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Red Wing Shoes recalls steel toe work boots

The steel toe cap could fail to protect the wearer’s feet

Red Wing Shoe Company of Red Wing, Minn., is recalling about 114,000 pairs of steel toe work boots in the U.S. and Canada.

The steel toe cap in the boots could fail to protect the wearer’s feet in an impact.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.

This recall involves 45 styles of Red Wing men’s steel toe work boots in sizes 11 to 18 and widths ranging from B to H depending on the size and style. The boots have 6, 8, 10 or 11 inch ankle height and were sold in brown, black and maroon-colored leather.

The following style numbers are included in the recall: 2206, 2211, 2223, 2226, 2230, 2238, 2249, 2254, 2270, 2404, 2405, 2406, 2408, 2412, 2414, 2426, 2491, 3505, 3507, 3508, 3526, 3528, 3568, 4208, 4210, 4273, 4406, 4414, 4425, 4433, 4435, 4436, 4437, 4438, 4445, 4481, 4483, 4484, 4494, 22406, 22408, 52406, 52408, 82406 and 82408.

Date codes between 10/12 and 11/13 are included in the recall.

The style number, date code and Red Wing Shoes are printed on a label inside the boot’s tongue. See the firm’s website for the complete list.

The boots, manufactured in the U.S., were sold at Red Wing stores and other shoe stores from October 2012, through November 2013, for between $185 and $340.

Consumers should stop wearing the recalled boots immediately and return them to a Red Wing store/dealer or contact Red Wing Shoes for a free replacement pair of boots.

Consumers may contact Red Wing Shoes at (800) 733-9464 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. CT Saturday, or by email at voluntary.recall@redwingshoes.com.

Red Wing Shoe Company of Red Wing, Minn., is recalling about 114,000 pairs of steel toe work boots in the U.S. and Canada. The steel toe cap in the boots ...
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Expensive shoe leather doesn't always translate to high treadwear

It's possible to spend a lot of money on shoes; it's also possible not to

Shoes have always been an expensive item for parents, as they try to keep up with their children's rapid growth. Sure, Wall Streeters have long favored those sleek Italian loafers but surely there has never been a time in our history when so many have spent so much for shoes.

You know the shoes we're talking about --  they're what we used to call tennis shoes, sneakers or joggers. They've become must-have items for younger males and are sought-after accessories by just about everyone.

But as is true in so many consumer products, paying a lot doesn't necessarily mean the item will be particularly durable.

Take Nikes for example. Lori of Hawthornwoods, Ill., said her son paid more than $200 for a pair of Nike soccer shoes, perhaps something similar to the CTR 360, which lists for $200.

"The seam came apart and you could clearly see the threads coming undone. Nike claims department denied my request four times. They advised that the shoe had been 'cut' by someone or it was due to an outside abrasion (kicking something other than a soccer ball)? They denied it being a 'workmanship' issue," she said in a recent ConsumerAffairs posting.

"It doesn't matter"

Lori said she managed to talk to a supervisor after a service rep turned down her request for a replacement and was told that further protest would be in vain.

"I was told by the supervisor that it doesn't matter how loyal I have been as a customer, Nike does not offer a loyalty program and doesn't care about keeping customers happy.  When I asked to speak with someone who really cares, I was told to write a letter."

Things didn't turn out much better for "M" of New York, N.Y.

"After a very short time of wear, the material at the top of the sneaker above the laces started separating from the toe guard on my Nike In-Season TR 2s (a place on any shoe that doesn't wear out)," she said. "I tried to exchange them at the place of purchase, Foot Locker, but was told that it was a defect in the shoe, and I should bring them back to Niketown."

"M" hoofed it over to Niketown only to be told that the store didn't stock that model anymore and would only reimburse 37% of the original purchase price.

"When I returned home, my husband found the sneakers on Nike's website at the original purchase price. When I complained to customer service, I was told that without a receipt the sneakers could only be exchanged if there was a manufacturer's defect. Please see my second sentence," M concluded.

Susan of Knoxville, Tenn., bought a pair of boys' Lunarglides -- which can cost around $150 depending on trim -- for her son, expecting that he would outgrow them in a year or so. 

"He wore them to school for two months. Over the summer, he was walking in them, and the webbing split on the left shoe," she said. "Fully expecting this to be covered under warranty, I paid to have insurance and two-day shipping to the claims department. I was shocked that they denied the claim due to 'normal wear and tear.' Never has he worn out a pair of shoes before he outgrew them!"

Consumers rate Nike

Like "M" of New York, Susan was successful in getting through to a supervisor but that's where her luck also ran out.

"He informed me that, "Well this is the first pair of shoes that he did wear out.' Refused to do anything. Very disappointed. I have better things to do with my time than talk to people who talk down to me," Susan said.

Back in balance

Now in fairness to Nike, these are just a few complaints but they're typical of the nearly 200 in our database and you'll find similar beefs around the Web. 

While it can be hard for parents to resist pressure from brand-brainwashed children who are convinced they will perish without the proper foot attire, there are plenty of alternatives out there.

New Balance, for one, is an established brand with many faithful followers. It makes a couple of $45 soccer shoes and a large selection of kids' shoes -- many in Nike-like bright colors -- also selling in the $45-$55 range.

Our purpose here is not to endorse any brand or vendor -- although it's worth noting that Amazon, Zappos, Joe's New Balance Outlet and many other online stores sell just about every brand and type of shoe imaginable. No matter how much money you may have, it's worth perusing a few of these sites, if for no other reason than to brief yourself for whatever debate may ensure when it comes time to discuss a shoe purchase with your offspring.

