Skechers signs agreements with the Federal Trade Commission, 44 states and the District of Columbia
Attorney General John Kroger today announced a $45 million global resolution of allegations that Skechers made unsubstantiated health claims about certain brands of athletic shoes.
Consumers who purchased Shape-ups, Tone-ups or the Skechers Resistance Runners may be eligible for a partial refund and should contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by calling 866-325-4186 or going here: www.ftc.gov/skechers
Both the FTC and a multi-state group of Attorneys General investigated allegations that Skechers falsely claimed its "rocker-bottom" shoes helped consumers lose weight, burn calories, improve circulation, fight cellulite and firm, tone or strengthen thigh, buttock and back muscles – simply by wearing the shoes. Legitimate scientific studies do not support such claims.
Under the settlement, Skechers is prohibited from making these claims unless it can adequately substantiate them.
Several companies make rocker-bottom shoes, which are designed to be unstable when worn. Unlike traditional shoes, rocker-bottom shoes contain a deeper, curved midsole that purports to simulate walking on sand and the kinematics of long-distance, barefoot runners.
In 2008, Skechers developed an extensive celebrity-driven media campaign featuring Kim Kardashian, Brooke Burke, Denise Austin, Joe Montana, Karl Malone and Wayne Gretzky, among others. While Skechers has marketed rocker-bottom shoes to men and working professionals who spend a lot of time on their feet, the company has primarily focused its marketing efforts on fitness-conscious or fitness-aspiring women.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Lucille Salmony handled the case for the Oregon Department of Justice.
The settlement sets aside $40 million for consumer rebates and $5 million to the participating states. Oregon will receive $89,752.
The settlement included the Federal Trade Commission, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.