Skechers USA, Inc. will pay $40 million to settle charges made by the FTC that Sketchers deceived consumers when it advertised that its Shape-ups shoes would help people lose weight, strengthen and tone their muscles, and improve their cardiovascular health. The FTC complaint also alleged that Skechers made similar claims about its Resistance Runner, Tones and Tone-ups shoes.
Consumers who bought any of these shoes will be eligible for refunds, either directly from the FTC or through a court-approved class action lawsuit.
The FTC complaint charged that Skechers violated federal law by making deceptive advertising claims, including falsely representing that clinical studies backed up the claims. Under the FTC’s settlement, unless they are true and backed by scientific evidence, Skechers is barred from making any claims about strengthening, weight loss or any other health or fitness benefits, including claims regarding calorie burn, blood circulation, aerobic conditioning, muscle tone and muscle activation. Skechers also is barred from misrepresenting any tests, studies or research results regarding toning shoes.
The final judgment is available here.