Bum deal: Reebok refund on butt toning trainers that don't work
SPORTSWEAR maker Reebok has been forced to retreat on claims that its buttock-toning footwear would lead to a more shapely backside for its wearers.
The US Federal Trade Commission said that Reebok, a unit of the German group adidas, agreed to pay $US25 million in customer refunds to purchasers of its EasyTone walking shoes and RunTone running shoes.
Reebok falsely claimed that walking in EasyTone footwear had been proven to lead to 28pc more strength and tone in the buttock muscles, and 11pc more strength and tone in the hamstring muscles and calf muscles than regular walking shoes, the FTC's complaint says.
Similar claims were made for the RunTone shoes and EasyTone flip-flops in a series of ads in print and on the television and internet, which ran from 2009.
Sole technology featuring pockets of moving air creates "micro instability" that strengthens muscles as you walk or run was claimed in ads the company ran in the USA.
"The FTC wants national advertisers to understand that they must exercise some responsibility and ensure that their claims for fitness gear are supported by sound science," said David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Reebok's EasyTone walking shoes and RunTone running shoes have retailed for $US80 to $US100 a pair, while EasyTone flip flops cost about $US60 a pair.