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May 16, 2012 — As part of a $40 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Skechers has agreed to refund consumers who purchased its round-soled toning shoes after August 1, 2008.

The brands included Skechers Shape-Ups, Resistance Runner, Toners, or Tone-Ups, and the shoes were sold for about $100. Though Skechers denied any wrongdoing, the company was accused of misleading consumers by making bogus claims that the toning shoes could help shed pounds and tone muscles.

The company denies all allegations of wrongdoing. They claim that they agreed to settle to avoid paying for an expensive, prolonged litigation. The company had faced regulatory action from the FTC, a massive consumer class action lawsuit, and investigations from 44 states’ Attorneys General. In the future, Skechers has promised that they will not promote their shoes by misrepresenting scientific studies, tests, or research.

Despite the lack of evidence, Skechers advertised the toning shoes as a way to “get in shape without setting foot in a gym.” The advertisements featured shapely celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Brooke Burke, and Joe Montana. They claimed that just wearing the shoes could improve appearance and health, because the round, “rocker”-style sole forced the wearer to “use more energy with every step.” Someone wearing the should could expect to burn extra calories, shed pounds, improve their cardiovascular health, and tone muscles in their butt, leg, and stomach.

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