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Skechers Toning Shoe Settlement Granted Tentative Approval

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A Skechers toning shoe settlement was granted tentative approval by a federal judge.

Skechers USA Inc. touted the benefits of its Shape-Ups and other toning shoes, using celebrity endorsements that included Hall of Famer quarterback, Joe Montana, and reality star Kim Kardashian. The football star claimed the products enabled him to improve his strength and posture; Kardashian claimed the toning shoes enabled her to drop her personal trainer.

Federal and state officials did not agree with these claims and said the toning shoes did not live up to their promises. Most recently, Skechers said it would be paying $50 million to settle false-advertising allegations by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the attorneys general (AGs) of 44 states and the District of Columbia. The bulk of that fine is meant to resolve partial refunds to consumers who paid between $60 and $100 per pair for the toning shoes they were led to believe could give them Kardashian’s curvaceous body or the body of the former football star.

Now, said The Associated Press (AP), a federal judge just approved a $40 million settlement between Skechers and consumers who purchased the toning shoes following the firm’s bogus claims of weight loss and muscle strength. The number of consumers is unknown, but customers will be able to receive up to $80 per pair of Shape-Ups; $84 per pair of Resistance Runner shoes; $54 per pair of Podded Sole Shoes; and $40 per pair for Tone-Ups, said the AP.

This agreement came three months after Skechers reached a deal with the FTC, also over its advertising, said the AP. The FTC settlement was associated with a larger agreement that resolved the multi-state probe. The settlement, led by the Tennessee and Ohio AGs, calls for Skechers to pay an additional $5 to the states and involves more than 70 nationwide lawsuits, which were consolidated in federal court in Louisville, Kentucky.

Skechers denied the allegations, saying it settled to ensure long litigation would be avoided, said the AP. The two settlements were reached in conjunction of one another. Among other matters, the settlement reached with the FTC bans Skechers from running the ads. U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell set a fairness hearing for March 19 to finalize the settlement, said the AP, to be held after the settlement is advertised and those consumers who qualify for compensation are given the chance to object to the terms and opt out of participating in the settlement.

Injuries caused by Skechers Shape-Ups or Tone-Ups toning shoes have included twisted ankles, torn ligaments and muscles, and hip fractures, all reported after falls while wearing the shoes. Other injuries linked to toning shoes include shin splints and sprained and broken ankles. In fact, noted NewsInferno, nonprofit fitness organization, the American Council on Exercise, conducted a study that revealed that the highly touted toning shoes did not live up to shoe maker’s hype; other experts have also said the shoes are more marketing than substance.

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