Skechers Shape-Ups Marketing Settlement Tentatively Approved, Toning Shoe Injury Lawsuits Still Pending

A federal judge last month granted tentative approval to a $40 million Skechers Shape-Ups settlement that will provide refunds to purchasers of the popular toning shoes.  The settlement resolves charges that advertising claims touting Skechers Shape-Ups fitness benefits were unfounded.

Under the terms of the agreement, consumers who bought the toning shoes will be able to receive refunds of:

  • Up to $80 per pair for Skechers Shape-Ups
  • $84 per pair for Resistance Runner Shoes
  • Up to $54 per pair of Podded Sole Shoe
  • $40 per pair for Tone-Up

According to the Associated Press, the proposed settlement covers more than 70 Skechers Shape-Ups lawsuits from across the country that had been consolidated in Louisville, Kentucky.   Skechers denied the allegations but said it settled to avoid long litigation.  U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell scheduled a fairness hearing for March 19 to finalize the settlement.

The settlement comes just three months after the maker of Skechers Shape-Ups reached an agreement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over its toning shoe advertising,  The Associated Press said.   Among other things, that settlement bars Skechers from running advertisements that claim the toning shoes can help people lose weight and strengthen their butt, leg, and stomach muscles.

This settlement does not resolve any lawsuits relating to Skechers Shape-Ups injuries.  Last year, Skechers toning shoe injury lawsuits were consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in Louisville.   Lawsuits pending in the litigation claim that the rounded sole that is the hallmark of the Skechers Shape-Ups design promotes an unstable gait that can lead to falls and other injuries.  Some of the injuries alleged to have been cased by Skechers Shape-Ups include:

  • Hip fractures
  • Rolled/twisted ankles
  • Broken bones
  • Stress fractures
  • Joint dislocation
  • Fall related injuries
  • Back strain

Skechers Shape-Ups were heavily marketed via the use of celebrity endorsers, including Kim Kardashian and Brooke Burke, as a way to promote weight loss and muscle tone. According to the Associated Press, advertising claimed that the shoes’ rounded sole provides natural instability and causes the consumer to ‘‘use more energy with every step.”   Skechers Shape-Ups, which retailed for around $200 per pair, were sold at stores across the country.

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