Reebok Easy Toners Thin Your Wallet But Not Your Thighs

November 23rd, 2011

In Adidas Group’s 2010 Annual Report, CEO Herbert Hainer boasts that “Reebok’s sales expanded 12% … to [$2.6 billion].”   He went on to say that “EasyTone has been a magnificent hit with global consumers and customers.  Supported by exciting campaigns and fitness testimonials such as those with Helena Christensen and Kelly Brook, we ended the year on the top spot in the toning category.”  What CEO Hainer failed to say or include in the 248 page Report was that Reebok’s toning shoes don’t tone – at all.

That’s right, according to the FTC, there are no butt or leg benefits from walking around in a pair of EasyToners.  However, according to several class-action lawsuits, the shoes could lead to injuries.  So for the more than 5 million of you that bought the approximately $100 shoes in the United States, sorry, but if you want a toned booty, it’s back to exercising.

Before you throw your EasyToners away, though, the FTC has collected $25 million from Reebok to reimburse you for the money you spent as a result of Reebok’s false ads.  (To submit a claim with the FTC, click here.)  It’s the least Reebok could do seeing as it sold over 10 million pairs of the shoes worldwide in 2010.

Click here to read about the FTC’s settlement with Skechers for its shape-up shoes, which claims (like Reebok) to promote weight loss, tone muscles, and improve posture.  Other players in the toning shoe market include: MBT, Fit Flop, New Balance, Avia, Keds, and even Crocs.  Noticeably absent from this list – industry giant, Nike.

So here’s a shout out to Nike’s Vice President for Merchandising and Product, Eric Sprunk, who ended a May 2010 speech to investors by asking, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could make a pair of shoes that made your butt smaller, made my gut look smaller, make your muscles look a little bit bigger, just by putting them on and  … walking in them?”  Then Sprunk answered, “Nobody can do that.  I was just teasing.”

Read more: What’s Our Government Doing to Stop Deceptive Advertising.

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