While most of the world is out seeking the lightest athletic shoe available, one Chinese man is heading the other way. Zhang Fuxing believes that the heavier the shoe, the better it is for the body. To prove it, he exercises in iron shoes that each weigh an astounding 200kg (440 lbs)!
The 52-year-old resident of Tangshan in Northern China's Hebei Province, says he began wearing the iron shoes about seven years ago, after seeing them recommended on television as an effective way to maintain strong bones and a healthy heart. Suffering from a bad back, he decided to give it a try and began with relatively lightweight shoes - Ones that weighed a mere 70 kg (154 lbs) each! As he became stronger, he added more iron and now sports shoes that are 40-cm high and weigh about seven times his body weight. And he is not done yet - The iron 'shoe' man plans to add an additional 50kg (110lbs), by next Spring.
During his daily 20-minute exercise 'waddle' Zhang manages to cover several meters. Though that may not sound like much, it is quite remarkable given that most people cannot even lift the shoes, let alone walk in them. The Chinese man is so convinced of the healing powers of the iron shoes that he has started manufacturing them at a small factory near his house.
The shoes that strap on to the owner's existing footwear and weigh from 10kg (22lbs) all the way up to 60kg (132lbs) each, retail for between $90 USD to $238 USD. Zhang asserts that he has sold over 100 pairs - ten to neighbors who gather to watch him exercise every day and the rest, to people online! The one thing he doesn't divulge, however, is how he makes the deliveries!
Resources: scmp.com, odditycentral.com