Consumers who bought into the “toning shoe” fad of recent times hoping to get trim and didn’t will now be getting their money back if the shoes they bought were from New Balance.
A judge in Massachusetts decided to let New Balance settle a false advertising claim by paying $2.3 million. A class action lawsuit was brought against the sport footwear giant in 2011 by three women; Kimberley Carey, Victoria Molinarolo, and Shannon Dilbeck will each receive about $5,000 and all people who join the class action lawsuit will get $100 back for every pair of toning shoes purchased.
The TrueBalance and Rock&Tone shoes were introduced to the market in 2010 and sold for approximately $100. New Balance claimed that the toning shoes, unlike other similar products on the market at the time, looked like regular running shoes yet were still able to activate lower body muscles and would cause the body to burn up to 8 percent more calories.
The complaint states: “wearing the Toning Shoes provides no additional activation to the gluteus, hamstring or calf muscles, and does not burn any additional calories. Moreover, scientists are concerned that wearing the Toning Shoes may lead to injury, a fact which New Balance deceptively omits from its advertising.”
Other toning sneaker manufacturers have been ordered by the Federal Trade Commission to reimburse customers who were lead to believe the shoes had some sort of power to help one tone muscles and lose weight; Reebok and Skechers have been ordered to pay a combined total of $65 million.
New Balance has yet to face any sanctions from the Federal Trade Commission, but the settlement will prevent the company from making boasts about improving health without any clinical, scientific evidence.