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Skechers USA To Pay Huge Settlement To Duped Consumers: Second Fitness Shoe To Be Punished
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Skechers USA to Pay Huge Settlement to Duped Consumers: Second Fitness Shoe to Be Punished

Kim Kardashian and her family touted them at one time. So did Brooke Burke and a slate of other celebrities, all pitching the idea that you could lose weight and tone muscles just by the shoes that you were wearing. But, those claims, made by Skechers USA, were found to be largely unfounded by the Federal Trade Commission and the company will now pay out a multimillion dollar settlement because of it.

According to the early marketing information, the shoes, including the Shapeups, Resistance Toners, and the Toneups varieties wearers would get more muscle activation and increased strength in the lower body as well as the abdominal muscles just by wearing the shoes. The shoes, which cost an average of one hundred dollars, featured a curved or rocker style sole which was meant to increase the instability of the gait forcing the wearer to engage their abdominal muscles to keep themselves upright. "Studies" included in the marketing efforts claimed that the muscle activation was as much as 85% higher for the muscles that were directly related to the posture including the erectors spinae muscles and the deep abdominals. Those same studies also boasted of a more than seventy percent increase in buttock muscle activation while wearing the shoes.

It is those claims and the hugely hyped clinical studies that the FTC was taking offense at, according to the settlement. The FTC maintains that the company not only misrepresented test studies and/or research on the shoes but may have discounted some earlier warnings about the potential for injury from long term use of the shoes. Skechers USA will be banned from mentioning the studies in any new marketing efforts that they use.

The settlement, totaling over forty million dollars will be split among consumers in forty states who fell for the marketing claims and bought the shoes. It marks the second such class action lawsuit against a manufacturer with the fitness styled shoes. Reebok's own suit was settled for twenty five million dollars in 2011 when the FTC found that claims for the effectiveness of the Easy Tone walking shoes as well as the Run Tone running shoes were greatly exaggerated.

Consumers will be eligible for refunds for their Shapeups purchases and are cautioned to remember that fitness is not about easy fixes or special, "magic" products. Rocker styled shoes are potentially dangerous especially for those who have knee, ankle or other problems. Even people without those issues might find themselves facing them after wearing shoes that force their bodies into unnatural positions.


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Good info Amie.

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  about 1 decade ago
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