And for what it's worth, I'm standing on a concrete floor at my vertical desk wearing a pair of New Balance 856 Cross Trainers which I bought when they were on sale at Joe's for about $70.  I buy a new pair every year or so, mostly because after that time, they have been exposed to enough dog droppings, thorns, mud, snow and ice that they deserve a rest. I can't remember the last time a pair actually wore out.

The Nike CTR 360Shoes have always been an expensive item on parents' shopping lists, as they try to keep up with their children's rapid growth. Sure, Wal...
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JP Boden recalls Kensington Court high heel shoes

The heel on the shoe can loosen with wear and become unstable

JP Boden Services of Pittston, Pa., is recalling about 190 pairs of Kensington Court women’s shoes.

The heel on the shoe can loosen with wear and become unstable, posing a fall hazard. No incidents or injuries have been reported.

The Kensington Court 3 1/2 inch high heel patent leather shoes were sold in four colors including dark blue with beige trim, cream with tan trim, red with gray trim and turquoise blue with beige trim. The plain toe pump women’s shoes were sold in sizes 5-1/2 to 10-1/2. The Boden logo is printed on a label on the inside sole of the shoe.

The shoes, manufactured in Spain, were sold at Boden catalog nationwide and online from January 2013, through June 2013, for about $170.

Consumers should stop wearing the shoes and contact JP Boden to receive a postage paid label to return the shoes and receive a full refund.

Consumers may contact JP Boden toll-free at (866) 206-9508 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.  

JP Boden Services of Pittston, Pa., is recalling about 190 pairs of Kensington Court women’s shoes. The heel on the shoe can loosen with wear and become ...
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The checks are in the mail

Refunds are on the way to consumers who bought Skechers

Consumers who bought from Skechers toning shoes that the company promoted through allegedly deceptive advertisements will be getting some of their money back.

An administrator working for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is in the process of mailing out 509,175 checks. The amount consumers will receive is based on the portion of their claims that was approved. The checks must be cashed on or before October 10, 2013.

As part of its efforts to put a halt to overhyped health claims, the FTC alleged that Skechers deceptively advertised its toning shoes -- including making unfounded claims that its Shape-ups shoes would help people lose weight, and strengthen and tone their buttocks, legs and abdominal muscles. The FTC claimed that in addition to Shape-ups, Skechers made deceptive claims about its Resistance Runner, Toners and Tone-ups shoes.

Under the terms of the FTC settlement, the funds were distributed through a court-approved class action lawsuit.

Consumers with questions may call 1-888-325-4186.   

Consumers who bought from Skechers toning shoes that the company promoted through allegedly deceptive advertisements will be getting some of their money ba...
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Stride Rite recalls girl’s sandals

The metal flower on the shoe can detach

Stride Rite Children’s Group of Lexington, Mass., is recalling about 7,500 pairs of “Joanna” girl’s sandals.

The metal flower on the shoe can detach, posing a choking hazard. The firm has received six reports of the flowers detaching and eleven reports of flowers loosening. No injuries have been reported.

The “Joanna” girl’s sandals have an ankle strap, three bands and a flower on top. They were sold in white with a silver-colored metal flower and brown with a copper-colored metal flower in girl’s sizes 8.5 through 10. The name “Joanna,” the style number CG40723 (white shoe) or CG40725 (brown shoe) and the size are printed on the underside of the front shoe strap. “StrideRite” appears on the bottom of the shoe.

The sandals, manufactured in China, were sold at Stride Rite stores and other department stores nationwide and at various online retailers from December 2011 through May 2013 for between $30 and $42.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled shoes away from children and contact Stride Rite to receive a prepaid envelope for the return of the shoes. Upon return, customers will receive a voucher for the purchase price redeemable at Stride Rite stores or striderite.com.

Consumers may contact Stride Rite at (800) 365-4933, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or by e-mail at JoannaReturns@striderite.com.

Stride Rite Children’s Group of Lexington, Mass., is recalling about 7,500 pairs of “Joanna” girl’s sandals. The metal flower on the shoe can detach, posi...
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Flip-flops: the ultimate summer footwear

But be careful; these popular sandals can be the source of injuries

If you're at the beach, nothing says summer more than a Hawaiian shirt and a pair of flip-flops. The simple sandals have been a part of casual summer attire since the 1960s, though the concept dates back several thousand years.

Footwear historians trace the origin to ancient Egypt in about 4,000 B.C. The modern version dates to the end of World War II, when American G.I's brought pairs of the simple sandals back from Japan.

What we know today as the flip-flop consists of a flat sole held on the foot with a Y-shaped strap. The strap is attached to a short post that goes between the big toe and the not-so-great toes and attaches to either side of the rear of the sole.

Cheap shoes

The sandal that was popularized in the 1960s is made of soft foam and is popular in part because it is very cheap. But other styles are made of more durable material and are more expensive.

Wearing flip-flops can protect you from the hot sand or sharp rocks and are probably safer than going barefoot. But podiatrists caution that these are not really shoes and most provide no support. As a result, injury can result if you misuse them.

There have been cases where flip-flops have been blamed for broken bones and ankle sprains. Walking long distances in them may result in lower leg pain, as well as pain in the feet and ankles.


If you are going to wear flip-flops during the summer, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) says you should avoid the cheap foam versions and invest in a pair made of high-quality, soft leather. The leather sole will minimize the likelihood of blisters and other irritation.

