or burn extra calories. In fact literature states that extended or prolonged wearing or using these shoes might result in alteration of your walking mechanics leading to joint and muscle injuries.

Dr. G.K. Balaji
Head of Physiotherapy department,
S.L.Raheja Hospital (A Fortis Associate).