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.