Those times when shoe manufacturers lied to us about fitness

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Are you the type of person that thinks that athletic shoes are totally overpriced? I know that I am one of those people. At one point a family member bought me a pair of really expensive Nike shoes that had splits in the bottom that was meant to facilitate better movement of the foot and improve your running efficiency. I have no idea if that is true but one thing that those breaks in the sole definitely did do was pick up all the damn stones and dirt on the street thereby making them almost completely useless for outdoor exercise.

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I barely ever wore them and the worst part is that these shoes were over $100. I'm happy that this particular relative is extremely wealthy or I would feel bad about the fact that I almost never wear them.

But Nike was able to make this claim because laboratory test actually did confirm that the design of the shoe actually DOES increase efficiency of running but only in very controlled environments such as treadmills are indoor tracks - which i do not use.

There were other times that shoe companies were a bit more nefarious in their claims and their celebrity endorsers were more than happy to pile on and help the manufacturers lie to the public in order to sell millions of dollars of shoes on completely false pretenses. The offenders may surprise you.

Reebok Toning Shoes

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In a move that was pretty obviously geared towards women, especially those who are concerned about not having a perfect butt, Reebok made the claim that wearing these special shoes would increase muscle activation in problematic areas such as the butt and thighs. They purported that you could be working out without working out simply by living your everyday life with these special magic shoes on.

There was just one problem with this claim in that it was not backed by any sort of science whatsoever and when outside groups tried to test this claim, even those that were trying their best to make it appear true, no one was able to establish that these shoes had any impact on muscle activation of any kind, let alone in the areas claimed. The stats were totally made up and Reebok was forced to issue $25 million in refunds in a class action lawsuit.

Sketchers does the same thing

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The very next year, despite the fact that Reebok literally was just forced to pay a bunch of money to customers who were duped by bogus claims, Sketchers thought it would be a good idea to do exactly the same thing but this time with big name celebrities claiming that it worked for them!

There are a lot of people that would like to have Kim's body and when she makes the (paid) claim that you can get in shape "without ever setting foot in a gym" a lot of really gullible people bought into it.

This mistake on the part of Sketchers quickly landed them in hot water with the same body that just prosecuted Reebok. Sketchers ended up being forced to pay out $40 million in refunds in a class action lawsuit.


The fitness industry loves to prey on people's propensity towards laziness but the sad reality of these products and basically any other product that makes grandiose claims of magic results with no effort is that they are all lies. No one is going to get in shape without putting any effort in folks, so any time you see some product claiming that you can and will get in shape fast just by purchasing this products! You can be guaranteed that it is a lie.

There is no magic fitness product, only you can make it happen! I've been wearing the same New Balance cross trainers for 2 years and I bought them because they were comfortable :)

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from athlete, to fat-lete, and back again

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the price on trainers is outrageous a lot of the time. I tend to not believe the technology claims but these ones are just funny.

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i don't really believe them either unless they are sport specific. For people like me that don't really train in any one specific sport, reasonably priced cross-trainers are the only shoe you really need.

one thing that doesn't make a lot of sense to me is that most of these shoe brands are made in South East Asia, which is where I live, yet the shoes are MORE expensive here than they are back in USA. Scammy!

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really? That seems absurd.