By Jessica Thomas

Spring is the time for shaping up for summer swimsuits. Brookhaven-based Shape Up Shoes says it can provide a step in the right direction.

“Slip on Shape Up Shoes for 30 minutes a day while doing household chores, and wearing them consistently will improve your posture and tone your inner core, legs, abs and glutes,” said Trammell Wilson, the owner and founder of Shape Up Shoes. “Shape Up Shoes are the most innovative way to tone your body and shed pounds.”

He said the benefit comes from the shape of the sole (somewhat like a seesaw). The wearer is forced to use extra muscles in the legs, abdomen and rear to stay upright and balanced, Wilson said. Those muscles, therefore, are strengthened and toned.

The tendency when wearing the shoes is to rock backward or roll forward. But the idea is to focus on the flat part of the shoes under the ball of the foot, keeping the foot parallel to the ground just as you would when standing barefoot, Wilson said.

The motion when walking in Shape Up Shoes is similar to that of balancing on a stability board in combination with using a StairMaster, he said.

The shoes come in three styles: flip-flops, clogs and boots. The flip-flops are the most popular style because they are easiest to wear, and the calorie-burning rate when wearing the flip-flops is three times that of wearing normal shoes, Wilson said. The boots and clogs are not as dramatically cut and have twice the calorie-burning rate of normal shoes.

Buckhead professional trainer Michelle McDonald said the shoes are helpful for toning and tightening when used in addition to a rigorous workout and balanced diet.

“I believe being fit takes a lot of motivation and drive,” McDonald said. “One must work out and lift weights to build muscle and tighten the body, as well as eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Doing this, coupled with wearing Shape Up Shoes daily, increases your chance of losing weight and becoming a more fit individual.”

The negative-heeled shoes, which were invented by an obstetrician/gynecologist in California, reportedly help alleviate many other physical problems.

Wilson said that wearing the shoes consistently will significantly reduce the onset of varicose and spider veins because they promote a deep vein pumping action with each step. It also helps those who suffer from lower back pain, swelling in their arms and legs, and plantar fasciitis he said.

Wilson discovered the shoes in 2006 and started Shape Up Shoes. They are sold at the Brookhaven Nuts and Berries and at