Before wearing them, gently bend the flip-flop from end to end, making sure it bends at the ball of the foot. No shoe should ever fold in half.

They should also fit. Even though it is designed to be a loose-fitting shoe, your foot should not hang over the end of it.

Flip-flops tend to wear out faster than other shoes. In fact, the APMA says you should only get one season out of a pair.

Use them they way they were intended. Wear them when walking to the beach or around the pool. Don't wear them on a long walk.

They're not work or sports shoes

Don't wear them when doing work outdoors -- cutting the grass, for instance. They aren't designed for sports, or even a night on the town. Believe it or not designer flip-flops -- not the kind you buy at the drug store -- are increasingly favored by celebrities. Kim Kardashian was recent photographed in a pair of flip-flops while running errands in Los Angeles.

In 2007 Reef and ArchPort Footwear introduced "Stash" flip-flops, which contain a pocket in the sole in which to carry small items. A pull-out tray is just large enough to carry cash, keys or a credit card.

Though wildly popular the last few summers, the stash flip-flops have reportedly been hard to find this year, though the reason isn't immediately clear.

If you're adding a pair of flip-flops to your summer wardrobe, you can pay as little as $3 for a pair of classic foam flip-flops at Old Navy or as much as $50 for a pair of slim ceramic flip-flops at Nordstrom.

If you're at the beach, nothing says summer more than a Hawaiian shirt and a pair of flip-flops. The simple sandals have been a part of casual summer attir...
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White House\Black Market women's shoes recalled

The heels on the shoes can become unstable, posing a fall hazard

Impo International of Santa Maria, CA, is recalling about 13,500 pairs of women's high-heeled shoes.

The heels on the shoes can become unstable, posing a fall hazard. No incidents or injuries have been reported.

This recall involves Versailles model (570053826) and Lourdes model (570053756) women's shoes with four-inch heels. The Versailles is cream, black and brown-colored faux snakeskin. The Lourdes is black-colored faux snakeskin with a white t-strap and trim. The model name is stamped inside the shoes and on the shoe box. The model number is printed on the shoe box.

The shoes, manufactured in China, were sold exclusively at White House\ Black Market stores nationwide or online from August 2012, through October 2012, for about $120.

Consumers should immediately stop wearing the recalled shoes and return them to a White House | Black Market store to receive a merchandise card for the full purchase price of the shoes, or contact White House\Black Market to receive instructions for returning the shoes by mail.

Consumers may contact White House\Black Market toll-free at (877) 948-2525 anytime, or email customerservice@whitehouseblackmarket.com.

Impo International of Santa Maria, CA, is recalling about 13,500 pairs of women's high-heeled shoes. The heels on the shoes can become unstable, posing a ...
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Forget Smartphones -- Your Shoes Are Becoming More Technologically Advanced

With the new GPS shoes and the Lebron X sneakers, it seems our feet have seen the future

Over the years footwear has really come a long way, especially in the area of sneakers.

From the Reebok Pump in the 1990s, that supposedly inflated and gave you additional support by pressing the shoe’s tongue, to other sneakers that light up with each step, it’s been a long time since shoes were just worn for utility purposes.

In fact, shoes aren’t really worn these days, they’re sported, and some companies are now making them with some very impressive extras and doodads.

Take the Nike LeBron X sneakers for instance that come with what manufacturers call a “Sports Kit,” which is a technological component that records how high your vertical leap is while playing.

Apparently, Nike is moving toward the recent trend of consumers having the ability to document statistical information during their workout regimen by simply wearing a watch, electronic belt, or pairs of shoes.

Users can then look up the results from an app or home computer, but of course this added feature isn’t going to make the sneakers less expensive, it's going to drive up the cost considerably.

Pretty pricey

The LeBron sneaker is reportedly going for $270 which has spawned a pretty decent debate among the online community.

"Who would dare spend this amount on a pair of sneakers?" some say. "These kids are insane for wanting anything so darn costly, especially when the shoes are made so inexpensively," a few complained.

It seems that people are offended by the cost of the shoe and truly bothered that consumers want to own them. You would think it was Nike that created people's desire for expensive things.

OK, but explain this: If designer high heels, handbags and overpriced watches -- which can easily reach the $1000 range -- are fine for people to want and own, why is it that but I guess young adults shouldn’t desire anything that costs more than $50 or $100?

It’s pretty easy to determine that neither age nor the amount of money one makes determines what items they'll want to purchase. I mean, forget baseball, its product consumption that’s America’s favorite pastime and a desire to play this ancient sport doesn’t limit itself to a particular age group or financial bracket.

Nike says the LeBron shoes will be officially released on September 29, and those interested can expect to wait on corner-bending lines for hours to own them, even though the shoes are more gimmicky than anything.

GPS shoes

But if you really want something that combines technology and footwear you don’t have to look beyond what’s known as the GPS shoe.

The “No Place Like Home GPS Shoe" -- its full name -- was dreamed up by British designer Dominic Wilcox, and it has the ability to navigate your feet back to your house if you’re lost or stuck in a foreign neighborhood.  And by the lengthy name of the shoes, it’s not hard to tell that Wilcox used the Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy for the design inspiration.

“I decided to make a pair of shoes that can navigate you home where ever you are,” he said on the company’s website. “I thought about the Wizard of Oz and how Dorothy could click her shoes together to go home.  After uploading your required destination to the shoes via a piece of custom made mapping software and a USB cable, the GPS, which is embedded in the heel, is activated by a heel click,” explains Wilcox.

At the start of your trek towards home, a red light appears at the toe of the shoe, while other lights lead and direct you to your house. Once you’ve arrived, the red light turns green.

