Skechers to Pay $40 million Settlement Over Claims About Shoes’ Health Benefits
Skechers agreed to pay $40 million to settle charges that it made unfounded claims about the benefits of its toning shoes by asserting that they help people lose weight, tone lower body muscles and even combat heart disease.
In a complaint filed Wednesday in federal court, the Federal Trade Commission said Skechers hyped advertising for its Shape-ups line with unsubstantiated tag lines such as “Get in Shape Without Setting Foot in a Gym.” The company also failed to disclose that a chiropractor featured in one of its ads is married to a Skechers marketing executive and was paid to conduct studies on the shoes’ performance.
The FTC expects the settlement, which has not been finalized, to be its largest ever in terms of the amount of money refunded to consumers. The agreement also involves refunds for the company’s Resistance Runner, Toners and Tone-ups shoes.
“Skechers put its foot in its mouth by making unsubstantiated claims,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.