Skechers settles deceptive claims charge for $40 Million over toning shoes

Skechers Will Pay $40 Million to Settle FTC Charges That It Deceived Consumers with Ads for “Toning Shoes”.

The Federal Trade Commission announced that Skechers USA, Inc. has agreed to pay $40 million to settle charges that the company deceived consumers by making unfounded claims that Shape-ups would help people lose weight, and strengthen and tone their buttocks, legs and abdominal muscles.

Besides Shape-ups, Skechers also made deceptive claims about its Resistance Runner, Toners, and Tone-ups shoes, the FTC alleged.

“Skechers’ unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles. The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health,” said David 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.”

Tip: The Consumerist

But WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Not only did various celebrities endorse the shoes but so did a chiropractor. But, he was a little bit biased (as were the rest who got paid for their endorsements):

Shape-ups ads with an endorsement from a chiropractor named Dr. Steven Gautreau, who recommended the product based on the results of an “independent” clinical study he conducted that tested the shoes’ benefits compared to those provided by regular fitness shoes. The FTC alleges that this study did not produce the results claimed in the ad, that Skechers failed to disclose that Dr. Gautreau is married to a Skechers marketing executive, and that Skechers paid Dr. Gautreau to conduct the study.

These shoes were ugly and useless. Reebok also settled with the FTC for similar deception. There is no quick fix, put on any decent shoes and get moving.

  5 comments for “Skechers settles deceptive claims charge for $40 Million over toning shoes

  1. Sam
    May 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    hahaha this is funny to me because I had a pair of Skechers Shape-ups and found that they help with my planters fasciitis
    I did notice a little better tone in my calf muscles but maybe it was because I was also exercising more.
    I never did buy another pair when they wore out though, because as you said , They are so freakin Ugly lol

  2. Moose McNuggets
    May 16, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Part of me is glad the company has been busted for false advertising. However, there’s another part of me that can’t help but think that those who would believe “claims that Shape-ups would help people lose weight, and strengthen and tone their buttocks, legs and abdominal muscles,” deserve what they get.

    Exercise and eat right, dummies. It’s worked for centuries.

  3. Massachusetts
    May 17, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    I don’t know about this specific case, it’s kind of marginal, since there may be a mild benefit and lots of walking would certainly be good. But honestly the “they deserve what they get” viewpoint is a bit troubling.” It empowers criminals and con artists. Isn’t this site supposed to be fighting that sort of thing?

    We are bombarded by claims and not everyone has the time or knowledge to address every claim and analyze it critically. Not everyone has the critical thinking skills to do so. Do we let the 80-something year old grandmother hang out to dry because she trusts what the “scientists” have told her, when it turns out the scientists are marketing execs perpetrating a bald-faced lie?

    There’s a big tendency in our culture to blame the victim, and to side with con artists over their victims. This comes from a mistaken and very non-criticalm illogical feeling that if we can only convince ourselves that we are smarter, stronger and otherwise better than the victim in any given con, then it won’t happen to us and we’ll be safe. I submit that a victim of a con may be gullible, foolish and even greedy, but the perpetrator of that con ranks much higher on the index of shame we should apply to such activities and crimes.

  4. djhollen
    May 18, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    I have a collapsed arch on my feet that requires orthotics to treat. I found these shape-ups to be fantastic to wear because without a heel, the center of the sole pushes up into my arch giving me great support without the annoying orthotics. Come to think of it though, I didn’t lose any weight…

  5. Ron Holmstrom
    May 27, 2012 at 3:59 AM

    Dear djhollen,
    For twenty bucks I would have knocked the heels off of a pair of your old shoes.

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