The actual shoes, made in a throwback Stacy Adams style, surprisingly look pretty good. It has the appearance of a normal shoe that you would wear to work or to a casually dressed social gathering.

As far as the lights on the shoe’s toe, they’re really not that noticeable, but I’m sure they’ll attract at least small bits of attention from people wondering why your shoes are lighting up with tiny green and red dots.

The GPS shoes also have a small red tag coming out of the back of the upper heel area that serves as the satellite antenna.

Wilcox says the shoes will work anywhere in the world, which is ideal for those on vacation or in an unfamiliar area, as the shoes will be able to get folks back to their hotel in pedestrian friendly cities, that are hard to navigate with or without a map.

Over the years shoe wear has really come a long way, especially in the area of sneakers.From the Reebok Pump in the 1990s, that supposedly inflated ...
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Reebok Checks In the Mail

Company pays $25 million to settle deceptive advertising charges

If you've been walking around in Reebok "toning shoes," take a stroll past your mailbox now and then. You may find a check in it.

Reebok is making refunds to about 315,000 consumers who bought the shoes to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that ads for the shoes were deceptive.

Ads for Reebok’s toning shoes claimed that sole technology featuring pockets of moving air creates “micro instability” that tones and strengthens muscles as you walk or run. 

As part of its efforts to stem overhyped health claims, the FTC last year alleged that Reebok deceptively advertised its “toning shoes” by claiming that consumers wearing the shoes would strengthen and tone leg and buttock muscles more than by wearing regular shoes.  Reebok paid $25 million for refunds as part of its settlement agreement with the agency. 

The amount each consumer gets back is based on the amount the consumer claimed to have spent on the products.  Consumers will receive approximately 87 percent of the amount on their claim forms that was submitted and approved.  The deadline for filing a refund request has expired.

Under the terms of the FTC settlement, the funds were made available through a court-approved class action lawsuit.  Rust Consulting, Inc., the court approved settlement administrator, will begin mailing the checks on August 8, 2012 to eligible consumers who submitted a valid claim for a refund. The checks must be cashed on or before November 6, 2012.  Consumers who have questions should call 1-888-398-5389.  The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information before redress checks can be cashed. 

If you've been walking around in Reebok "toning shoes," take a stroll past your mailbox now and then. You may find a check in it.Reebok is making refunds...
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The New Air Yeezy 2: Kanye West's Sneakers Hit the Stores Saturday

Pre-release pair sold on eBay for $90,000

Every summer brings about a new sneaker that consumers go mad over, and this season is no different with the new shoes by both Kanye West and Nike being released this weekend.

The Air Yeezy 2 hits stores this Saturday and consumers from around the globe have been buzzing about the sneaker that was designed by the rap star himself. The sneakers will sell for $245, and are a second edition of the 2009 Air Yeezy that also drew buckets of critical and consumer acclaim.

The sleekly styled shoes are a reworking of classic Nike releases from the 80s and 90s, but with a 2012 twist.  With a narrow foot hugging appearance, and a soft leather light weight exterior, the shoes look quite different than current Nike basketball shoes that posses a bulkier design.

The shoes also look somewhat adultish. Many basketball sneakers designed today are seemingly made just for the teen demographic, and come equipped with bright colors and a wider look. But the Yeezys are just the opposite. Coming in black with green and red trim, or white with red trim, the sneakers have a subtle coolness to them, and can be worn with casual or more dressier wear.

A little luck

But if you want a pair for yourself, you'll need a little luck and a lot of patience, as sneaker-heads have already started forming lines in front of stores across the U.S.

However, if you're not the wait-in-line-overnight kind of person, many retailers are also holding online raffles where consumers can possibly win a pair. Go to the Nike website or your local Foot Locker stores for more details.

Nike says it will release the sneakers online for sale too, but the company is being purposely vague when they will hit the Internet, most likely to avoid server crashes from everyone trying to buy a pair at once. Nike also said they'll release between 3,000 to 5,000 pairs for in-store purchase.

But some customers can't wait until this Saturday to purchase the highly coveted shoe wear. A person who was able to get their hands on a pre-released pair, sold the sneakers on eBay for a reported $90,000. Others who already have the shoes started bids in the $7,000 range.

If you're not quite willing to shell out several thousand dollars for the Kanye shoes, you still have a chance to pick a pair up at retailers.

Here are some of the stores that will carry the Air Yeezy 2, when it hits stores this weekend:

  • House of Hoops by Foot Locker 34th Street 11 W 34th St New York, NY 10001
  • House of Hoops by Foot Locker Harlem 268 W 125th St New York, NY 10027
  • House of Hoops by Foot Locker Fashion Show Mall 3200 Las Vegas Blvd South Las Vegas, NV 89109
  • House of Hoops by Foot Locker Beverly Center mall 8500 Beverly Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90048
Every summer brings about a new sneaker that consumers go mad over, and this season is no different with the new shoes by both Kanye West and Nike being re...
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Track Shoes are the New Air Jordans for Younger Consumers

They're more stylish and comfortable, and a lot more affordable

High-top or low top? Leather, suede or a combination of both? Vintage or newly released? These are the typical questions the average sneaker connoisseur asks themselves when looking for their next  sneaker purchase. But these days the sneaker-head is asking a different question: Where are the track shoes?

Many who usually buy their sneakers for style typically lean towards the leather basketball shoe, but this same customer base has turned to track shoes to complement their outfit or personal style. Industry experts say today's track shoe is more stylish and comfortable and is attracting a much younger demographic.

