Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced today a $45 million settlement with Sketchers USA, the makers of the Shape-Up and Tone-up shoes which promised to whip walkers legs into tip-top condition merely by traipsing along.
“This settlement forces Skechers to ‘shape up’ by ceasing to make unsubstantiated health and medical claims for their so-called toning shoes. New Yorkers who purchased these shoes as a result of Skechers’ deceptive marketing practices will now be eligible for refunds,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “A fair market only exists when there are no false marketing claims that give one company an unfair advantage over the competition. Corporations will not be allowed to mislead consumers into spending their hard-earned money on products that promise what they can’t deliver.”
The settlement calls for the company to end its deceptive marketing practices. Under the settlement, Skechers will provide $40 million for refunds and an additional $5 million to the states.
According to Mr. Schneiderman’s office, Skechers said that their Shape-Ups and Tone-Ups provided:
certain health and medical benefits that were not adequately proven by scientific evidence. Skechers claimed that its toning shoes caused consumers to lose weight, burn calories, improve circulation, fight cellulite, and firm, tone or strengthen thigh, buttock, and back muscles and that its products also reduce stress and improve sleep. However, these grandiose claims were not substantiated by credible scientific evidence. Following the investigation, Skechers agreed to change its marketing of its toning shoe products.
Under the settlement, Skechers is prohibited from making these claims unless it has adequate substantiation to do so. Consumers who purchased Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups, or the Skechers Resistance Runner at any time should go to www.ftc.gov/skechers or call 866-325-4186 beginning today to submit a claim for a partial refund.