'Cellulite blasting' toning shoes take a legal hit in the US

Can a pair of goofy-looking toning shoes help you burn calories, banish cellulite, sculpt your thighs and buttocks, and even curb joint pain? Researchers say no way.

Shoemaker Skechers USA has just agreed to shell out $40 million to settle claims that its Kim Kardashian-backed Shape-ups shoes don't help you drop weight or tone your abs, buttocks and legs, according to the Federal Trade Commission last week. The organization said that there is no evidence that Skechers shoes work any better than a pair of regular running shoes. (If you bought Skechers in the US, you can apply for a refund.)

"Skechers' unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles," said a statement by David Vladeck, head of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health."

The American Council on Exercise (ACE), a nonprofit group, compared toning shoes from Skechers, MBT (Masai Barefoot Technology) and Reebok EasyTone with standard running shoes. The group found that 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."

Sure, you may feel a little initial soreness after wearing the shoes, but experts say that you are just using different muscles to maintain balance on an unstable sole and that the soreness will subside after your body adjusts.

According to a report on WebMD, shoemakers are "unshaken" by the research, noting that the study was not published in a peer-reviewed journal and involved only a small sampling of fit young women.

"We looked at stability balls from the gym and incorporated that same thinking into a shoe," Bill McInnis, the head of advanced innovation for Reebok, told WebMD. "The idea was that introducing soft, micro-instability in the shoe would cause you to have to rebalance a bit with every single step and cause your muscles to work a little harder all day long."

Watch an ad featuring Kim Kardashian for Skechers Shape-ups: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erhbn3ElJVo

  • Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day 2 hours 14 minutes ago
    Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day

    If there's one car that's particularly sought-after among today's well-heeled car collectors, a Ferrari 250 would be it. Usually it's the GTO variant, like the 1963 that sold for a record $52 million last year. A 250 of any sorts demands unfathomable cash, however, which is why we can but gawk at this 250 Testa Rossa. It's as close as any mere mortal will ever come to owning one.

  • Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners 3 hours ago
    Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners

    Buyers of Ferraris or Jaguars are used to perks from manufacturers – including racetrack lessons to help master their exotic machines. But for enthusiasts on a tighter budget, the Ford ST Octane Academy might be the sweetest deal in motoring: Buy a Ford Fiesta ST or Focus ST hatchback, and the reward is a free day of training at one of America’s longest, most-lavish road courses.

  • Why you can't buy America's greenest car 6 hours ago
    Why you can't buy America's greenest car

    Ask me or any auto expert what's the fastest car you can buy for any given amount, and we could easily cough up several options. Same for most luxurious, or off-roadable, or any other measurement. Yet there's one type of question that's far harder to answer: What's the greenest, most environmentally friendly car you can buy today?

  • Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia
    Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia

    Armed pirates boarded a Singapore-managed oil tanker in the Strait of Malacca, kidnapping three Indonesian crew and stealing some of the vessel's shipment of diesel fuel, the International Maritime Bureau said Wednesday. The attack occurred early Tuesday off Malaysia's west coast, said Noel Choong, head of IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting centre. The diesel oil tanker was believed to be en route to Myanmar. "IMB is aware of the attack on the Singapore-managed ship in the Malacca Straits.

  • McDonald's Hello Kitty sale site temporarily suspended due to fresh wave of Kitty mania
    McDonald's Hello Kitty sale site temporarily suspended due to fresh wave of Kitty mania

    It may not be safe to enter a McDonald’s restaurant in Singapore on Mondays starting 28 April. To celebrate the iconic Japanese character Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary, the fast food chain announced last Friday that it would be releasing a new collection of Hello Kitty toys in McDonald’s restaurants island wide next Monday.

  • First sign of S.Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy
    First sign of S.Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy

    He called the emergency 119 number which put him through to the fire service, which in turn forwarded him to the coastguard two minutes later. That was followed by about 20 other calls from children on board the ship to the emergency number, a fire service officer told Reuters.