The Nike Free Run, which comes in both men and women styles has been a big seller across the U.S., for about $100 a pair.

Sales in the U.S. for track shoes have been up by 14 percent in the last year, and totaled $6.46 billion in revenue, according to NPD Group. And national retailers like Dick's Sporting Goods and Foot Locker are seeing their largest profits in quite some time.


Since the 80s, those in the Hip-Hop community have turned the basketball shoe, that was previously worn solely on the court, into everyday shoe wear. Acts like Run-DMC had legions of kids buying shell-toe Adidas in every color imaginable.

In the 90s Air Jordans became the craze. As soon as Michael Jordan landed from his first NBA dunk, younger consumers either begged mom and dad for the expensive sneakers, or pennies from summer jobs were saved, to avoid being teased on the first day of school for wearing last years sneakers. Such pressure for a kid, huh?

But in the thousands, reduced consumer spending and recessionary times have made younger consumers spend less on their usual footwear, and since Nike, Adidas, and Reebok have all released stylish, comfortable and reasonably-priced track shoes, younger shoppers aren't spending the usual $300 to $400 on those obscure, hard to find basketball shoes.

In fact, NPD says that running shoes are at the top of the current athletic shoe industry. In 2011 Nike made $20.9 billion in global sales, and 14 percent of those sales were from its running shoe collection.

NPD also says that Adidas, Foot Locker, Dicks, Skechers USA Inc., Shoe Carnival Inc., and DSW Inc., have all seen at lest a 20 percent sales increase in 2012, and Nike's 2012 sales have been increased by 10 percent.

"We've seen the running-shoe business become a fashion business, as well as a comfort and innovation business," said Cohen, who is based in Port Washington, New York. "When you put that together, that's a positive perfect storm."

High-top or low top? Leather, suede or a combination of both? Vintage or newly released? These are the typical questions the average sneaker connoisseur as...
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Skechers Will Pay $40 Million to Settle Deceptive Advertising Charges

Feds claimed the shape-up shoe ads went too far in promising weight loss and other health benefits

Can shoes really help you lost weight? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) didn't think so and charged Skechers USA with making unfounded claims about its shoes. The company has now agreed to pay $40 million in penalties and refunds to consumers who bought Skechers and its Resistance Runner, Toners and Tone-ups shoes. 

Consumers who bought these “toning” shoes will be eligible for refunds either directly from the FTC or through a court-approved class action lawsuit. The settlement with the FTC is part of a broader agreement, also being announced today resolving a multi-state investigation, which was led by the Tennessee and Ohio Attorneys General Offices and included attorneys general from 42 other states and the District of Columbia.

“Skechers’ unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles. The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC’s message, for Skechers and other national advertisers, is to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims.”

The settlement with the Manhattan Beach, California-based Skechers is part of the FTC’s ongoing effort to stop overhyped advertising claims, and follows a similar settlement with Reebok last year. The Skechers advertisements challenged by the FTC include:

  • A Shape-ups ad telling consumers to “Shape Up While You Walk,” and “Get in Shape without Setting Foot in a Gym,” and claiming that the shoes are designed to promote weight loss and tone muscles. The FTC alleges that Skechers made unsupported claims that Shape-ups would provide more weight loss, and more muscle toning and strengthening than regular fitness shoes. 
  • Shape-ups ads with an endorsement from a chiropractor named Dr. Steven Gautreau, who recommended the product based on the results of an “independent” clinical study he conducted that tested the shoes’ benefits compared to those provided by regular fitness shoes. The FTC alleges that this study did not produce the results claimed in the ad, that Skechers failed to disclose that Dr. Gautreau is married to a Skechers marketing executive, and that Skechers paid Dr. Gautreau to conduct the study.
  • Shape-ups ads featuring celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Brooke Burke. Airing during the 2011 Super Bowl, the Kardashian ad showed her dumping her personal trainer for a pair of Shape-ups. The Burke ad told consumers that the newest way to burn calories and tone and strengthen muscles was to tie their Shape-ups shoe laces. 
  • An ad that claims consumers who wear Resistance Runner shoes will increase “muscle activation” by up to 85 percent for posture-related muscles, 71 percent for one of the muscles in the buttocks, and 68 percent for calf muscles, compared to wearing regular running shoes. The FTC alleges that in citing the study that claimed to back this up, Skechers cherry-picked results and failed to substantiate its ad claims.
Skechers was the market leader in the toning footwear category. Industry shoe sales peaked in 2010, with sales close to $1 billion. Shape-up fitness shoes, which Skechers introduced in April 2009, cost consumers about $100 a pair. Resistance Runner, Toners, and Tone-ups became available in mid-2010, and retailed for $60 to $100 a pair.

The FTC complaint charges that Skechers violated federal law by making deceptive advertising claims, including falsely representing that clinical studies backed up the claims. Under the FTC’s settlement, Skechers is barred from making any of the following claims for its toning shoes unless they are true and backed by scientific evidence:

  • claims about strengthening;
  • claims about weight loss; and
  • claims about any other health or fitness-related benefits from toning shoes, including claims regarding caloric expenditure, calorie burn, blood circulation, aerobic conditioning, muscle tone, and muscle activation.

The settlement also bars Skechers from misrepresenting any tests, studies, or research results regarding toning shoes.

