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"Shape-ups" Owe $40M For Deceiving Public

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POSTED: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 10:25am

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 4:27pm

Even if you don't own a pair of Skechers Shape-ups toning shoes, surely you've noticed the ads.

The advertisements claim the design of the shoes give muscles a better work-out than regular sneakers, but the government says that's not true.

Now the company will pay millions.

In its ads Skechers USA said its toning shoes helped wearers lose weight and improve health.

Now the Federal Trade Commission has flexed its muscles, announcing the shoe company will pay more than $40-million to settle charges that its health claims were deceptive and unfounded by company-funded clinical studies.

"The complaint alleges that the studies had a number of defects, not the least of which was incorrectly reporting the results," said David Vladeck of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Toning shoes claim to make your muscles work harder than regular fitness shoes by using soles that rock.

Just last year the FTC announced a similar settlement of $25-million with Reebok for its Easy Tone and Runtone shoes.

Customers who purchased Skechers Shape-ups, Resistance Runner, Toners or Tone-ups shoes may be eligible for a refund, though the final refund amount will depend on the number of claims filed.

Consumers can visit either FTC.gov or SkechersSettlement.com for more information on the refund.

In a statement, Skechers USA said it "believes its advertising was appropriate," but the company decided to settle to avoid additional costs.

Skechers Shape-ups retailed for as much as $100.

Sales peaked in 2010 at $1 billion.  

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