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Reebok settles deceptive advertising suit for $25 million

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September 28, 2011- The Federal Trade Commission announced today that Reebok International Ltd. has settled a charge of deceptive advertising over their EasyTone and RunTone shoes, agreeing to pay $25 million.

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According to a press release from the FTC, Reebok made unsupported claims in advertisements that walking in its EasyTone shoes and running in its RunTone running shoes strengthen and tone key leg and buttock (gluteus maximus) muscles more than regular shoes. This was allegedly done by sole technology featuring pockets of moving air creates “micro instability” that tones and strengthens muscles as you walk or run.

Reebok issued a statement that said:

"Settling does not mean we agree with the FTC’s allegations; we do not.

Under the agreement, Reebok is prohibited from the following:

1) making claims that toning shoes and other toning apparel are effective in strengthening muscles, or that using the footwear will result in a specific percentage or amount of muscle toning or strengthening, unless the claims are true and backed by scientific evidence;

2) making any health or fitness-related efficacy claims for toning shoes and other toning apparel unless the claims are true and backed by scientific evidence; and

3) misrepresenting any tests, studies, or research results regarding toning shoes and other toning apparel.

The settlement also covers EasyTone shorts, pants, bra tops, capris and shirts.

If you purchased any of the eligible items after December 5, 2008, you can apply to receive part of the settlement. Click here to see the list of eligible items and to file a claim.

The questionable effectiveness of these shoes shouldn’t be a surprise to regular readers of this column. Last year, we looked at Skechers Shape-Ups and the results of a University of Wisconsin test that showed the shoes did nothing special. Reebok works on the same premise. In that article, we also heard doctors express concerns about the instability of the shoes and some dangers involved in them.

Click here to read the FTC press release regarding this settlement.

There are two Reebok stores in the Ft. Myers area. There is a factory store located at Tanger Outlets, 20350 Summerlin Road (Click here for a map) and one located at Miromar Outlets, 10801 Corkscrew Rd Estero (Click here for a map).

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