Though it may come as no surprise that a specific type of shoes will not, in fact, lead to weight loss, consumers who were led to believe otherwise just won a victory. A federal judge approved a $40 million class action settlement on Monday between Skechers USA Inc. and customers who bought shoes advertised as having the ability to tone muscles and shed pounds on those that wore them. The advertising campaign for the shoes explicitly detailed these claims, which were revealed to be completely unfounded.
The Associated Press reports that the settlement, which was approved by U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell in Louisville, KY, covers 520,000 claims, which will see Skechers provide refunds for the shoes purchased. The shoes were sold for prices between $40 and $80 a pair. The settlement also awards $5 million to the attorneys that worked on the case, which will not come from the consumer settlement, and the two lead plaintiffs will receive $2,500 each. The settlement consolidates more than 70 lawsuits around the country that were filed against the Manhattan Beach, CA-based shoe manufacturer.
Skechers denies that their claims are untrue, but representatives of the company said that they settled in order to avoid long, drawn out litigation.
The settlement surrounds a series of advertisements Skechers ran for its Shape-Up shoes, which claimed that the shoes were a fitness tool that, because of the instability of the soles, required the wearer to exert more energy with each step. The ads featured celebrity endorsements from Kim Kardashian and Brooke Burke, and claims were made that shoes would lead to sliming and toning results in the wearer’s butt leg, and stomach muscles. Ads for another type of shoe manufactured by Skechers, the Resistance Runner, made claims that they increased muscle activation in wearers by 85%.
Skechers has already settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission which bars the company from running these types of ads in the future.