Toning shoes have taken a serious tumble.
The Federal Trade Commission announced that Reebok, makers of the EasyTone toning shoes, agreed to a $25 million settlement to resolve charges of deceptive advertising for toning shoes and apparel. Although Reebok claimed that wearing their toning shoes strengthens and tones the butt by 28 percent, the FTC ruled these statements weren’t backed by scientific evidence.
As part of the settlement, Reebok is barred from claiming that toning shoes or apparel strengthens or tones muscles unless it’s substantiated by scientific studies. (The settlement money will go towards reimbursing people who purchased Reebok toning products. For more details, visit ftc.gov/reebok.)
Despite the wallop to the shoemaker’s wallet, Reebok said it still stands behind its toning shoes and only settled to avoid a drawn out legal battle. According to a statement, "the allegations suggested that the testing we conducted did not substantiate certain claims used in the advertising of our EasyTone line of products. In order to avoid a protracted legal battle, Reebok has chosen to settle with the FTC. Settling does not mean we agreed with the FTC's allegations; we do not."
The popular fitness shoes, which are all the rage, are designed with a rounded bottom—similar to the stability balls you’ll find at the gym—to create instability. This is supposed to make your muscles work harder with every step you take. According to Skechers—the makers of Shape-ups—wearing toning shoes may give you stronger leg and butt muscles, help you burn more calories than you would with plain old walking and improve your posture.
But the lack of scientific proof confirms what many skeptics already assumed: Toning shoes are not the magic bullet you’ve been dreaming of.
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