It is not just consumers getting involved in lawsuits. In September 2011, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it was settling a lawsuit against Reebok, which alleged Reebok's marketing of EasyTone and RunTone shoes was deceptive. The FTC objected to marketing claims made by Reebok that the shoes would provide extra tone and strength to the wearer's leg and buttock muscles.
According to the FTC, Reebok made unsubstantiated claims that its toning shoes strengthen and tone muscles in the legs and buttocks more than regular shoes. Furthermore, the FTC argued, "Reebok falsely claimed that walking in EasyTone footwear had been proven to lead to 28 percent more strength and tone in the buttock muscles, 11 percent more strength and tone in the hamstring muscles, and 11 percent more strength and tone in the calf muscles than regular walking shoes."
READ MORE TONING SHOES LEGAL NEWS
Reebok said it stood behind its shoes and will continue to sell them. But some medical experts argue that the shoes can cause injury by changing how people walk. According to an article in USA Today (6/30/10), the shoes not only destabilize a person's gait but can cause strained Achilles tendons. Because of the lack of stability in the footwear, consumers are possibly at risk of rolling over their ankles, causing a serious sprain or even a break, some experts argue.
Meanwhile, consumers who already have walking problems—even if they do not realize it—or balance problems could reportedly be at increased risk of injury by wearing the shoes.