Can shoes really help you lost weight? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) didn't think so and charged Skechers USA with making unfounded claims about its s...
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All Behold Nike's Latest Sneaker Creations

The LeBron 9 and Toki Pastel are likely to fly off the shelves this summer

Before we get into a deep sneaker discussion, lets do a quick tutorial. Not that's it needed for everyone, but it would be presumptuous to assume that everyone knows how popular, crazy, and on-going the high-end sneaker industry is.

There are some who have absolutely no problem shelling out $700 for a pair of exclusive kicks, which has been the unchanged slang term for sneakers since the 1980s. Some even choose to wait in line, overnight, in the meanest of seasons, to be the first owner of a newly-released sneaker.

Usually the initiator of all the sneaker-fuss is Nike, which makes complete sense since it's had a strong hold on innovative shoe wear since the 70s. Some would argue that Nike has mastered the ability to make a sneaker that can be used for you to drive to the hoop, or complete the perfect stylized outfit.

Nike has also driven consumer sentiment to the hoop, maintaining an enviable net positive sentiment of about 70% for much of the past 12 months, according to a ConsumerAffairs sentiment analysis of about 3.5 million comments posted on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

What is it that consumers like -- and don't like -- about Nike? Well, to put it simply, they like the shoes. 

Not everyone is happy, of course. Sohiya of the Kowloon area of Hong Kong recently wrote to ConsumerAffairs.

Consumers review Nike

"I bought my Nike shoes about six months ago, kept it and have not worn it until recently. When I wore it for the second time, I was walking along Nathan Road and felt like something was stuck on my right shoe," Sohiya said. "I stopped to the side to look at what was stuck and shockingly saw the lower heel come out and the sound was the clicking of the dangling heel onto the rest of my shoe."

New models

The reliable sneaker brand will be releasing two new shoes that will have kids and adults alike sprinting over to retailers. The Nike Lebron 9, and the Toki Pastel Sneaker. Please sound in the trumpets.

Before sneaker enthusiasts get too excited, the Nike Lebron 9 isn't going to be released until June of this year, which can seem like a slow forever for some. The ankle area of the sneaker is uniquely designed and appears to slope down towards the back of the shoe, as opposed to more traditional high-tops that completely surround the ankle.

A photo of the sneaker released by Nike has soft grey coloring, accented with very subtle dollops of pink. The padded bottom areas and sole of the shoe is complete with a warm aqua coloring that provides the sneaker with the correct amount of flash and restraint. In addition, there's a 180-Max Air unit for cooler feet and the the outsole of the shoe glows slightly in the dark.

Prices for the sneaker are listed at $250, but may go up upon strong customer demand, as it will be one of the most desired sneakers released this summer. Also, with future hall of famer Lebron James increasing his presence by way of a current championship run, it can only increase consumer yearnings for the stylish footwear.

Toki Pastel

But while customers are shopping for Lebron's sneaker, they may notice the almost edible looking Toki Pastel Sneaker. Unlike it's newly released Nike cousin the Lebron 9, The Toki has already been released, but Nike has chosen to only release 500, making the three-quarter-high-tops quickly fly off shelves. More are rumored to be on its way this summer, which will make the next couple of months for Nike fans feel like an anticipatory blur.

The highly coveted shoe has the traditional Nike swoosh on either side that blends seemingly into the sky blue color motif. The high quality suede and the powder white outsole makes the shoe appear light and comfortable and easy to where with multiple outfits, since a true sneaker-head  where's his kicks sparingly. If you're able to find these shoes expect to pay near the $300 range at the very least.

With these two long-awaited sneakers being released on the heels of each other (pun intended), their destined to drive all ready crazy sneaker buyers even crazier. But what's even crazier is that many sneakers enthusiast actually choose not to wear their expensive shoes.

Most have stopped just matching sneakers with their outfits and have become ardent collectors.

Before we get into a deep sneaker discussion, lets do a quick tutorial. Not that's it needed for everyone, but it would be presumptuous to assume that ever...
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Lawsuit Challenges Skechers 'Shape-Up' Shoes

Class action charges deceptive advertising, says shoes have no health benefits

A class-action lawsuit filed in Kentucky seeks money damages for consumers who paid a “premium price” for Skechers “Shape-Ups” based on TV, print and Internet ads that touted the toning shoes’ health benefits.

In reality, the complaint alleges, the shoes provide no additional health benefits. Instead, they pose a risk of injury due to their pronounced rocker bottom sole, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit seeks money damages and an order that would stop Skechers from “deceptive and unlawful advertising.”

According to the lawsuit, the shoes are marketed, sold and promoted by Skechers, U.S.A., Inc., and its subsidiaries.

“If you’ve bought a pair of Skechers ‘Shape-Ups shoes for the health benefits, you’ve been misled,” attorney Robert K. Jenner said in a statement. “You deserve not only to get mad, but to get your money back.”

Jenner is a Baltimore attorney who has been involved in previous toning shoe injury cases. 

The complaint states that Skechers is currently being investigated for its toning shoes marketing claims by the Federal Trade Commission. In September, the FTC reached a $25 million settlement with Reebok for making similar fitness claims about its own brand of toning shoes, the lawsuit states. 

No evidence

In particular, the lawsuit alleges that Skechers promoted that its “Shape-Ups” would provide health benefits “without setting foot in a gym.”

However, the plaintiffs claim, the company has produced no valid scientific proof that the toning shoes provide any greater benefit than regular athletic shoes.

The complaint cites an American Council on Exercise study that concluded, “There is simply no evidence to support the claims that these shoes will help wearers exercise more intensely, burn more calories or improve muscle strength and tone.”

