When it comes to exercise, the general mantra has inevitably always been ‘no pain, no gain’.  But in recent years there’s been a trend towards no- or low-effort toning and fitness. Into this category falls Power Plate (apparently you just stand there and, um, vibrate) and MBT trainers (not so much shoes, as small gymnasiums attached to your feet). Now hot on their heels come FitFlops. These have been around for a couple of years now, but for some reason this is the year they’ve really taken off. On every high street and suburban shopping mall, women of all shapes, sizes, ages and social classes seem to be wearing these clumpy flip-flops on their feet.

According to the bumph, to gain the legs and pert bottom of a supermodel all you have to do is literally put one foot in front of the other while wearing them. Crikey, even I can do that. Obviously the more you do this walking malarkey, the fitter (rather than floppier) you will become.  I don’t think the five steps between your doorstep and your car counts however.

Like most lazy person’s diets and fitness plans, if it doesn’t require much effort, then the cruel reality is it probably doesn’t work. But in this instance, if there’s a cat in hell’s chance that it does even the most minuscule amount of toning and buffing while you do something that you would be doing anyway – ie shuffling between the baby wipes and the alcopops aisle in Safeways –  then it’s gotta be worth a  shot. Surely? Especially for under £40.

Well, there is, of course, always a catch. And the catch here is that while they are super-comfy these are not, in everyone’s opinion, the most beautiful shoes in the world. While Fit-Flop have done their best to come up with nice funky colours and designs – sparkly sequins! racing stripes! metallic! patent electric blue! – they do still look a little bit orthopaedic and Mr Blahnik and Mr Louboutin can sleep safe in the knowledge that they aren’t going to impinge on their sales figures too much. But for mummies who don’t have the time or inclination to get to the gym FitFlops are a godsend because they make us feel like we are doing *something*. Who knows if they really do that much physically but pyschologically they work a treat. And they make you a bit taller too.

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