Skechers Shape-Up shoes have recently been linked to serious injuries to a person’s feet, ankles, legs, and hips. The shoes are designed with a round sole, which is less stable than a normal shoe and changes the way a person walks. Skechers USA Inc. promotes the shoes as a way to “get in shape without setting foot in a gym.”
May 16, 2012 — Skechers has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission for $40 million. The FTC accused the footwear company of making bogus, unsubstantiated claims that toning shoes can help a person “get in shape without setting foot in a gym,” despite the lack of evidence that toning shoes are any better than regular fitness shoes. As part of the settlement, Skechers has agreed to refund consumers who purchased the shoes after August 1, 2008.
What are Skechers Shape-Ups?
Skechers Shape-Ups are a new type of walking shoe that have been sold since 2009. Unlike normal shoes that have a flat sole, the Shape-Ups have a rounded sole that encourages a person to work harder to maintain balance.
The advertisements claim that a person can increase muscle tone and health just by wearing the shoes, reducing or eliminating the need to go to the gym for a traditional workout. The popular advertisements feature celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and NFL quarterback Joe Montana. The ads claim Shape-Ups can help you lose weight, tone muscles, improve posture, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce stress to your knees and ankles.
What the advertisements do not include is safety information. Some groups of people may be at a higher risk of injury due to the unstable nature of the shoes. Other people who have no pre-disposition to falling have been injured simply because a shoe with a round bottom is more unstable than a flat shoe. People who may be at particularly high risk of falling include older Americans, people who are out of shape, or people with pre-existing balance problems.
Are Skechers Shape-Ups safe?
The most serious danger of wearing Skechers Shape-Ups is falling, because a fall can lead to catastrophic head injuries, bone fractures, hip dislocations, back injuries, and foot injuries. These injuries are extremely painful and require expensive medical treatment. Furthermore, a person may be unable to work while they heal. Some people are at an increased risk of falling, especially older Americans or children.
Long-Term Use Injuries:
Skechers Shape-Ups change the way a person walks. A person with no pre-existing walking issues may develop a distorted gait or leg alignment problems with long-term use.
Recently, a 38 year-old woman named Holly Ward was featured on the TV program Good Morning America. Ms. Ward wore her Skechers Shape-Ups during her shifts as a waitress. She also wore them while she worked out. After five months, she developed stress fractures in both of her hips. She filed a Sketchers Shape-Ups lawsuit against the company seeking compensation for her long-term hip injury.
Some Potential Injuries:
- Slips and Falls
- Head injuries
- Broken bones (particularly legs and ankles)
- Muscle strains
- Torn ligaments
- Hamstring injuries
- Achilles tendon strains and sprains
- Pulled muscles
- Knee injuries
- Stress fractures
- Hip injuries
- Ankle injuries
The Consumer Products Safety Commission has reported more than 80 cases of people who have been injured by their Skechers Shape-Up shoes. Some of these people have decided to contact a lawyer.