Consumers duped by shape-up and weight loss claims
The Federal Trade Commission announced today that Skechers USA, Inc. will be paying $40 million to settle charges that the company deceived consumers by making unfounded claims about their footwear.
Skechers ads claim their Shape-ups shoes are designed to promote weight loss and tone muscles better than regular fitness shoes. Ads featuring Kim Kardashian and Brooke Burke promote dumping personal trainers and simply tying the laces of Shape-ups to burn calories. The company’s claims are far from backed by clinical evidence.
Shape-ups aren’t the only footwear under fire. Skechers ads for the Resistance Runner shoes claim that wearing them will greatly increase muscle activation, as supported by a study which the FTC says actually failed to substantiate the company’s claims. Skechers also made deceptive claims about the Toners and Tone-ups shoes.
“Skechers’ unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles. The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health,” saysDavid Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC’s message, for Skechers and other national advertisers, is to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims.”
Our take on toning shoes
Though no footwear is going to help you miraculously melt fat, if wearing any brand of toning shoes gets you up off the couch and motivated to move, they have value. But we agree with the FTC coming down on any company that deceives its consumers with bogus claims.