reebok-easytones.jpgDuring the warmer months, fitness flip-flops have almost become the norm: it's certainly not unusual to see smartly-dressed women hot-footing it around town in the tellingly chunky sandals, getting in a bit of toning between meetings. But toning trainers are a slightly newer phenomenon, having only really gone mainstream this season, making toning technology and all-year round prospect.

We took three styles from the top brands in the market, and three Aigua girls hoping for a bit of a post-Christmas shape-up to get 2011 off to a flying, and hopefully fitter, start. First to take up the challenge was Jess Markwood from OSOYou, who's been testing out a pair of Reebok Easytones. Jess has been busy compiling the Lazy Girls' Guide to Getting Fit these past few weeks, so was well-placed to give the easy-toning trainers a try.

Let's start with the look of the shoe. Where would you be happy to go out wearing this style?

To and from work? Yes definitely. When I enter the office I immediately switch to my slightly less practical platform heels, but as the trainers are light-weight I can just chuck them into a tote bag and carry them around.
In the office?
I like to switch to less comfortable shoes when I'm in the office, but having said that, they might make an appearance on the odd 'Casual Friday'.
Shopping in Sainsburys?
Certainly - they're comfortable and still pretty stylish.
When visiting family? It would depend. If we were popping around for one of mum's Sunday roasts I would wear them, but if there were plans to go out somewhere I would take a spare pair of pumps in my bag just in case.
On a night out?
I've never been seen in a pair of flats on a night out, let alone trainers.

Read on over the jump to Jess's views on their exercise benefits...

How comfortable or otherwise were these shoes for walking?

They're very comfortable, however on the flat, I don't feel like my legs are being made to work any harder. There doesn't seem to be a huge difference between them and any other pair of trainers, but I guess that's the point?!

That all said, when I hit a slope, I certainly feel the burn. Walking up hill is harder work and I can feel my calf muscles working overtime.

Did you feel like you'd had a 'workout' following a brisk 10 minute walk?

More so than in 'normal' shoes or about the same? To a certain extent yes. Due to the air pockets or 'balance pods' under the ball of your foot and under your heel you're made to feel slightly unstable when walking or even standing still. This means your leg muscles have to work harder to keep you balanced, thus toning those pins!

In terms of appearance, is this style more or less attractive than others on the market?

I would say these are by far the most attractive toning trainers on the market; that's why I chose them! They just look like ordinary sports shoes and are missing that orthopaedic look most of the other brands struggle to overcome.

Did you get any interesting comments on the shoes?

My boyfriend is happy to be seen walking with me when we go to the park, so if they've been given the all-clear by him, they must look alright!

Jess was testing Reebok's EasyTone Go Outside trainers in metallic. They are £50 here