Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Skechers Gets Sued

UPDATE: Skechers is getting into more legal trouble as even more people are getting injured by these shoes. Read about it here.

Skechers, the maker of Shape-Ups toning shoes, is being sued by a woman who claims the shoes severely injured her body. Holly Ward wore the shoes at work and during her leisure time for five months before developing severe pain in her hips. It turns out she obtained stress fractures in both of her femur bones. The femur, incidentally, is the largest and heaviest bone in the body; fracturing that bone is no small feat.

I warn of the dangers of these types of shoes in The Barefoot Book.

Skechers Shape-Ups are modeled after the MBT shoe. Both shoes possess a rounded sole that purportedly offers a workout just by wearing them. Scientific studies have shown that MBT shoes work muscles differently, but there’s no evidence that these shoes ‘tone’ your body, especially the buttocks which are undoubtedly the focus of consumers. However, it is obvious (or at least should be obvious) to anyone who knows anything about the biomechanics of human ambulation that these shoes are dangerous. Not only are MBT and Skechers unstable to the point of risking falls, they alter the human gait so dramatically that injuries are bound to happen. Just ask Holly Ward.

How do toning shoes alter the human gait? They convert the natural stepping motion into a rolling motion. Unfortunately, this is not really unique to toning shoes; virtually all shoes make this conversion, but toning shoes take the ‘rolling step’ to the extreme.

I hope this lawsuit will educate more people to the hazards of toning shoes. Perhaps this will move us one step closer to having warning labels put on shoes that dramatically alter gait.

Now, if only one of those 20,000 women per year put the hospital by high heels would sue their shoe-maker!

5 comments:

  1. My podiatrist told me to avoid these shoes. I'm glad I did!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It sounds as though part of the issue is the promise of a workout while doing nothing, which plays to a culture of laziness. Of course, that's a separate issue, but the woman needs to address her laziness. That said, if the shoe screws up the body that bad (it looks painful to me), then it should just be illegal for Sketchers to sell it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A couple of years ago a woman wearing Skechers stopped me on the street in New York to ask directions. She teetered on her shoes, momentarily lost her balance, and started falling into the path of a car. I instinctively grabbed her arm and pulled her up out of harms way. It was very close.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I saw a woman wearing what looked like a brand new pair of these shoes crossing the street yesterday and it was painfully obvious how pronated her feet were. If she got those shoes hoping for greater support for pronation, she should rethink her strategy because the shoes were twisting and sinking at the medial base. It looked like any second her ankles would snap.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Daniel - Great reading. With your point of view on getting of your shoes you might like these:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFq1qY_lgPA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGSSuNHgItU

    Or watch them both on:

    Copenhagen Barefoot Running

    ReplyDelete

Welcome to The Barefoot Professor blog, intelligent talk about running, walking and living barefoot. I encourage your comments, even if you disagree with me. In this spirit I don't even moderate the comments. However, PLEASE use critical thinking skills when leaving comments, and avoid inflammatory words. Please keep your comments short and to-the-point. THANKS.