Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces $40 Million Nationwide Settlement with Makers of Athletic "Toning" Shoes

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced today that she, along with 44 other attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission, has reached a $40 million settlement with Skechers USA, Inc. to resolve allegations the company made unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits of its rocker-bottom shoes, including the Shape-ups, the Tone-ups, and the Skechers Resistance Runners.

The lawsuit, which was filed today along with the settlement, alleges that Skechers advertised that its rocker-bottom shoes caused consumers to lose weight, burn calories, improve circulation, fight cellulite, and firm, tone or strengthen thigh, buttock, and back muscles. As part of the settlement, Skechers is prohibited from making such claims without adequate substantiation and consumers may be eligible for partial refunds.

“Consumers shouldn’t be duped into paying more for products with false promises of weight loss and other benefits,” said Attorney General Harris. “This settlement ensures that Skechers will not make any claims regarding their rocker-bottom shoe products without adequate substantiation for those claims.”

As part of the $40 million settlement, Skechers will pay the states $5 million, of which California will receive $290,000 or the second largest of the individual state payments. The company will also provide partial refunds to customers who purchased Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups, or the Skechers Resistance Runner.

Consumers may visit www.ftc.gov/skechers or call (866) 325-4186 for information about how to obtain a partial refund.

Attorney General Harris is joined in this settlement by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, 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. The settlement also includes the Federal Trade Commission, the District of Columbia, Hawaii’s Office of Consumer Protection, and the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection.

Supervising Deputy Attorney General Daniel A. Olivas and Deputy Attorney General Judith Fiorentini handled the case for Attorney General Harris’ Consumer Law section.

Copies of the complaint and judgment submitted to the court for approval are attached to the online version of this release at www.oag.ca.gov

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