Review: Sketchers Shape-ups

Being a bit of a gym-dodger when it comes to exercise, the concept of a pair of trainers that tones up the legs and bum without taking a step near a treadmill appealed immediately.

So, when Fitness Footwear offered me the chance to try out their latest range of Shape Up trainers, I happily took on the challenge.

A few days later and I was strapping on a pair of chunky looking fitness footwear with girly pink piping for my morning dog walk.

Several weeks on, does it stand up to its claims of being a bum-toning, leg-strengthening, posture-improving wondershoe?

Here’s my thoughts…

Sketchers explain that their trainers help you do all of the above thanks to its “unique soft kinetic wedge insert and dynamic rolling bottom to stimulate walking on soft sand”.

So, that explains why none of the cast of Baywatch had cellulite.

The trainers  are surprisingly comfortable, partly because that wedge provide the arch of your foot with a soft support, and partly because they’re just very well made trainers. Walking around in them takes a couple of minutes to adjust to. though, as you rock forwards and back due to the rolling bottom.

Once I got walking, I felt my calves working harder and my core muscles strengthening. I can’t even remember the last time my core muscles made their presence known, so it was a welcome sensation to feel my body automatically adopt a better posture.

Looks-wise, you’re not going to grab any style awards. But they look fairly normal under a pair of trousers or jeans, so you can pop them on for your commute to work or when you’re doing the school run.

In summary:

Wins points for:

  • Working wonders for your calves. I’ve definitely seen an improvement in my legs since using them on a daily basis.
  • Improving your posture. It does make you more aware of a straight posture, although I’m not sure whether this effect lasts after you take the trainers off.
  • Convenience. If you don’t have time to hit the gym, this can help you get your legs ready for the beach.

Loses points for:

:( The look. They’re not exactly ugly, but they’re a little clumpy. But then, when do fitness trainers ever look good?

:( The price. Currently around £89.95. Ouch.

:( Storage. They’re chunky, so there’s no way you can chuck these in your handbag after commuting to work.


These trainers do exactly what they say on the box. However, they’re not a replacement for the gym unless you plan on incorporating a large amount of walking into your daily schedule. They basically optimise the results of your current walking regime, which is no bad thing. If you’ve got a spare £80 hanging around, I’d say they’re worth a purchase.

The trainers were sent to me by Fitness Footwear, and you can buy them here.

Also available on Amazon, eBay or Schuh.

Emma Cossey

Emma is our resident fashion and social media specialist, having worked as a blogger, editor and writer on a number of fashion and beauty websites. She writes regularly for The Bag Lady, and has previously written for The Times Online, Shoewawa and Jorg & Olif among others.

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