Shoe Review: Champion Pace Fitness

Shoeaholics Anonymous Disclosure

Ever since the release of fitness shoes, such as the Reebok EasyTone and Skecher Shape-Ups, I’ve been intrigued by the claims of increased muscle tone, but I’ve been too cheap to lay out $100 buckaroos to test either of them out.

So you can imagine how excited   I was to be asked to test out the new Champion Pace Fitness Athletic Shoes that Payless Shoe Source is now selling for only $34.99!

The first time I wore these shoes, I felt a tinge of vertigo as the curved sole creates a natural heel-to-toe rocking motion that encourages muscle toning by creating a slight instability. But I haven’t felt the dizziness since that first day.

I definitely feel my muscles getting a workout every time I walk in them now!   It starts in my calves and goes all the way up my thighs into my buttocks!   I believe they are only made for walking in, and not to be run in (which is fine by me).

My boyfriend, who has been leery of them from the get-go thinking they are all a marketing ploy, actually commented that I stand up straighter when I wear them!   Even last week, I asked one of the nurses at my daughter’s doctor office who was wearing them how she liked hers.   She said they got rid of her back pain and make her stand up straighter, too.   And being short, she liked that they made her appear taller!

So, they aren’t the cutest in appearance, but besides white/silver (like mine shown above), they come in light blue, they are still better looking than the Skecher Shape-ups (and way less expensive).   And who really is going to be looking at your shoes while you walk?   And for $34.99 (available from the price is right, so you can’t go wrong!

Disclaimer: Payless Shoe Source sent me a pair of these shoes at no cost.   All opinions are 100% mine.

