London, May 19 : They might seem like just another pair of shoes, but the latest range of flip-flops goes beyond the category of "vanity footwear" and may actually be one of the greatest, most cost-effective boons ever for cellulite sufferers.
At 90 pounds a pair, the FitFlop seems an unlikely summer bestseller, but according to an adviser on biomechanics to UK Athletics, it is capable of performing miracles.
According to manufacturers, FitFlop not only helps body-conscious women to tone their bottoms and legs, but is also beneficial for people crippled with arthritis or back pain.
They have what is described as a "built-in gym" encased in their platform soles, which makes you exercise the different muscles from your bottom to your feet while you walk, reports the Independent.
But Dr Phil Graham-Smith, head of the directorate of sport at Salford University and a consultant biomechanist for UK Athletics, also believes they may make the body adjust its walk to ensure the knee is correctly aligned.
"We carried out some independent tests and they came out quite favourably," he said.
Marcia Kilgore, founder of the FitFlop company, admitted they were initially designed for their cosmetic effect on the body.
"They were originally launched as a vanity shoe - you could walk and help tone your legs. But over and over again, we'd hear things like 'I've had a degenerative spine disease, haven't been off morphine, and all I have to do is put on a pair of FitFlops and suddenly I don't feel pain any more'," she said.
"A lot of people with severe and chronic back pain have reported a vast improvement, an almost miraculous improvement on putting these things on," she added.
The FitFlop was launched in May last year and has sold more than a million pairs, mostly in the US and UK.