US retailer Payless ShoeSource has released a new toning shoe by sports brand Champion, hot on the heels of a surge in demand for workout shoes.

Toning footwear, such as Skechers' Shape Ups and Reebok's EasyTone, continues to drive growth in the US athletic footwear sector, latest reseach has found.

Payless will launch the Champion Fitness line of toning shoes, which create a slight instability while walking and encourage toning of the leg and buttock muscles.

The shoes range in price from US$25 to $40, and by summer will be available in nearly all Payless stores in the US.

The launch includes three styles - the Champion Stride, Pace and Spring. The Champion brand is licensed to Payless from HBI Branded Apparel Enterprises.

"Our Champion Fitness shoes feature the latest technology at an affordable price to democratise this new idea in the athletic shoe arena, giving greater access so more people can enjoy the benefits of these innovative shoes," said LuAnn Via, CEO of Payless.

"Champion Fitness shoes help make fitness walks and other walking activities more beneficial to the health and wellness of the overall body. We are thrilled to celebrate this new idea in footwear and to deliver leading technology at a great price to our shoppers."