Skechers Shape-Ups Broke Hips, Lawsuit Claims

Skechers Shape-Ups, the ubiquitous toning shoes that started a trend in toners that promise to shape buttocks, thighs, and calves without going to the gym, are making headlines again for <"">Skechers Shape-Ups injuries.

WCPO wrote about a woman who wore her Skechers Shape-Ups at work—she was a restaurant server—for just five months when she began feeling excruciating leg pain. “I just wanted to tone up a bit. I’m already walking, I might as well wear shoes that benefit me as well,” Holly Ward said, quoted WCPO. Describing her medical fiasco with the trendy toning shoes, Ward sought medical help. “The MRI came back a few days later and that’s when he realized that both femoral necks had been fractured,” said Ward, referring to her physician.

Ward and her physicians agree that her injuries were a result of wearing Skechers Shape-Ups; she has since filed a lawsuit, said WCPO. Ward’s attorney believes the shoe’s design is to blame. Ward underwent surgery to repair her broken hips and was left with six screws in her body.

In response to the Skechers Shape-Ups lawsuit, Leonard Armato, President of Skechers Fitness Group told 9 News that “the company is confident that Shape-ups are safe,” adding that there are “scientific studies that support the fitness benefits of toning footwear at, which has seven clinical studies on rocker-bottom shoes, including two recent studies on Shape-ups,” quoted WCPO/9News.

Toning shoes, constructed with rocking soles, are meant to stretch leg muscles with every step, and represent the fastest growing segment in the athletic footwear market, said USA Today previously. But, despite the flashy ads and celebrity promos, physician warnings are on the rise, cautioning that toning shoes not only don’t do what they promise, but Toning Shoe Injuries, including changing how one walks, can occur.

According to Barbara de Lateur, a distinguished service professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the renowned Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine, the claims that toning shoes can be used to improve one’s fitness are “utter nonsense,” wrote USA Today. De Lateur and a growing number of physicians warn that toners destabilize how one walks, leading to strained Achilles tendons, and can be dangerous to those with balance issues. One consumer described her Skecher’s Shape-Up Injury, breaking her ankle on her first and only time using Skechers Shape-Ups.

The shoes tout the sensation of walking on the beach constructed with intentional instability meant to make the wearer exert more effort to stay balanced. Claims range the gamut: “Get in Shape Without Setting Foot in a Gym,” (Skechers); “EasyTone shoes help tone your butt and legs with every step,” (Reebok); and “Anti-Shoe” will “tone muscles your trainer never knew you had” (MBT).

Some experts disagree. David Davidson, national president of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, says the notion of adults relearning to walk can be “scary” when dealing with a person with a “borderline problem” about which they might be unaware. “Nothing about these shoes has any redeeming value to me,” he says. “Sorry, I don’t see it,” he added, quoted USA Today.

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