It's late at night, you're watching TV, and suddenly you find yourself mesmerized by an infomercial for fitness gear promising to have you toned and slimmed down in a matter of weeks. Sure, the claims look great, but do these gadgets and gear--especially the stuff that looks weird--really work? Yes and no. Some intrepid researchers have taken it upon themselves to test the claims, sometimes substantiating them and other times debunking them.
Alleged "toning" shoes like Skechers Shape-ups and Reebok EasyTone and RunTone shoes purported to do a number of great things for your body, such as strengthen your leg and core muscles and help you burn calories. However, the claims turned out to be unfounded. Even an American Council on Exercise study found that the footwear didn't strengthen muscles, among other things. Recently Reebok agreed to pay $25 million in customer refunds to settle with the Federal Trade Commission on deceptive advertising charges, and in May Skechers agreed to a similar FTC settlement for $50 million. Click through the gallery to find out what could help you get in shape, and what's a waste of money.