REVIEWS! Kardea Bars and New Balance Walking Shoes

By Katie, 5:20 am

I apologize upfront for being a little behind on offering my reviews of these products. :-(

It’s not that I don’t want to share product information with you, since I certainly believe in being an informed consumer. The problem is that I always have so many other topics I’m itching to write about and hear your feedback on that the products took a back seat. But today that is rectified! :-)

Kardea Nutrition Bars

Recently I was asked by the folks at Kardea if I’d like to review some of their new gourmet nutrition bars. Of course I said yes!

According to the website, the company’s goal is to provide great-tasting, natural foods that help people manage their cholesterol. The founder of the company created this bar specifically to help lower his own personal cholesterol level.

What I Liked

  • These bars were soft, chewy, and dense, but still had a touch of crunch.
  • The stats are pretty darn good: 7 grams fiber, 7 grams protein, 4.5 grams healthy fat (from nuts)
  • Very filling! These bars kept my hunger at bay for quite awhile.

What I Didn’t Like

  • These bars are a bit sticky (as in, if you hold it in your hand you’ll probably want to wash your hands afterward). It was almost like an old-school Powerbar.
  • I was extremely thirsty after eating one. Parched, really. Although maybe that’s actually a good thing, since it then encouraged me to drink more water!

Flavor Rankings

  1. Chai Spice: This flavor was by far my favorite! It really was like a cup of chai tea in bar form, which is not as weird as it sounds.
  2. Cranberry Almond: While I would have liked the cranberry taste to be stronger, the almond flavor was bold and delicious!
  3. Banana Nut: Similarly, I thought this flavor was more nutty than banana-y, if you will, but still good!
  4. Lemon Ginger: Dave actually sampled this one – ginger is totally his thing – and he was disappointed, saying there simply wasn’t enough ginger. But then again, he loves ginger, so take it with a grain of salt.

You can check out Kardea’s website for more on their products and purchasing information. Thanks, Kardea, for the opportunity to try your nutrition bars!

New Balance rock&tone Walking Shoes

When I attended FitBloggin’ back in March, I signed up to be on the mailing list for New Balance. Low and behold, a pair of their new rock&tone walking shoes appeared on my doorstep.

I will admit that I laughed out loud when I realized what they were. I have openly poked fun at the advertisements for shoes like these,┬ábecause if getting lean and toned were as simple as buying a new pair of shoes, our bodies would all look like Heidi Klum’s or something. :-D

Here’s what the New Balance website has to say about these shoes:

The rock&tone’s rounded sole encourages muscle activation and calorie burn with each step.

Apparently wearing the shoes will help you: burn calories, activate muscles, slim down, and tone your calves, glutes, and core.

So I gave them a shot, wearing them on the day Dave and I went to Artscape. I figured that would be a good test because I knew I’d be on my feet all day long. Here’s what I thought.

What I Liked

  • The look. While these shoes are a bit on the clunky-side, they’re not nearly as high or ugly as some of the others on the market. In other words, I’ve seen worse.
  • As soon as I put the shoes on, I noticed a difference; I felt the instability immediately. But I got used to it pretty quickly, and soon completely forgot that I was wearing special toning shoes.

What I Didn’t Like

  • The look. Even though they’re better than most, they’re still not my first choice in terms of fashion.
  • The claims about these shoes are…how shall I put it? Far-fetched? Dubious? Doubtful? At least according to research. This study from the American Council on Exercise found that none of the toning shoes tested (which actually did not include the New Balance version, but it’s the same idea) showed significant increases in exercise response or muscle activation. Of course you feel different when wearing them; they are different because of the extra cushioning and rounded sole. And yes, you might feel a bit sore at first, just like you would with any abnormal shoe. But that doesn’t mean you’re getting a workout.

Overall, I will wear these shoes again. But not for the purpose of toning my glutes. ;-)

Have you tried either of these products? Do you want to?


Have you tried any other new products recently? Anything you’d recommend I check out?

21 Responses to “REVIEWS! Kardea Bars and New Balance Walking Shoes”

  1. Cyndi says:

    Thanks for the reviews! I’m always looking for a good bar to eat, and I was curious about those walking shoes. I have to admit I would never wear them myself, but I like that you reviewed them and gave your honest opinion.

  2. Dave is right – for a ginger fiend, at least, there was not enough ginger :P I fell in love with Chai Spice, too, though. And their texture!
    I’ve tried the new carrot cake larabars – SO good. And after being a “plain” greek yogurt user for…well, ever…I had to buy vanilla the other day and it is heavenly. I just can’t use it for salad dressings now, haha.

  3. i’m so excited you reviewed those shoes and linked to the new ACE study :-) my personal hypothesis on my people are seeing results is that the new shoes are encouraging people to…walk more. which is a good thing!

