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If your favorite shoes tend to be strappy little numbers that score pretty high on the sexy meter, the negative heel may not have caught your eye yet. But what these babies lack in hotness, they make up for in good old-fashioned technology. Proponents of the negative heel claim these shoes can make you do what your Mama never could -- stand up straight, girl!
The Negative Heel Shoe
The Masai, an African tribe known for walking about a zillion miles and having posture so perfectly straight even Gwyneth would be jealous, is the inspiration for the negative heel shoe. The shoe is modeled on the concept that we would all be a lot better off if we spent our days hoofing it across sand and other natural terrain. Since most of us are more likely to live in concrete jungles than actual ones, the negative heel is designed to mimic the unique rocking motion of the Masai's allegedly superior stride.
If you're like a lot of people, every once in awhile you probably give some fleeting attention to the sad state of your posture. But unless you're super-disciplined, these mini-posture boot camps probably don't have any lasting impact. Proponents of the negative heel claim that wearing this style of shoe can help make your bad posture a thing of the past. The slightly lower heel causes your shoulders to slide into the proper position. This subtle shift causes the rest of your bod to fall into alignment, resulting in much better posture.
In spite of rigorous daily exercise, the Masai people are supposedly almost free of the kinds of aches and pains so many of us suffer from on a daily basis. If you can credit their walking style for this, then it stands to reason that the negative heel shoe would have a similar effect. The thinking is that moving a perfectly aligned bod puts far less stress on the joints than schlepping around with a body that's all out of whack.
A Training Shoe
Enthusiasts claim the constant muscle adjustments your body must make when walking in the negative heel shoe is great for your figure. Some even claim the shoes have the power to transform that cottage cheese booty into something much tighter and firmer. While the jury is still out on whether wearing a negative heel can actually cancel out that morning croissant, the sore muscles that most people experience after a day or two of wearing these babies give credence to the idea that they have the power to tone and sculpt your body.