This is my first foray into the area of reviews for free stuff, so forgive me if you think I've gone over to the dark side - but hey, free stuff!
Anyway, I got a pair of Skecher Shape Ups in August, just in time for all that walking through the pleasant Scottish countryside we had planned to do. It turned out that the countryside was mostly under three feet of water so I can exclusively reveal that Skecher Shape Ups do not help you walk on water, but they do keep your feet dry as you wade through puddles.
The shoes are described as "stylish". This, it seems, is a matter of opinion and age. My Mum thought they were very "Californian", P. thought they looked comfortable, the children thought they were hilarious and my 15-year-old nephew just shook his head in embarrassed disbelief.
When you first put the shoes on, the initial sensation is one of added height - a bit like wearing platform shoes in the seventies but without the accompanying Bay City Rollers soundtrack. You really do feel as if you're walking on spongy ground.
Off I went to try them out and nobody laughed in the street at my ginormous trainers, proving if proof were needed that 15-year-olds know nothing about style for the elegant aunt about town. They come with a booklet and a DVD which explains that you shouldn't wear them for any more than 45 mins the first time you go out with them. So I bounced along country lanes with the recommended rolling movement from heel to toe for exactly three-quarters of an hour. And I have to say that by the time I got home, I really did feel as if my calves and buttocks had had a really good work-out.
As the days went by, I got more and more used to walking on several layers of sole, and whenever I wasn't wearing them, I felt somewhat diminished and frankly flat-footed.
I'm not sure if Bordeaux city centre is ready yet for Skechers Shape Ups, but I'm ready to try them out on dry land.