Californians Sue Over Skechers Shape-up Injuries

More than three dozen California residents have become the latest to enter a class-action lawsuit against Skechers, claiming the company’s “toning sneakers” have caused them to suffer serious injuries.

According to a report from KGTV-10 in San Diego, at least 37 residents in southern California have joined a local class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of people who’ve been injured by the relatively new shoes.

Injuries caused by Skechers Shape-Ups or Tone-Ups toning shoes range from twisted ankles and torn ligaments and muscles to hip fractures. Injuries have been reported after falls wearing the shoes with unbalanced soles and after prolonged wearing of them.

In addition to the injuries, those entering the class-action lawsuit believe they are victims of Skechers’ negligence and fraud because the company can not back the claims made in advertisements for the shoes.

An attorney representing the 37 clients already included in the class-action lawsuit told the news source that Skechers has never conducted any safety testing or other scientific research to back the safety of its shoes and the health benefits of them.

In ads for Skechers Shape-Ups and Tone-Ups shoes, the company claims “millions of people” have worn these specialty shoes without injuries and have improved their health by strengthening muscles. In more superficial and probably more effective ads for the shoes, Skechers claims wearing Shape-Ups or Tone-Ups will cause tightening of leg and “backside” muscles.

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission fined Reebok $25 million for ads related to its toning shoes and ordered a halt to those ads.

Toning shoes feature a unique contour on the sole, usually thickest in the middle of the shoe under the arch and sloped thinner toward the heels and toes. Those who wear these shoes claim they’ve fallen wearing them because they were unbalanced. At least one of the 37 California residents who fell wearing their Shape-Ups or Tone-Ups broke their hip.

Another woman told the TV news source she purchased a pair of Shape-Ups based on an ad for them and soon afterward, suffered two twisted ankles. After recovering, she began wearing them again and eventually suffered torn tendons and ligaments in her left ankle.

Those who’ve worn and been injured by Skechers and other toning shoes claim they’re now forced to deal with rising medical costs due to surgeries and physical therapy to repair the damage caused by the shoes.

KGTV reports the class-action lawsuit against Skechers is the largest filed so far in the U.S. over toning shoe injuries. Numerous other individual lawsuits have been filed elsewhere across the country

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