Ok, so we’re already more than a decade into the new century but it’s been a while since a really new concept arrived in the footwear world. The 60s, 70s, and 80s saw a tremendous explosion in shoe styles, fashions, and technologies. Everything from Doc Martens’ Bouncing Soles to sandals made from recycled car tyres appeared. Heels went up, down, in, out, up and then up some more, and instead of being restricted to black and brown, shoes became available and popular all across the rainbow and in every possible fabric.

That was all last century. What do we, in the technologically savvy, fast moving 21st century have to contribute to the flow of new and exciting footwear trends? Right now the best answer is probably the fitness trainer. We’re not talking about your everyday run of the mill trainers, far from it. The new breed of fitness shoes are designed for people who don’t necessarily want to get up at 5am and go for a run before work every morning. Instead they cater to the rest of us- those who would love a fabulous bum but haven’t got the time or the inclination for a serious fitness regime.

Shape-Ups are perhaps the best example. At first glance they are just trainers, but these shoes make the muscles of your legs and bum work that little bit harder as you go about your business every day. They won’t make it a struggle to walk to the shops for a pint of milk, just help you get a gentle workout as you do.

It’s a clever concept and the big shoe manufacturers were quick to identify it as a potential growth area. Womens and mens shoes using the fitness idea have recently come onto the market from Reebok, for example. It won’t be long before the streets are full of people wearing this kind of thing, and we’ll all be more shapely for it.