Business, Economics and Jobs

Skechers charged with misleading customers about health benefits of Shape-ups


Skechers' Shape-ups were endorsed by reality TV star Kim Kardashian.


Michael Buckner

Millions of consumers who bought Skechers Shape-ups to lose weight and tone flabby muscles can ask for their money back after the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged the company with deceptive advertising.

Skechers will pay $40 million to settle charges that it misled consumers with claims that its Shape-ups and other toning fitness shoes could help “make your bottom half your better half” without raising a sweat, according to MSNBC.

The FTC said Skechers had made unsubstantiated claims about the health and fitness benefits of wearing its rocker-style shoes, which cost between $60 and $100 and had been endorsed by reality TV star Kim Kardashian and model Brooke Burke, USA Today reported.

Consumers can apply for a refund, the FTC said.

“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, in a statement.

“The FTC’s message, for Skechers and other national advertisers, is to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims.”

More from GlobalPost: Reebok pays $25 million to settle EasyTone lawsuit

According to the Associated Press, Skechers had falsely represented that clinical studies supported its claims.

Under the terms of the settlement, Skechers is barred from “misrepresenting any tests, studies, or research results regarding toning shoes.”

In a statement, Skechers said it “continues to stand behind its toning technology” and only agreed to settle the charges to avoid the “exorbitant long-term cost of defending against multiple legal proceedings."