In a day and age when athletic shoes continue to get lighter by the ounce, it turns out lacing up in a pair of hefty shoes is in fact more beneficial in terms of building up strength and stamina, along with curing injuries such as back pain–this according to Zhang Fuxing, a Chinese factory worker who’s been spotted lugging around in a pair of iron shoes that weigh upwards of 440 pounds each.
Now, before you ditch your sneakers for a pair of Zhang’s iron clunkers, just know that there isn’t much scientific proof (if any) behind this theory. In fact, it seems that you’re more likely to pull your back in a pair of iron shoes instead of curing it as Zhang claims. But is there a method to this madness?
According to Zhang, who suffered from chronic back pain so bad that he was unable to bend over and wash his face, his symptoms were cured within just months of using the iron shoes.
“It’s not strong muscles that make you able to walk like this, the power comes from internal organs,” he said, adding: “When you walk with your heart it will work.”
Zhang has now even entered the business of manufacturing the overweight metal footwear, which he sells to his neighbors in his hometown city of Tangshan, as well as online. The shoes, which users can simply strap over their existing shoe, currently range from $90 to about $235 depending on their weight.
“We’ve all worn his iron shoes, it makes your legs feel better,” said Chen Guanghua, 60-year-old woman and user of Zhang’s shoes. “We can’t all play badminton, but anyone can wear shoes.”
Take note Nike, adidas.