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Skechers Settles With FTC for $40M Over Toning Shoe Claims

The FTC has settled with Skechers over what the FTC said were "overhyped advertising claims" about its toning shoes, including Shape Ups, with a $40 million settlement going partially to refund consumers who bought the shoes.

Those ads included a Super Bowl TV spot, which the FTC played during a Wednesday press conference to announce the settlement.

The FTC filed a complaint that challenges the ad claims for Skechers toning shoes, including the statements that it had clinical studies supporting its weight loss and health claims.

David Vladeck, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, called it an important step (pun intended) to get marketers to shape up health and fitness claims. "Skechers put its foot in its mouth," he said.

In settling the claims, Skechers will pay $40 million into a fund to return money to shoe buyers. It has also agreed not to make any fitness or health claims unless it can back them up.

The FTC says anyone who bought the shoes can contact for information about how to tap into that fund. Vladeck encouraged consumers to check it out as soon as possible.

The agreement, which still needs to be approved by a court, also settles individual claims by over 40 states.

Last September the FTC announced a $25 million settlement with Reebok over its toning shoes, and says it has gotten hundreds of thousands of applications for the funds.