Over the past few years, there’s been a complete saturation of the athletic footwear market with shoes promising to lift your butt, tighten your thighs, and get you firmer faster than if you were wearing any other run-of-the-mill sneaker. I own both the original FitFlops and the Reebok RunTones. I like my butt just fine, but I don’t know if they deserve the credit for its profile. (In fact, I like my butt even better in high heels, but they’ve never made it into my gym bag.)
Now, right in the middle of the holiday shopping season and coming up on the “Oh my God, I need to lose that last 10 pounds I gained in 2010 for the New Year” countdown, Reebok has released its latest miracle-pill fitness gear: Reebok EasyTone Apparel.
The website promises that the “sexy tops” and pants—which they say can be be worn under street clothes as well as used as workout apparel—will target upper and lower body muscles with built-in resistance bands, and that they’ll encourage better posture. Basically, the idea is you’ll be toning and firming your body no matter if you’re power walking through the neighborhood or twisting to answer your desk phone at work.
Um, okay. They almost sold me on the mostly scientifically backed shoes (they claim to the balance ball-inspired pods on the bottom of the shoes creates micro-instability, which tones your back end with each step), but do I really think a tank top will give my upper body a workout?
Not really, but of course, I had to find out for myself. After seeing the EasyTone apparel commercial for the first time, it took me about a hot minute to run out to my local sports store to try these clothes on for myself.
My thoughts on the hard-working apparel:
1. The fit is more than “fitted.” I almost needed my husband to come into the dressing room to help me squeeze myself into the pants, and I would argue that even a contortionist would have a hard time getting into the tank top. If you’re at all blessed in the chest area, run away from the bra-lined tank.
2. They do have the potential to elevate your hotness. Once I got into the clothes, my attitude changed. Yes, the pants were thick and tight and gave me a workout just trying to get them on, but they also made my bottom half look amazing. Not a bump, nary a ripple. The built-in resistance bands criss-crossing the thighs (what Reebok calls ResisTone) were invisible under the thick fabric. I trotted around the store for a bit, trying to get a feel if the magical claims could be true. It felt a lot like I was wearing a pair of Spanx and I did feel good in them, though I wasn’t sure if they were truly slimming me or just sucking me in. Worth $80? Almost.
3. The t-shirt is more comfortable than the tank. Both have the same racerback-style resistance bands visible on the back of the shirt, so I’d go with the less-restricting option. I found myself standing up a little straighter and pulling my shoulder blades closer together. Worth $55? Not to me. I’d rather spend the cash on a really good sports bra.
As you can see, I still wasn’t entirely sure what I thought. I needed a second opinion. I enlisted the help of a local Philly native, mom of one adorable toddler, and roller-derby badass, Megan Abrams. I made her my guinea pig for the day, trying out the gear during a real outdoor workout. So we wrestled her into the pants and tank top, and it was pretty much the same deal.
Her verdict: She looked awesome, she felt tight, and she absolutely does not believe that these clothes will help her build muscle faster. She equated the feeling to wearing a really good girdle and liked that the shirts made her feel like she was standing up straighter.
As a fitness instructor, I can say that maintaining good posture and form will improve the effectiveness of your workouts, so maybe Reebok’s claims carry a little weight. Looking the part also helps you play the part, so sometimes feeling good in a hot outfit is enough motivation to get out and get the job of kicking your own butt done.
At the end of our little meeting/workout, Megan was sad to see the clothes go and told me she would buy them if they weren’t so expensive. Maybe Reebok thinks spending so much cash on these magic pants will trim your food budget — that’s one way to lose weight, right?
My final thoughts on the three-piece EasyTone apparel line is that they are a super-cute, somewhat constricting, ultra-techy fitness gear option that I’m not convinced will do anything to help you with your workout other than making you feel really trendy next to the next woman at the gym. The pants also happen to make butts look amazing. So if you’re willing to drop the big bucks, buy them for looks—not for function.
What do you think, Philly? Will you buy Reebok EasyTone Apparel? Tell us in the comments below!
Rebekah “Bex” Borucki is a mother-of-three, a personal trainer, and an urban farming hobbyist raising backyard chickens and growing her own organic garden in a small urban space in Burlington County, New Jersey. You can find out more about Bex’ work and family on her website, BexLife.com.