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Class-action lawsuit claims special athletic shoes cause injuries

What price would you pay to get in better physical shape without even trying? The cost of a pair of shoes? How about the cost of treatment for injuries you suffered from wearing those shoes?

You may have seen advertisements for Shape-Ups, which are special shoes made by Skechers that promise to tone muscles by changing the way you walk. The company's patented design features a rounded sole that forces you to use different muscles and firm them up. But some consumers are complaining that the shoe's design has caused serious injuries. One shoe buyer said she slightly twisted her ankle twice, then was hurt more severely, tearing tendons and ligaments in her left ankle.

A class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of 37 people so far, all of whom have cited serious injuries, including torn cartilage and hip fractures. One of the attorneys who filed the suit said some of the injuries were caused by a fall; others came from use over several months. He says the shoe company hasn't revealed any safety tests for the shoes, and that consumers are left to simply assume they're getting a safe product.

Some industry experts think Skechers could soon come under the same fire that Reebok, another athletic shoe company, felt when it was fined $25 million by the Federal Trade Commission for claiming its toning shoes could strengthen muscles. Although several individual lawsuits have been filed against Skechers, the class-action lawsuit could bring more light to the injuries and prompt the FTC to warn the company to follow its own advice: Shape up and make changes.

Source: 10News.com, "Lawsuit Claims Dozens Injured By Company's Special Shoes," Jan. 13, 2012

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