On September 28, 2011, the Federal Trade Commission announced a $25 million settlement with Reebok over what it said were unsubstantiated claims about the exercise benefits of its “toning shoes.”
But the issue may not be limited to Reebok. Skechers said in a Securities & Exchange Commission filing last month that the FTC is investigating its advertising and claims about its toning sneakers. Los Angeles attorney Tina Wolfson filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status in January against New Balance, alleging its claims about the toning and calorie-burning potential of its toning shoes were false and misleading.
The FTC said Reebok made “unsupported” claims in advertisements that walking and running in its shoes strengthen and tone key leg and buttock muscles more than regular shoes. The FTC said these claims included that EasyTone shoes had been proved to lead to strength and tone improvements of: 28% in buttock muscles, 11% in hamstrings and 11% in calf muscles over regular walking shoes.
The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine has taken a cautious stance against toning shoes, which it says can provide benefits for some users but “may have consequences,” especially for those with balance problems.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s complaint database has more than 20 complaints about toning shoes, including two about Reebok versions. Consumers wrote about pain and injuries including stress fractures.
Source – USA Today
To find out if the shoe really shaped the bottom and lower legs, the American Council on Exercise recruited a dozen young women, monitored their muscle and exercise response to toning shoes. The organization concluded that the shoes did nothing more for strength or tone than regular running shoes.
Source – The Washington Post
With all this buzz about toning shoes, it was time to put their claims to the test. So we enlisted a team of exercise scientists from the Exercise and Health Program at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, to study each of the shoes.
The basic theory behind how they are supposed to work makes sense to consumers, so it’s easy to see why many are quick to embrace—and purchase—the shoes, which range in price from $100 to $245. The common denominator is that they all have an unstable sole design, which forces the wearer’s body to constantly struggle to find an equilibrium or balance point.
Read More: http://www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/720/