    Are you an avid runner, walker, or fitness enthusiast with a normal to high arch foot type? It's time to get more energized and reduce impact stress during fitness activities with these Spira Stinger XLT with patented WaveSpring technology in the heel and forefoot. Enjoy maximum cushioning and comfort while reducing fatigue and stress on the body, feet and joints during activities, while the non-marking rubber outsole with forefoot flex grooves provides easy transition through the gait cycle. Impact your health, not your feet with these great-looking shoes!
    $55.00  from Choxi
  • New Balance
    Work on your fitness in these New Balance Fitness Shoes. Featuring comfort inserts with heel pillows, Cush+ plush foam cushioning, and Forefoot Flex Grooves, these shoes are the ultimate in comfort and support. Comfort insert with heel pillow. Cush+ midsole. Forefoot Flex Grooves allow extreme flexibility. CUSH+ is a revolutionary plush foam compound that's at least 13-percent softer than lightweight performance foams. CUSH+ offers responsive cushioning and comfort without sacrificing durability or stability. Color options: Slate green/defense green Style: Athletic Material: Synthetic Toe shape: Almond Heel height: 1.5 inches Width: Medium Lining: Fully lined Sole: Textured rubber Footbed: Padded Imported Measurement Guide Women's Shoe Sizing Guide Upper/outsole material: Upper: synthetic, outsole: textured rubber Model: WF717SC All measurements are approximate and were taken using a size 6. Please note measurements may vary slightly by size.
    $51.99  from
    Styles:Closed Toe,Comfort; Upper Materials:Customized Materials,Synthetic,Leather,Fabric; Lining Materials:Leather; Accents:Lace-up; Size:EU43,EU42,EU41,EU40,EU39,EU38,EU37,EU36,EU44; Available Width:Average; Color:Multi-color; Season:Winter,Fall,Summer,Spring; Net weight:0.80 kg; Shipping Weight:0.90 kg; Tips:The color of embellishments are shown as picture.; Outsole Materials:TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) ; Performance:Walking; Gender:Girl's,Boy's,Men's,Women's; Industry:Nurse Shoes,Safety Shoes; Insole Materials:Orthotic Friendly,Leather; Product ID:557; Serial Code:557
    $89.00  from LightInTheBox
  • Vibram Fivefingers
    The newest addition to the Vibram FiveFingers fitness line, the KMD Sport LS, offers all of the benefits of the KMD Sport with our popular speed lacing system to accommodate wider feet and higher insteps.
    $114.95  from Paragon
    *Men s Adam Shoe* Introducing the most versatile minimalist shoe ever created. Razor-siped soles grip onto nearly any surface from slick rock to a dusty trail. Included insoles, a breathable stretch fabric upper and secure-cinch strapping combine for incredible performance. And, with a foot-shaped design and the 3.4 mm BareSole, The Adam is the closest anyone will ever be to barefoot while still wearing a shoe. *Women s Eve Shoe* Created for a woman s foot, this incredibly versatile minimalist shoe features a puncture-resistant outsole with a razor-siped BareSole that grips onto nearly any surface. For added versatility, The Eve includes optional insoles and was designed with a true Zero Drop platform and a female-specific, foot-shaped design. The Eve gets outdoor enthusiasts closer to Mother Nature with their very first step. *Note* - These can be shipped to all 50 States!
    $33.98  from Tanga
  • Pearl Izumi
    Pearl Izumi Women's X-Road Fuel IV Fitness Shoes. Taking design cues from lace-up running shoes, the Pearl Izumi Women's X-Road Fuel IV shoes are at home on the bike, at the gym, or around town. The fiberglass injected composite shank maximizes power transfer to the pedals, while the EVA running shoe foam midsole ensures all-day comfort. Its lace-up retention system ensures a precision fit while the shoe's 2-bolt cleat compatibility has you set up for optimal pedaling efficiency.
    $100.00  from Nashbar
  • Tecs
    Complete the look of your ensemble with the Element shoe. It is designed to offer you optimum comfort. This shoe is complete with a lightweight and supple outsole. The authentic mesh details in this shoe allows ventilation to keep your foot fresh and dry. With a cushioned removable insole, this shoe keeps you at comfortable all through the day. Origin: Imported Fit: True to Size Upper: Polyurethane Special Features: Removable Insoles
    $37.95  from
  • ryka
    Ryka Dynamic 2 walking shoes help you put some pep in your step with Precise-Return and N-Gage layers that provide superior support. Updated cosmetics give them a dynamic look to match their name with an X-Ray frame and mono screen mesh. Ideal for fitness and casual walking. Upper:Synthetic and mesh upper enhances comfort and stability. Lace-up front with a padded heel collar provides an adjustable fit. Midsole: Textile lining provides a soft foot feel. A cushioning Precise-Return footbed enhances comfort. N-Gage EVA midsole. Removable insole. Outsole: High abrasion Exo-Shell with heel and forefoot grooves that promote natural flexibility.
    $57.95  from Holabird Sports
  • ryka
    Ryka Vida RZX shoes put emphasis on flexibility to give you the most anatomical experience possible. Superior cushion and the smooth lining create a luxurious environment for your feet. You'll love the athletic look and bright color. Upper: Padded tongue and heel collar enhance comfort. Lace-up front offers an adjustable fit. Sleek textile upper provides a smooth fit. Synthetic overlays provide lightweight support. Mesh offers breathable flexibility. Midsole: Smooth lining offers enhanced comfort. Cushioning insole with Anatomical Precise-Return footbed provides impact protection and comfort. Outsole: Rubber outsole with strategic flex grooves and ultra-flex forefoot provides enhanced range of motion. RZX: RE-ZORB delivers high-impact heel cushion.
    $46.95  from Holabird Sports
  • ryka
    Be prepared for those intense workouts with the assistance of the all-around performance in Ryka Influence 2 aerobic & fitness shoes. You'll love the fusion of comfortable support and energetic flexibility. Elegant colors add a chic and stylish look. Upper: Breathable mesh provides cool flexibility. Padded heel collar enhances comfort. No-sew overlays offer lightweight support. Independent lacing system allows for a custom fit and lateral support. Midsole: Flex-Foil and Direct-Fuse layers provide comfortable support. RE-ZORB sockliner delivers impact protection and shock absorption. N-Gage high rebound foam at the heel and forefoot. Outsole: Rubber ergonomic outsole.
    $64.95  from Holabird Sports
  • ryka
    Be prepared for even the most high-impact gym workouts wearing the cushioned and supportive Ryka Studio D aerobic & fitness shoes. The flexible, low and lightweight profile allows for quick and nimble footwork. You'll love the comfort of high-rebound and resiliency. Upper: Synthetic overlays provide lightweight support. Mesh offers breathable flexibility. Padded tongue and heel collar enhance comfort. Lace-up front offers an adjustable fit. Midsole: TPU shank provides torsional rigidity. Removable insole. Outsole: Rubber outsole offers flexible traction.
    $48.95  from Holabird Sports
  • ryka
    Ryka Fit Pro 2 aerobic and fitness shoes are back and better than before with a brilliant update to the cosmetics and the reliable cushioning you've come to love. Continue to train harder and better with excellent flexibility and a smooth fit. Be the most stylish lady at the gym or in the studio wearing these shoes. Upper: Breathable mesh creates a flexible fit and allows airflow. Padded tongue and heel collar enhance comfort. Lace-up front offers an adjustable fit. Synthetic overlays offer lightweight support. Heel-pull tab makes the shoes easier to pull on. Midsole: Smooth lining creates enhanced comfort. Precise-Return footbed enhances cushioning. Compression molded EVA midsole with N-Gage high-rebound foam provides added cushioning. Removable insole. Outsole: Rubber traction outsole enhances grip and durability.
    $34.95  from Holabird Sports
About Kim Rowley

