Shoemaker Skechers is facing several lawsuits due to defects in its Shape-Ups toning shoes that allow people to roll their ankles, resulting in falls, bone fractures, and broken ankles.
Shape-Ups are athletic shoes with rounded bottoms. When used properly, they are meant to have a smattering of health benefits, including improved posture, reduced back pain, and leg muscle activation. They are not meant to be worn while running or playing sports that require quick changes in velocity, and the company recommends people acquire a sense of balance while wearing them before doing it for extended periods of time.
An independent study by the University of Wisconsin found that the Skechers’ claims that Shape-Ups can improve fitness, muscle tone, and strength are scientifically unsupported.
The design of Shape-Ups has led to many injuries and lawsuits. These lawsuits allege that Skechers advertisements led people to purchase Shape-Ups to improve their health, but were instead injured because of the shoe’s poor design. Some people have suffered multiple bone fractures and have had to go through more than one surgery to repair the damage to their body. In some cases, injured customers had to have metal screws implanted. Companies have an obligation to manufacture products that are safe, and can be held accountable for injuries caused by defects and malfunctions.