The shoes are designed with a rounded sole intended to make a person work harder to maintain balance, and thus burn more calories while walking. The product is advertised as a way to “get in shape without setting foot in a gym.” However, many people who have been injured are now questioning the safety and effectiveness of this product.
May 16, 2012 — Skechers has just agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission $40 million to settle a class action lawsuit regarding misleading claims in the advertisements. Though Skechers denied any wrongdoing, they were accused of making bogus claims that Skechers Shape-Ups and other Skechers toning shoes could help a person lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, and tone muscles, all “without setting foot in a gym.” As part of the settlement, Skechers agrees to refund customers who bought the shoes after August 1, 2008.
Do Skechers Shape-Ups Work?
Skechers Shape-Ups are a revolutionary type of walking shoe. Unlike normal athletic shoes with a flat sole, these shoes have a round sole. You may have seen celebrities like Kim Kardashian and former NFL quarterback Joe Montana promoting these shoes during the Superbowl in 2011. The company promoting the shoes claims that they can help you lose weight, tone muscles, and improve cardiovascular health. The rounded bottom makes a person walk in a heel-to-toe stride, similar to walking in sand. The round sole is inherently more unstable than a flat-bottomed shoe, and the extra energy a person exerts to maintain balance helps them burn more calories while walking.
Do the shoes really work?
Though a user may burn more calories while wearing Skechers Shape-Ups, there is no scientific evidence that they are any more effective than a traditional athletic shoe. There is no evidence that the benefit of wearing Skechers Shape-Ups is more effective than going to the gym, or that people can get the same health benefits while wearing the shoes that they would if they had gone to the gym instead.
Furthermore, some experts warn that there are some serious health risks associated with using the shoes. The risk of falling is the most serious risk, especially for older Americans and people who are already prone to falling and losing their balance. Even people who are not predisposed to falling have suffered catastrophic injuries caused by the shoes, simply because they are more unstable than a traditional shoe. If you have been injured, you may have a lawsuit against Skechers Shape-Ups and be entitled to compensation.
Skechers Shape-Ups Lawsuit
Most people who wear Skechers Shape-Ups have no problems. Some, however have suffered from stress fractures, broken bones, serious fall injuries. The shoe company is now facing an onslaught of Skechers Shape-Ups lawsuits from people who suffered acute or long-term injuries.
Some people have suffered acute injuries, which occur when a person trips, slips, falls, or suddenly injures a part of their body.
Others have complained of injuries caused by long-term use of the shoes on a regular basis. Stress fractures often occur in people who do not exercise regularly, who suddenly begin to exercise. The sudden, repeated impact of exercise on a weight-bearing bone in the body may be too much. The bone is not used to repairing itself, and it may crack. Stress fractures are also known as “hairline fractures” because they are very small, and may not be diagnosed immediately. Often, they begin as minor pain that slowly grows worse over time. Unfortunately, a person who suffers from a stress fracture must not put any weight on the bone while it heals. They are often unable to work. If you have suffered a stress fracture while wearing Skechers Shape-Ups, you may be entitled to compensation for lost income by filing a lawsuit against Skechers Shape-Ups.
If you watch the television program Good Morning America, you may have seen a story on Holly Ward, a 38 year-old Ohio woman. She wore Skechers Shape-Ups while working shifts as a waitress. She also wore the shoes while she exercised. After five months, she developed stress fractures in both of her hips. She filed a Skechers Shape-Ups lawsuit. When she was on TV, she warned others: “The extended use of these shoes has injured me catastrophically.”
Injuries from the use of Skechers Shape-Ups can include:
- Stress Fractures: This injury is sometimes known as a “hairline fracture,” because it resembles a crack in the bone instead of a large break. People who do not exercise much and suddenly begin to exercise may be more likely to develop stress fractures. They occur due to repeated, abnormal impacts on a bone. They often get worse over time and are very painful.
- Slips and Falls: These accidents can occur because Skechers Shape-Ups are more unstable than a traditional shoe. A major fall can cause severe, permanent injury, especially if a head injury is involved. Older Americans and people with balance problems are at a much higher risk of a fall, though anyone can slip and fall.
- Muscle or Tendon Strains: These injuries often happen when a person is falling, when they twist suddenly to avoid a more serious injury. They can also occur gradually over time, due to over-stressing a muscle. Achilles tendon injuries are also common when a person slips and falls.
- Ligament Sprains: These injuries often occur when a person falls and lands on their arm, or twists a knee. They may also occur when an ankle is twisted too far in one direction.
- Broken Bones: This injury is catastrophic and sudden, and commonly occurs when people slip and fall. Older Americans are at particularly high risk of suffering broken bones during a fall, particularly the hip.