However, the lawsuit alleges, the shoes do pose health risks. Because the rocker bottom soles create instability and change gait mechanics, they can trigger chronic injuries and cause wearers to fall and suffer injuries, the plaintiffs claim.

A class-action lawsuit filed in Kentucky seeks money damages for consumers who paid a “premium price” for Skechers “Shape-Ups”...
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KEDS Recalls 'Know It All' Girls' Shoe

Ornamental stars pose a laceration hazard

KEDS is recalling about 45,000 "Know It All" Girls' Shoes.  Ornamental stars on the heel of the shoe may loosen, posing a laceration hazard.

The firm has received 27 reports of cuts and scratches resulting from metal stars that loosened from the heel of the shoe.

This recall involves KEDS girls' rubber soled shoes. The shoes are black and pink with white trim and a pink loop on the heel. "KEDS" appears on the tongue and heel of the shoe. The style number KY40098A is printed on the underside of the tongue. The shoes were sold in girls' sizes 12 to 5.

Various department stores and online retailers sold the shows from June through October 2011 for about $23. They were made in China.

Consumers should take these shoes away from children immediately and contact Collective Brands to receive a gift card for $30 redeemable at Stride Rite stores or striderite.com.

For additional information, contact Collective Brands at (800) 365-4933 between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, Email kedskidsrecall@collectivebrands.com, or visit the firm's website www.collectivebrands.com

KEDS is recalling about 45,000 "Know It All" Girls' Shoes.  Ornamental stars on the heel of the shoe may loosen, posing a laceration hazard.The firm...
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Reebok To Pay $25 Million To Settle Deceptive Ad Charges

Claimed its shoes toned legs and butt just by walking

The ads for Reebok EasyTone and RunTone shoes made it sound like toning your body is as easy as lacing up a pair of sneakers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says it isn't, and has brought deceptive advertising charges against the apparel maker.

As a result, the FTC says Reebok has dropped the claims and has agreed to a $25 million settlement with the agency.

“This settlement is a big benefit for consumers who bought shoes based on claims that they would result in a stronger body,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Vladeck said much of the $25 million will go to a fund to offer refunds to consumers who bought EasyTone and RunTone shoes. If you think you might be eligible for a refund, the FTC has set up a website to explain the refund process. 

A consumer's experience

Tonia, of Berkley Heights, N.J. May be one of those seeking a refund. She complained about Reebok EasyTone last year, saying they weren't very good shoes.

“I paid $100 for a pair of sneakers in which the pod literally deflated after two months of wearing approximately an hour a day,” Tonia told ConsumerAffairs.com “I emailed Reebok directly and got a the run around from various people in their customer service department.”

Reebok’s EasyTone walking shoes and RunTone running shoes have retailed for $80 to $100 a pair, while EasyTone flip flops have retailed for about $60. Ads for the shoes claimed that sole technology featuring pockets of moving air creates “micro instability” that tones and strengthens muscles as you walk or run.

Unsupported claims

According to the FTC complaint, 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 muscles more than regular shoes.

The FTC’s complaint also alleges that 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.

Beginning in early 2009, Reebok made its claims through print, television, and Internet advertisements. The FTC says the claims also appeared on shoe boxes and displays in retail stores. One television ad featured a very fit woman explaining to an audience the benefits of Reebok EasyTone toning shoes. She picks up a shoe from a display and points to a chart showing the muscles that benefit from use of the shoes, while a video camera continues to focus on her buttocks. She says the shoes are proven to strengthen hamstrings and calves by up to 11 percent, and that they tone the buttocks “up to 28 percent more than regular sneakers, just by walking.”

“The lesson for advertisers is don't make claims that can't be substantiated,” Vladeck said.

The FTC settles deceptive advertising charges with Reebok...
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New Balance Toning Shoes Face Lawsuit

Complaint cites study concluding that shoes provide no real benefit

It sounds too good to be true: a sneaker that “uses hidden balance board technology that encourages muscle activation in the glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves, which in turn burns calories.”

That's New Balance's description of its so-called “toning shoe,” which sports a rounded shape that makes it harder to keep one's balance, which in turn supposedly makes the muscles work harder and thus burn more calories.

But a lawsuit filed last week says that New Balance's claims really are nothing more than hype.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, where the shoe company is based, says that New Balance's claims about the shoe are “false, misleading, and reasonably likely to deceive the public.”

Study: Shoes provide little benefit

According to the suit, lead plaintiff Bistra Pashamova “was exposed to and saw New Balance's advertising claims, purchased New Balance toning shoes in reliance on these claims, and suffered injury in fact and lost money as a result.”

The complaint cites several studies concluding that the sneakers simply do not live up to their promises. One by the American Council on Exercise found that wearing the sneakers does not produce any “statistically significant increases in either exercise response or muscle activation.”

New Balance's sneakers are the latest “toning shoes” to hit the market, following Reebok's EasyTone shoes and Skechers's Shape-Up line, both of which are facing their own lawsuits.

Diet and exercise still reign supreme

Based on the glut of litigation concerning this latest fads, consumers might do well to heed advice dished out last July by the Boston Globe: “Fads in dieting, equipment, and footwear come and go, but the old standby of moderate exercise, a few times a week, seldom fails.”

“Get-fit-quick schemes are a lot like get-rich-quick schemes: They’re usually too good to be true, especially when they’re making money for someone else,” the Globe wrote in that editorial. “That seems a decent analysis of the current footwear trend known as the 'toning shoe,' which is helping to boost sneaker sales for New Balance and other companies. But scientists and podiatrists are already raising questions about whether toning shoes do all they promise, and whether they cause unnecessary pain.”

