Reebok has reached a settlement with the FTC told to be worth $25 million in customer refunds concerning its EasyTone and RunTone Shoes. The FTC charges Reebok “deceptively advertised ‘toning shoes,’ which it claimed would provide extra tone and strength to the leg and buttock muscles.” As part of the settlement agreement Reebok will pay $25 million. The funds will go toward consumer refunds either directly from the FTC or through a court-approved class action lawsuit.
The toning show category is growing, and numerous manufacturers have shoes which make claims of toning and fitness. In its advertising campaigns, Reebok stated its claims of toning, and the FTC brlieves those claims aren’t backed. “The FTC wants national advertisers to understand that they must exercise some responsibility and ensure that their claims for fitness gear are supported by sound science,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Reebok issued a response to the settlement, in which the company said it chose to settle with the FTC “in order to avoid a protracted legal battle.” In a company statement Reebok says “We fully stand behind our EasyTone technology — the first shoe in the toning category inspired by balance-ball training. We have received overwhelmingly enthusiastic feedback from thousands of EAsyTone customers, and we remain committed to the continued development of our EasyTone line of products.”
If you have a pair (or more) of Reebok EasyTone or RunTone shoes you can choose to keep them and continue to wear them. You can also submit a claim for a refund of your shoes if that’s what you choose. It appears Reebok will continue to manufacture and sell EasyTone and RunTone shoes. It will have to revamp its advertising campaign with claims it can back.