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Skechers Shape-Ups Toning Shoes Claims Questioned

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Claims made by Skechers over the company’s Shape Up toning shoes are being questioned. Using celebrity endorsers, such as Kim Kardashian, Brooke Burke, and Joe Montana, Skechers Shape-Ups were heavily touted as a way in which to promote weight loss and muscle tone.

The trademark rounded Skechers’ Shape-Up sole promotes an unstable gait that can lead to injuries, including falls and fall-related injuries, which can allegedly cause hip fractures; rolled and twisted ankles; broken bones, stress fractures, and joint dislocation; and back strain.

Skechers claims that by changing the construction of the shoes so that they rock, the body will work harder to manage the instability, which will increase muscle tone. An emerging class action lawsuit filed against the popular athletic shoe maker, has prompted a $40 million settlement, said The Atlantic.

According to Skechers, which has not admitted to any wrongdoing, its advertising is based on valid science. In fact, in its statement in response to the class action lawsuit, it listed eight studies that, it says, defend its advertising statements. But, according to The Atlantic, the text utilized is difficult to understand and even the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) challenged Skechers’ research saying that the athletic shoe maker is “playing fast and loose with the data.”

For instance, the FTC wrote that Skechers picked through data on at least one study, choosing information that would present the shoes in the best light when comparing Skechers products to other toning shoes. Skechers claimed its Resistance Runner shoes will increase “muscle activation” by up to 85% for posture-related muscles, 71% for buttock muscles, and 68% for calf muscles; Skechers failed to back up its ad claims, as well, said the FTC, wrote The Atlantic.

Also, said The Atlantic, none of the papers made funding disclosures and none of the studies’ sample sizes were greater than 20. One study involved a six-person test with participants walking for three minutes at different speeds. Information, such as chart axis, are not clearly defined, and meticulously worded ads enhance the ordinary without outright lies that consumers would easily pick out.

The tentative approval granted last month in the $40 million Skechers Shape-Ups settlement will enable purchasers of the heavily marketed toning shoes to obtain refunds and resolves claims that Skechers Shape-Ups’ fitness benefits were unfounded in its marketing, said NewsInferno. The settlement covers more than 70 Skechers Shape-Ups lawsuits, nationwide, that had been consolidated in Louisville, Kentucky.

Three months prior, the maker of Skechers Shape-Ups reached an agreement with the FTC over its toning shoe advertising. Among other things, said NewsInferno, the FTC settlement bans Skechers from running ads that claim its toning shoes can help people lose weight and strengthen their butt, leg, and stomach muscles. This settlement does not resolve any lawsuits relating to Skechers Shape-Ups injuries.

Skechers Shape-Ups retailed for around $200 per pair, and were sold nationwide.

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