I wrote yesterday about Reebok’s $25 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over deceptive marketing of Reebok’s toning shoes, the EasyTone and RunTone.
Since then, I have received numerous questions from readers about how to take part in the settlement.
Purchasers of Reebok toning shoes may request a refund through the settlement using this Refund Request Form.
In order to participate, you must have purchased the toning shoes on or after December 5, 2008. The refund applies to the following Reebok toning shoes and apparel:
EasyTone Long Bra Top
EasyTone Sleeveless Shirt
EasyTone Short Sleeve Top
According to the settlement web site, payments to eligible purchasers will vary depending upon the product purchased and the number and amounts claimed by all eligible consumers. If you submit a refund request in excess of $200, you may be asked to provide proof of purchase to validate your request.
The FTC is requiring the refunds because Reebok’s ads made unsupported claims that the rocker-bottom shoes were "proven" to tone buttocks 28% more than other shoes and build calf muscles by 11% more. According to the FTC, it "spent a lot of time examining the evidence [Reebok] put forward and found it wanting."
Right now, Reebok is the only toning shoe manufacturer providing refunds, but Skechers has also been contacted by the FTC over claims about the exercise benefits of Skechers Shape-Ups toning shoes.
As I’ve discussed many times, not only will these shoes not improve your fitness, they actually cause injury.
Popular toning shoes include MBT and Skechers Shape-Ups.
Toning shoes (including shoes manufactured by MBT and the popular Skechers Shape-Up shoes) may actually cause more harm than good. Consumer Health Reports found a number of complaints for toner shoes far greater than any other single type of product. In one report, an individual suffered a broken bone only 45 minutes after wearing the shoes.
These injuries do not surprise health care professionals. Dr. Orly Avitur, the lead doctor working with Consumer Health Reports, concluded that anyone with balance issues, back pain, neuropathy, or unstable ankles should not wear toning shoes.
The Reebok toning shoe settlement covers only claims for deceptive marketing. Injury claims and lawsuits for toning shoe injuries must still be resolved on an individual basis.
The toning shoe danger is not limited to individuals with balance issues. Even young people in good shape have reported problems with toner shoes. A test by the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine and American Council on Exercise showed prolonged use can lead to material alteration of individual walking gait mechanics. This is particular concerning considered the industry new marketing campaign targeting preteens.
The bottom line is – when you are told you can get more results with less efforts, one should be suspect. You may end up with more than tighter buns and thighs, you might end up with serious injuries.
[More on Toner Shoe Injuries]
(c) Copyright 2011 Brett A. Emison
Brett Emison is currently a partner at Langdon & Emison, a firm dedicated to helping injured victims across the country from their primary office near Kansas City. Mainly focusing on catastrophic injury and death cases as well as complex mass tort and dangerous drug cases, Mr. Emison often deals with automotive defects, automobile crashes, railroad crossing accidents (train accidents), trucking accidents, dangerous and defective drugs, defective medical devices.