Tags: skechers | pay | 40M | consumers

Skechers To Pay $40M to Consumers for Falsely Advertised Toning Shoes

Image: Skechers To Pay $40M to Consumers for Falsely Advertised Toning Shoes A person shops at a Skechers store on April 10, 2013 in New York City.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013 08:41 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Skechers will be paying out $40 million dollars to consumers who purchased their so-called toning shoes, after U.S. regulators disputed the claim that the sneakers' design built muscle and helped users lose weight.

The $40 million class-action settlement, which covers more than 520,000 claims, was approved by U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell on Monday.

The shoes at the center of the lawsuit were Skechers' Shape-ups, Resistance Runner, Podded Sole Toner Shoes and Tone-ups lines.

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Individuals with approved claims will receive a maximum repayment of up to $80 per pair of Shape-Ups; $84 per pair of Resistance Runner shoes; up to $54 per pair of Podded Sole Shoes; and $40 per pair of Tone-Ups, The Associated Press reported.

The only exception to the court sanctioned refunds is for two individuals who served as lead plaintiffs in the case, who will receive $2,500 from Skechers, the AP reported.

The federal judge also ruled that an additional $5 million, apart from the $40 million to consumers, will be paid by Skechers to attorneys to cover their fees in the case.

The ruling comes one year after the Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based shoe company reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over its advertisements, which were found to have "deceived consumers by making unfounded claims" the government watchdog agency stated.

The FTC case against Skechers was part of the $40 million consumer settlement announced on Monday.

"Skechers' unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles. The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health," David Vladeck, director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said last March as reported by ABC News. "The FTC's message, for Skechers and other national advertisers, is to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims."

Skechers disputed the claims that their ads were deceiving, but reportedly decided to settle in order to avoid long litigation the company said at the time.

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The settlement with the FTC prohibited Skechers from running the disputed ads in the future.

Similarly last year, Reebok also agreed to a settlement over its EasyTone walking shoes and RunTone running shoes, in which it agreed to refund $25 million to consumers for claims of false advertising.

Related stories:

Skechers U.S.A. Recovers From Missteps

Skechers 'Daddy's Money': Teen-Girl Shoes Cause Sexist Stink

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