Reebok to pay $25 million in customer refunds over toning shoe claims

In an article published today in the Seattle Times, Reebok International Ltd., which is owned by Adidas, has been ordered to return $25 million to consumers over reported false advertising with its’ toning shoes, which include “EasyTone”, “RunTone” as well as several types of flip-flops and clothing.

So-called “toning” shoes, which have been available for the last couple of years, have been a popular trend, and are manufactured by many of the big shoe companies such as Skechers, New Balance, Reebok, and MBT.  However, Reebok is the first company to be penalized for making advertising claims that the shoes can result in measurable changes in muscle tone and size, specifically in the buttock and upper legs.  Apparently, there was a lack of scientific evidence to support these claims.

Many of my patients have tried similiar toning shoes, and the overwhelming response has been positive.  I have however cautioned everyone to puchase them because they feel supportive and get you out walking, NOT because they will make your buttocks more toned.  Also, any patients who have balance issues should not wear these shoes, due to the curved bottom of the sole which could lead to falls.

Jennifer Saam, DPM