A recent class action suit has Sketchers attempting to escape a sketchy situation. The suit implies that Sketchers highly popular rocker-bottom shoes may not be as wonderous as previously believed. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the company has agreed to pay $40 million to consumers who purchased Sketchers Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups, Toners, or Resistance Running shoes.
The class action suit alleges that the glowing endorsements provided by reality show star Kim Kardashian, television personality Brooke Burke, and professional athlete Joe Montana are inaccurate, and that Shape-Up shoes will not help you tone your legs, and will not help you to lose weight. In a recent press release, Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection Direction David Vladeck stated that "Sketchers' unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles. The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health."
The FTC press release also questions the validity of claims made by chiropractic Dr. Stevean Gautreau, who was featured in some Sketchers commercials, and who claimed to have conduced an independent research study that definitely proved that Sketchers Shape-Ups provided superior benefits when compared to other similar sneakers and fitness shoes. Dr. Gautreau was paid by Sketchers to conduct his study, and is married to a Sketchers marketing executive.
After the settlement, Sketchers issued a press release, defending the decision to settle the case. Sketchers President Michael Greenberg stated that "[Sketchers] fully stands behind its toning shoe products and technology and is permitted under this settlement to continue to advertise that wearing rocker-bottom shoes like Shape-Ups can lead to increased leg muscle activation, increased calorie burn, improved posture and reduced back pain."
If you purchased Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups, Toners, or Resistance Running shoes from Sketchers, you can submit a claim for a partial refund by visiting: www.sketcherssettlement.com. If you no longer have your receipt, or are unable to locate documentation of your purchase, you can still submit a claim. FTC attorney Dana Barragate stated in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, that "We want consumers who legitimately purchased this product to get a refund if they want one."