Consumer Nation

Sick of Toning Footwear? Now, a Shoe That Helps You Walk Farther

Now that athletic shoe maker Reebok has convinced consumers that they can better tone their legs and butt by walking in its EasyTone shoes, it has developed the ZigTech, a shoe designed to help people walk farther.

Marketing it as an "energy drink for your feet," the company claims the ZigTech — released Thursday — reduces the "wear and tear" on your shins by about 20 percent, allowing you to move around longer.

The $100 shoes were created with a zig-zagging sole that acts similar to a Slinky, transferring energy from one side of the foot to the other, said Jim Gabel, president of Reebok North America, in an interview on CNBC.

Reebok hopes the shoes will also shift more cash toward its sales. The company captured a 31 percent share of the shaping and toning footwear category last year — a category expected to grow to $1 billion in 2010.

Reebok plans to capture more market share from Skechers, whose Shape-Ups shoes make up 61 percent of the category, by innovating further, Gabel said.

He said Reebok has already developed the RunTone, to tone people's muscles while running, and is working on two separate models to be worn at the gym and to play basketball.

"Innovation's going to drive this category," he said. "We're very comfortable in our capability to lead."

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