After that whole Skechers Shape-Ups debacle a couple years back, we approach products that claim to help you burn calories without exercise with a great deal of apprehension. We’d love to believe that something as simple as wearing a different pair of shoes could mean the difference between burning 100 calories and 1,000, but some things are just too good to be true.
Thin Ice, a new innovation in insoles—yes, the things that go in the bottom of your shoe—claims to use cooling technology to trick the body into burning fat. The “electronic cooling chips” embedded within the insoles tell your body that it’s cold, which triggers a metabolic response that then generates heat in your core and sends warm blood all over the body. This process, they say, is fueled almost entirely by pure body fat; your body is burning calories as it fights to remain at its optimum temperature.
It’s not as uncomfortable as it sounds, either: Thin Ice stimulates the brown adipose tissue (BAT) pathway, which does not trigger the body’s shivering mechanism. After a few seconds of wear, you won’t feel cold, but your body will still experience all the fat-burning benefits as if you were freezing. You’ll also be able to consult an app to regulate your temperature and check on how many calories you’ve burned throughout the day.
The company says that the concept is based on decades of “rigorous peer-reviewed scientific research” that defends the use of the BAT pathway as a method of burning fat while you do just about nothing activity-wise—it’s all in the body temperature. As for the Thin Ice insoles themselves, which purport to burn between 500 and 1,000 calories per day, they’re still in the prototype stage. However, they managed to raise more than $500,000 on Indiegogo, so if all goes as planned (and the story checks out), you may just be able to scoop them up at an athletic store near you sometime soonish.