Mayo Clinic doctor dismisses shoes

Indeed, in response to a consumer's question, Dr. Edward R. Laskowski of the Mayo Clinic wrote that “there is no convincing evidence that wearing toning shoes will make your legs more toned or cause you to burn extra calories.”

“Manufacturers say the unstable design of the shoes forces wearers to use their leg muscles more -- which burns more calories and tones the muscles,” Laskowski wrote. “However, an independent study by a nonprofit fitness organization found no evidence that wearing toning shoes leads to improved muscle tone or greater energy expenditure. In addition, there are no studies that prove that they improve balance or stability to a great degree.”

It remains to be seen whether the increased skepticism will slow consumers' infatuation with toning shoes. The subset produced sales of $1.5 billion last year alone, and decades of experience have shown that Americans are always willing to take the easy route to a better body.

New Balance Toning Shoes Face Lawsuit Complaint cites study concluding that shoes provide no real benefit...
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Charles David Recalls Shoes Sold at Nordstrom

July 7, 2009
Charles David is recalling women's shoes sold at Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. The heel of the shoes can detach, posing a fall hazard to consumers.

The firm has received one report of a heel detaching, resulting in minor bruising.

The recall involves various colors and styles of Charles by Charles David brand (item #SAMPCHSHOE) and Charles David of California brand (item #SAMPCDSHOE) women's sample shoes. The shoes were sold in women's sizes 7 and 9. The item number can be located on the original receipt.

The shoes were sold at Nordstrom stores in California and Nordstrom Rack stores nationwide from April 2009 through June 2009 for between $22 and $80. They were made in China, Spain, and Italy.

Consumers should stop wearing the recalled shoes immediately and return them to any Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack store for a full refund.

For additional information, call Nordstrom at (800) 804-0806 between 7 a.m. and 1 a.m. ET Monday through Friday, e-mail Nordstrom at contact@nordstrom.com, or visit www.nordstrom.com.

The recall is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Charles David Recalls Shoes Sold at Nordstrom...
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Pediatricians Alarmed About Wheeled Shoes

Kids can roll right into the emergency room

You see them roll by in schools and malls kids are head over heels for them, but before you buy your kids a pair of wheeled shoes this holiday season, pediatricians have a warning:

The ultra-popular shoes that seem to give supernatural abilities to kids can be the magic carpet that soars right into the emergency room.

Its actually becoming a little more commonplace to see bone injuries from children wearing wheeled shoes, says Gregory Sonnen, M.D., pediatrician on the medical staff at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. In fact, Sonnen and his colleagues say they see at least one or two broken bones a month from this latest fad.

The problem with the wheeled shoes is that parents are buying them as casual footwear, said. Sonnen.

Many pediatricians are now recommending these shoes are instead treated like a skateboard or rollerblades, not everyday shoe wear.

When your child is wearing their wheeled-shoes they should also wear their safety equipment as well, Sonnen said. If we look at them as a piece of sporting good equipment I think people will be safer. However, if we look at them as a casual shoe as most people do, I think were going to continue to see a lot of injuries from accidents on wheeled shoes, Sonnen said.

Head injuries

According to Sonnen, most kids tend to injure their wrists and elbows when wearing wheeled shoes, but the injuries parents and pediatricians fear most are head injuries.

Sonnen recommends that helmets should always be worn when wearing wheeled shoes.

Pediatricians also add that most of the injuries occur during the first week kids wear them so its especially important for parents to make sure they are well protected while theyre learning to walk and roll in them.

Pediatricians Alarmed About 'Wheeled' Shoes...
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Nordstrom Jeweled Children's Sandals

June 14, 2007
Nordstrom is recalling about 1,800 children's jeweled calypso sandals. The jewel decorations on the shoes can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children.

This recall involves Nordstrom brand sandals sold in toddler and little girls sizes. The Calypso-style shoes are tan and white with gold straps that have three jeweled flowers on the top. Nordstrom and a flower pattern are embossed on the upper sole of the shoes. Toddler sizes were sold with an ankle strap.

The sandals were sold at Nordstrom stores nationwide and on Nordstrom.com during February 2007 for about $27.

Consumers should immediately return the recalled sandals to any Nordstrom store or Nordstrom.com for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, call Nordstrom at (888) 282-6060 anytime, or visit the firms Web site at www.nordstrom.com.

The recall is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Nordstrom Jeweled Children's Sandals...
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adidas Recalls Basketball Shoes

November 3, 2004
adidas America is recalling its Superstar Ultra and Pro Team Shoes. A portion of the sole of the heel can separate or tear during use, which can result in injuries.

adidas America has received two reports of injuries involving these shoes, including one sprained ankle and one strained Achilles tendon.

The adidas Pro Team and Superstar Ultra basketball shoes come in various color combinations. The recalled shoes have a six-digit article number on the inside part of the shoe tongue. A complete list of the article numbers of the shoes involved in the recall can be found at www.adidas.com/recall or by calling the firms recall hotline.

The shoes were sold at adidas stores, major athletic shoe stores, independent shoe stores nationwide, and at thestore.adidas.com. The Superstar Ultra shoes were sold between January 2004 and October 2004 for about $120. The Pro Team shoes were sold between July 2004 and October 2004 for about $80.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled shoes, and contact adidas America to receive a prepaid mailing label and a refund or gift certificate.

For more information, call adidas America toll-free at (877) 568-4632 anytime, or visit the adidas America Web site at www.adidas.com/recall

The recall is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

adidas Recalls Basketball Shoes...
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