Skechers Injury Lawsuits Continue To Mount Over Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups

A growing number of product liability lawsuits continue to be filed over problems with Skechers Shape-ups and Tone-ups, alleging that the design of the toning shoes caused individuals to suffer various leg, ankle and foot injuries. 

Skechers introduced the shoes with a pronounced rocker bottom sole, promoting the products with slogans such as “shape up while you walk,” suggesting that wearing the shoes would promote weight loss, tone muscles, improve posture, tighten abdominals, firm the buttocks, thighs and calves; among other claims. However, more than 50 lawsuits have been filed in the federal court system alleging that the Skecher Shape-up and Tone-up shoes feature a defective and dangerous design.

According to allegations raised in the Skechers lawsuits, the manufacturer intentionally misled consumers to believe the shoes were beneficial to their health, claiming that they would improve cardiac function and provide orthopedic benefits, despite any medical proof verifying these claims. In addition, claims indicate that the rocker bottom design actually caused or contributed to serious personal injuries for many consumers.

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Plaintiffs indicate that the Manhattan Beach, California-based shoe company failed to perform adequate safety testing, even after complaints began to surface of consumers suffering injuries from the Skechers Shape-Up and Tone-Up shoes.

Injury Lawsuits Over Falls with Skechers Shape-Ups and Tone-Ups

Many of the complaints allege that the shoes actually lead to instability and alter the users normal gait, increasing the risk of falls.

In one of the most recently filed lawsuits (PDF), which was brought in the U.S District Court for the Western District of Kentucky on December 15, plaintiff Debbie Hadley alleges that the shoes actually caused her to suffer two lower leg fractures, a tear in her Achilles tendon, a sprained ankle and a shattered tibia.

According to the complaint, Hadley suffered a fall on her back porch steps while wearing the Skecher shoes, which ultimately led to the need for invasive surgery to place a rod and screw in her right tibia.

Hadley indicates that prominent medical literature has revealed changing gait mechanics can result in serious injuries, such as the ones she sustained. Injuries could include stress fractures, joint, tendon and ligament injuries. The complaint also indicates that an independent study by the American Council of Exercise (ACE) and the University of Wisconsin was conducted on rocker bottom shoes with no findings proving the shoes offer any health benefits.

“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,” said ACE.

The lawsuit indicates the Skechers shoes are “unreasonably dangerous” and the company failed to exercise reasonable care in design, manufacturing, testing and marketing of the shoes. It also claims Skechers continued to market the products even though they were aware of the problems.

Mounting Skechers Litigation

In the federal court system, all product liability lawsuits over Skechers Shape-Up and Tone-Up shoes have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, which is centralized before U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell in the Western District of Kentucky.

According to the most recent case list (PDF) released by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, there were at least 54 lawsuits centralized as part of the Skechers MDL as of January 14.

In March 2012, Skechers Shape-Ups class action lawsuit was also filed on behalf of individuals who purchased the shoes, alleging that the shoes were sold at a “premium price” without providing the claimed benefits. That complaint indicates that consumers were led to believe the design would allow them to develpp toned muscles without the need to go to the gym, even though the manufacturer has released no data to backup up the claims.

Skechers has faced an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which could result in substantial fines. The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission has also received a large number of injury reports involving the shoes, with reports involving the toning shoes exceeding any other product in the regulatory agencies database as of May 2011.

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6 Comments

  • valarieApril 4, 2024 at 12:27 pm

    Sketcher shoes are dangerous!!!! The shoes grab the floor on both smooth and polished surfaces. The shoes stop dead in the middle of your stride. I ended up with a fractured nasal n a face bruised with all the colors of the 🌈 plus. My right leg has a broken bone, behind my knee cap, resulting in a blood clot. As a result I am now on Eliquis. I am now going to Physical Therapy with t[Show More]Sketcher shoes are dangerous!!!! The shoes grab the floor on both smooth and polished surfaces. The shoes stop dead in the middle of your stride. I ended up with a fractured nasal n a face bruised with all the colors of the 🌈 plus. My right leg has a broken bone, behind my knee cap, resulting in a blood clot. As a result I am now on Eliquis. I am now going to Physical Therapy with the hope of returning to normal. Above all else to end this to end this pain and suffering.

  • NancyJanuary 25, 2024 at 7:38 am

    Yes I think I have a lawsuit against Skechers. I'm an active 60-year-old I walk normal I don't drag my feet but every pair of Skechers I've had the souls will catch on wood and linoleum and calls me to almost fall. Luckily I've been able to catch myself however one time I fell because the shoes catched on the linoleum but I didn't get hurt too bad yesterday I was walking up to the my front door to[Show More]Yes I think I have a lawsuit against Skechers. I'm an active 60-year-old I walk normal I don't drag my feet but every pair of Skechers I've had the souls will catch on wood and linoleum and calls me to almost fall. Luckily I've been able to catch myself however one time I fell because the shoes catched on the linoleum but I didn't get hurt too bad yesterday I was walking up to the my front door to check it for went to bed and the shoes caught again on the linoleum I fell down and broke my arm and two places in my wrist. The shoes are dangerous whatever they're making the soles out of is faulty because normal people walk and the bottoms of the soles are made out of some type of rubber that will grab wood floors linoleum and even concrete and calls falls.

  • PatOctober 25, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    I paid $85 for a pair of Skechers shape-up shoes. I wore them a few times but had to stop my exercise regime due to an injury - followed by illness, and then COVID issues. I recently got these shoes out of my closet in order to start walking for exercise. I slipped them on my feet, immediately thinking “ah, I had forgotten how comfortable these were.” I then walked to the living room, only to [Show More]I paid $85 for a pair of Skechers shape-up shoes. I wore them a few times but had to stop my exercise regime due to an injury - followed by illness, and then COVID issues. I recently got these shoes out of my closet in order to start walking for exercise. I slipped them on my feet, immediately thinking “ah, I had forgotten how comfortable these were.” I then walked to the living room, only to discover that everything between my shoes’ uppers and soles (both of which are like new) - had literally disintegrated. This cushioney material between the upper and sole was crumbly, sticky, and falling apart. I am seeking a Skechers credit but cannot get anyone to listen to me. I have pictures. I am only discovering that not wearing them more than I did was probably a blessing.

  • TimMay 20, 2023 at 6:50 am

    Just bought a new pair of sketchers was walking down a flight of steps, and my ankle rolled out from underneath me and I down the steps breaking both ankles

  • AngelicaJuly 26, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    I bought this name brand name sneakers just the regular black skecher with the cushion inside but after a while I want to NY and was just walking around when I step down I don't know why happen I felt a pop under my 2middle toes on my left foot the pain was unbelievable! Ended up going to the hospital the next day well was sent to a foot specialist all in all came to find out I got a tear of my t[Show More]I bought this name brand name sneakers just the regular black skecher with the cushion inside but after a while I want to NY and was just walking around when I step down I don't know why happen I felt a pop under my 2middle toes on my left foot the pain was unbelievable! Ended up going to the hospital the next day well was sent to a foot specialist all in all came to find out I got a tear of my tendon on my middle toe, I've been in so much pain now I need surgery to fix my toe or it will never heal right an Will always hurt...I have never had this happen to me it's Bern so hard to walk with this tear I will never buy skechers ever again!

  • JamesApril 17, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    I was recommed by skechers store clerk to try shapeup shoes & ended up falling down &breaking my r.wrist & had to major surgery&am still having severe pain &need more operations.

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