  4. Never heard of those nutrition bars. I have genetically high cholesterol, so they might be worth trying. dunno.
    Yeah, the whole shape your legs with a pair of shoes thing is really sketchy. You can shape your legs by not overeating and exercising while wearing any pair of shoes!
    But, if someone wanted to give me a pair, I’d take ‘em! I wear out walking shoes SO fast! I have super bony feet (hubby says they’re chicken feet) and always wear holes in the back of the heel of shoes and my socks are a mess! LOL!

  5. haha…shoes that help you burn calories? i think wishful-thinking would be another word to use :)

    as for new products, have you tried compression gear? it honestly works (imho.) a little expensive, but my quads recover twice as fast with them. may be worth checking out :)

    • Katie says:

      Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve read about compression gear on a blog before, but never looked into it for myself. Maybe I’ll give it a shot! :)

  6. Skinny Sushi says:

    I know that when I take a walk with my rock&tone shoes on versus my regular walking shoes, my Gruve says I burn about 40 more calories… It’s not a huge difference, but since I’m trying to lose weight, every extra calorie is helpful. Also, after wearing them on long walks I definitely feel the extra work in my legs.

    • Katie says:

      Thanks for sharing this! I was not wearing any kind of calculator like that, so it’s good to hear from someone who has actually tracked it.

  7. Lauren says:

    I haven’t tried the bars but I’ve seen them and thought they looked worth trying. I can never try a new bar until I hear the review from someone else. I don’t think spending 2$ on a single bar is worth it unless I know its going to be good.
    Thanks for the reviews! :)

  8. rob says:

    Rob, founder of Kardea here…..we are broadly interested supporting healthy, sustainable eating that is delicious. We look to using the best ingredient available– sometimes pretty expensive….and as a new company, we are still working to get our costs down….we are trying to bring the bars to you at a lower price (and through the internet, you can find Kardea bars at lower prices).

    I created the Kardea bars to serve as a healthy alternative to pastries, danish, donuts and desserts (which I love, but do not love me)….and I formulated with the thought that each should complement a beverage (coffee and the cranberry almond; espresso with the lemon ginger, tea with the banana nut or chai spice, cocoa or cider with the chai spice). In also was looking to create something to help me control my appetite, and also serve as a balanced, on-the-go snack. Overall, it is a bar created with a mission.

    So a question for the “Health for the Whole Self” Community: through the course of your day, what is your greatest challenge to healthy, natural and delicious eating?

  9. Meg says:

    I’ve been so wary about those “toning shoes” so I was so glad when I saw this review :) I bet your body does get used to them quickly, though, as it would any item of clothing (unless it’s a disgustingly itchy sweater ;) ) I think some of the toning shoes look a little funky – these really aren’t bad at all though, although I agree, not something I’d consider “my style”

    Hope you have a great weeknd :)

  10. cute shoes, like the color!

  11. I have always wanted to try out some of those shoes but they are kinda funny looking!

    I’m a new follower from The Nutritionist Reviews I love your site and can’t wait to read more of your posts! Check out my blog too if you have a chance!

  12. I always laugh when I see commercials for those shoes. Like wearing a simple pair of shoes is going to tone you up, you know? But I think people will buy anything to make life easier :-D lol

  13. I find those kinds of shoes a little ridiculous too. It seems like there are so many products being made to cater to people who want to be healthy, but don’t want to put the work into it. I just recently heard about some sort of machine that you hook yourself up to for 10 minutes and it takes the place of resistance exercises. How lazy is society becoming?!

  14. Sarah says:

    I’ve never tried the Kardea bars before but I’m always weary of bars. I typically find that bars are high in calories and never quite filling. I do love Kids Clif Zbars in Apple Cinnamon (just because they taste awesome)!

    I laugh at the toning shoes too. I just want to tell people that you don’t need special toning shoes to get exercise. You just need sneakers. And you can do squats, lunges, dips, etc without any special equipment to tone your legs and buns.

  15. i haven’t seen those bars before, but the chai sounds really really good! i would love to try that flavor for sure.

    and as for the shoes, i didn’t even know that new balance had those out on the market. i’ve tried on the sketchers ones just to see what they felt like and it was interesting…i wouldn’t buy theirs. but i think i would definitely try the New Balance since they seem to have a little more of a leg up on sketchers in terms of running/walking shoes!

  16. Run Sarah says:

    I love the Kardea bars! Agreed on the stickiness, I found I had to eat them within the wrapper. I find those type of shoes a bit crazy, not for me.

  17. Jessica Lee says:

    But those look WAY better than the other ones. AND at least they are free :)

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