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No Added Benefit from Reebok Easy Tone Shoes, says FTC

June 2, 2012
Colson Hicks Eidson

Popular shoe maker, Reebok, reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over Reebok’s controversial Easy Tone shoes. Reebok marketed the shoes as a way for consumers to tone their legs and backsides merely by wearing the shoes. However, an FTC investigation and a class action lawsuit over Reebok’s claims revealed that it was just puffery.

The settlement is reportedly worth $25 million, according to sources. Reebok will create a fund to refund customer’s money. For its part, Reebok said that it stands behind the Easy Tone shoes and that a settlement does not mean it agrees with the FTC’s investigation. The FTC found that the shoes provided no added benefits over traditional workout shoes.

The American Council on Exercise said whether you work out in Easy Tone shoes or regular workout shoes, your results will be the same. Reebok maintains that thousands of customers provided positive feedback about the benefits of the sneakers.

A spokesperson for the FTC said he hopes the settlement sends a message to advertisers that they must have evidence to substantiate any claims they make about a product. Reebok is not the only maker of the shoes. Several companies, including Skechers, also market similar sneakers and make similar claims as Reebok about the added benefits.