FTC Cracking Down on Reebok
You've heard of toning shoes, which claim to burn more calories and tone your muscles. But after an investigation and class-action lawsuit against Adidas-owned Reebok, the FTC is cracking down on Reebok for making 'false claims'. Video by fox47news.comvideo
You've heard of toning shoes, or maybe you even own a pair. They're the ones that claim to burn more calories and tone your muscles better than traditional workout shoes.
But after an investigation and class-action lawsuit launched against Adidas-owned Reebok, the FTC is cracking down on Reebok for making what it calls, 'false claims'.
The Federal Trade Commission used its muscle to stop Reebok from making claims in product ads that its shoes can "strengthen and tone key leg and buttock muscles" more than regular shoes.
The FTC announced it was settling a class-action lawsuit with Reebok and created a fund to refund customers.
"Reebok has entered into a 25 million dollar settlement to resolve FTC allegations that it violated the law by making false and unsubstantiated claims," said David Vladeck, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection.
In a statement, Reebok says the company stands behind its EasyTone technology and "...settling does not mean we agree with the FTC's allegations; we do not. We have received overwhelmingly enthusiastic feedback from thousands of EasyTone customers."
But the FTC says customer feedback is not a substitute for sound science, and set the tone for other companies making similar products and claims.
"We're here this morning... to remind advertisers that they must have adequate proof of claims they make in their ads," said Vladeck.
Since the toning shoes have hit the market, several studies, including one by the American Council on Exercise, have not found any extra benefits from using the product - designed to shift the balance from traditional shoes.
"Whether you walk in normal running shoes, or you go out and purchase and make the investment in these toning shoes, you're going to get similar results and effects," said Cedric Bryant of the American Council on exercise.
Customers seeking a refund from Reebok can go to the FTC website to process their claim online.
One of the other companies making similar products is Skechers. A spokesperson from that shoemaker had no comment about the Reebok settlement.