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Article in: Product Reviews
March 21, 2011

Skechers Shape-ups AT Diamondback Trail Review – 1,000 Mile Project

For the next year I will be putting a brand new pair of Skechers Shape-ups AT Diamondback Trail through the gauntlet of “birder abuse”. I received this pair of shoes from Skechers to undergo this endeavor. At the end of the year (365 day period) I will see how the shoes hold up to my crazy amount of walking. This is the beginning of the adventure.

The Specs

Skechers makes an ever-growing line of Shape-ups® and the model I am wearing is the AT (All-Terrain) Diamondback Trail.

I went with the black and yellow model for two reasons: (1) black should show less dirt than silver or white and (2) the yellow will show better during early morning or late night dog walks. The listed price is $95.00.

My Specs

I am 5 feet 10 1/2 inches tall and weigh 173 pounds. The shoes are size 10.5 and medium width (the only option).

I am an avid walker besides hiking to find birds. Now that the weather is improving daily, my walks are getting longer as well. I rarely miss a day of dog walks, usually in the morning and evening. I walk 5 to 10 miles almost daily and in most conditions. Usually, I avoid heavy rain or extremely icy sidewalks.

1,000 Miles in 1 Year

I chose 1,000 miles as a solid number to shoot for. But I anticipate exceeding this total.

1,000 miles / 365 days = 2.74 miles/day

In northern Illinois we have excellent walking weather from March to November or about 9 months. I plan to do most of the walking during these months. All mileage will be estimated but should be fairly accurate as I use Google maps for road walks and most trails have their mileage marked.

I will try to regularly update the mileage total in a graphic on the sidebar as well as post about the progress and condition of the shoes.

I will be keeping track of the miles, weather, and trail conditions in a Google Spreadsheet which you can view here.

Initial Opinion of the Diamondback Trail

Style-wise, these shoes are sweet! The yellow highlights stand out but are not gaudy. The silver mesh looks cool and the black offsets the yellow perfectly.

After trying them on for the first time the fit was snug but not too stiff. I still haven’t broken them in fully.

The shape is definitely different looking and feels different on your feet. But it is this shape and “Kinetic Wedge Technology” that according to Skechers is designed to:

The shoe is supposed to simulate walking on sand and thus burn more calories than walking with other shoes.

The entire shoe is designed for trail use from the antibacterial, breathable “sockliner” to the “motion control cage” that adds to stability over rocks and mud. The outsole has “high-abrasion rubber ‘lugs and treads’” that add cushioning and improve traction.

The Skechers Shape-ups AT Diamondback Trail come with a workout DVD and booklet that explains the best way to use the shoes. It also suggests you start using them in moderation: “25 to 45 minutes [per walk] for your first two weeks”.

First Walk

March 15th, 2011; 9:51 to 10:10 am
Walked in the industrial park at work for 19 minutes and covered 1.1 miles. The shoe’s feel is noticeably different from other shoes but I quickly got accustomed to it. My pace was slower than usual but I could feel my posture was better (I was also consciously trying to keep my back straighter). Calves and legs felt like they were worked but felt great!

American Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds were chirping and calling all over. Despite being in the low 30s, it almost felt like spring!

I’ll try to hit the trails soon but that will be in an upcoming post!

Please note: We are not doctors; if you wish to follow anything we say please consult your doctor first. Walking is still one of the safest and easiest ways to get in shape but we don’t want anyone to injure themselves!

4 Comments or Trackbacks   ↓ Jump to add comment ↓

  1. Stacia says:

    Eddie let me try out his pair of Skechers Shape-ups for a walk. I only walked a mile, but could definitely notice a difference in my posture and the intensity of the walk. When I was done, my muscles felt like they had walked much more than just mile. I really enjoyed using the Shape-ups and will be purchasing some of my own in the future.

    Posted on: March 21, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

  2. Fred says:

    I ripped a calf muscle doing nothing more than walking on flat ground very soon after starting to wear these Sketchers. My calf just “popped” with an extremely painful twang. Physio reckons the inherent instability of these shoes (the “shape up” component) might have been responsible for inflicting the injury as it forces your leg muscles to strain in unnatural ways. The affected calf actually bled deep inside manifesting in a visible bruise a week later. Two months later and I still can’t walk properly or break into a run because of the pain. I’ve gone back to wearing conventional shoes now and am hoping the damage isn’t permanent. Sorry to be a party pooper. Maybe I just very unlucky but my family doctor thought it was a very unusual injury in such a large muscle group; especially as I wasn’t doing anything strenuous when it occured.

    Posted on: December 18, 2011 @ 11:14 am

  3. The Birdfreak Team says:

    Fred – thank you for posting this. The shoes definitely make you walk “differently” than regular shoes. I’ve mostly worn mine out and it is doubtful I will finish out the full 1,000 miles. I will try and do a final post on them.

    That stinks you had this injury. My experience thus far is they have improved my posture a bit but also make me walk slower (and burn less calories). I have put over 800 miles on them without injury. They are also not good for running and a couple times I nearly twisted my ankle in them as they rolled sideways.

    Posted on: December 19, 2011 @ 9:02 am

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