Did you buy a pair of Skechers Shape-up toning shoes? If so, get ready for a refund.
The shoe company has agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, which accused the company of making false claims about its Resistance Runner, Toners and Tone-up shoes. The company claimed, with the help of Kim Kardashian, that wearing the convex-soled shoes would help people lose weight and strengthen muscles better than normal fitness shoes.
They don't. And for that, consumers will get a nice chunk of the $40 million Skechers settlement.
The FTC took issue with two major claims. First, Skechers' Shape-ups ads often touted clinical studies as a reason to buy the shoes. Skechers misrepresented the data, according to the Commission. The company "cherry-picked" results and cited studies conducted by biased researchers.
Skechers also claimed that its shoes help with weight loss and increase cardiovascular health, reports Reuters. Toning shoes may help build muscle, but there is apparently no evidence that they are any more useful than regular shoes for losing weight and increasing heart health.
This is the second time in recent months the FTC has targeted toning shoes. In September, it reached a $25 million settlement with Reebok over its EasyTone and RunTone shoes. The FTC is sending a message to footwear companies "to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims."
Until footwear companies do this, consumers should consider taking miracle shoe advertisements with a grain of salt.
But in the meantime, if you are one of the many consumers who fell into the Skechers Shape-up ad trap, have no fear. You can apply for your part of the Skechers settlement here.
- FTC: Skechers deceived consumers with shoe ads (Associated Press)
- What is false advertising? (FindLaw)
- Reebok to Pay Refunds Over Toning Shoes' Deceptive Ads, FTC Says (FindLaw's Common Law)
- New Balance Suit: Buyers Remain Fat, Not Tone (FindLaw's Injured)