Kim, lover of all things shoes, is the self-proclaimed President of Shoeaholics Anonymous. Follow Kim's Personal Accounts on Google and Twitter. And see all of Kim's blogs at


  1. I love to wear this type of shoes

  2. Ever since I bought these shoes I’ve loved them. You’ll notice that they are cushioned all around the shoe as well as in the sole. I found they run about a half size smaller in the toe so I bought a half size larger which was perfect. My legs do feel like they get a workout and I also stand up straighter in them 🙂

  3. I agree that the Champion Pace Fitness give my legs a workout and make me stand up straighter! Thanks for commenting Liz!

  4. I’ve been looking at the Sketchers version of this shoe and I’m glad Payless is selling them at a cheaper price. Can’t wait for Payless to open here in the Philippines. Hope they have these:)

  5. I did some looking online, and you ladies should know that they are also offering a black Pace mule that you can slide right into. It’s supposed to have the same sole, and cushioning. Just thought I would share. 🙂

  6. Patrice says:

    My friend and I went to Payless to try these shoes on. Very disapointing that they don’t carry men’s! He wanted to try the shoe BEFORE he bought it to make sure he had the right size. I can’t find them anywhere except Payless.

  7. Shannon says:

    I love mine…..I just wish they would make them in black. 🙂

  8. Great article and the fitness shoes look great too – would love to be able to just shop for shoes all day!

  9. Melissa says:

    I purchased these in hope that they would work just as well as the sketchers, I never tried the sketchers, but these shoes have given my legs a pretty good workout and do make me stand up straighter! I have always purchased sketchers because I have a job where I am constantly on my feet for at least 12 hours a day and they were the only comfortable shoes I could find. These are just as comfy and a hell of a lot cheaper!! I also like that when i am standing in one spot for any length of time I can do a heel to toe rocking motion and get an even better workout!!!

  10. Obaid Khan says:

    I got the champion fitness shoes today, was going to get the sketchers but for around a $100, had to wait. When I saw these on payless, I couldn’t wait to get them. So, on my lunch hour, went to the payless store and found my size. Came home and went for a LONG run and walk with my dog. And I will say, these shoes had my legs WORKING, I could feel the muscles working actually with that work out pain. I am glod I got these. Dont forget to go online and do some research for a 20% coupon. I did and got mine for $39.99 over $49.99… highly recommend these shoes.

  11. These are actually on sale for $25 now.. I bought one more expensive pair of shoes and got these for $12.50, plus 20% off for a grand total of $10!!!!

  12. These shoes made my legs very shapely just by wearing them to work for 2 months! Definitely worth every penny!

  13. Just reading some of the above comments… and they do sell them in black! now at payless! Also.. im not sure about the states etc.. but currently here in Ontario, the blue pace shoes at payless are only 15$ !!! I got mine with a by 1 get 2nd 1/2 off… so I only spent 7$ .. and i LOVE these shoes !!!

  14. Does anyone know if you can still purchase the payless Champion pace fitness? I have really bad feet and these are so great but I cannot find them anywhere?

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