No, says an American Council on Exercise study. Despite a slew of manufacturer-sponsored research findings boasting that these toning shoes are “proven” to help burn more calories, tone muscles, improve posture and reduce joint stress, the buzz has no bite. Toning shoes aren't any more effective than regular sneakers for those who want to achieve these fitness goals.

What toning shoes do is feel different, experts suggest. Those who claim the shoes must work because they experience muscle soreness after wearing them are simply using different muscles.

Will this new walking workout translate into a tight tush, toned hamstrings and shapely calves? Sorry, but no, no and no. Why? Because walkers quickly adapt to the sneakers' off--balance mechanics that manufacturers claim will force them to use more effort to walk.

More troublesome is that health experts are concerned about the new walking styles enforced by rocker-soled sneaks—especially when they're worn often.

But there is a way to burn more calories and boost muscle tone while walking—and it's lots cheaper than a new pair of shoes. Just tote a pair of hand weights while you walk. Now, step to it!