Risks Of Skecher Shape Up Shoes, Lawsuits are Being Filed For Injuries

Skechers are causing falls, fractures and Injuries doctors warn while class action lawyers are filing skechers lawsuits.Skecher shape ups cause health risks and lawsuits are being filed for injuries, across the country

Health Risks of Skechers Shape-Ups
By Julie Brock, eHow Contributor


Sketchers Shape-Ups are one of the latest tools that suggest an easy way to get fit. The unique design of Shape-Ups shoes contains a distinctively rounded sole and added cushioning. The sole's shape creates instability and requires the wearer to automatically make changes in her walking and standing patterns. Sketchers says the instability of the shoe is what provides the many health benefits, while podiatrists and other researchers suggest that the instability of the shoe can cause many health risks and problems.
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        Sketchers claims that wearing Shape-Ups will help the user burn more calories, tone leg muscles and improve posture. Sketchers asserts that the soft insert and rolling sole provide a more natural walking surface, improve circulation, reduce joint stress, decrease body fat and weight, and decrease back pain. Podiatrists and other researchers suggest that consumers be aware of these claims, as studies are often designed to provide the desired results. Consumers will feel different when wearing these shoes because the unique design causes the body to use different muscles. Any time you change your shoes or wear something unique, you can experience some soreness, but that does not necessarily mean you're toning muscles.

        The research that has supported these claims is funded by Sketchers and has not been peer reviewed. Others have criticized Sketchers' poor research design as well. Research performed by people outside Sketchers has begun to look at the validity of the health claims and to examine the health risks of the shoes. The American Council on Exercise evaluated Sketchers Shape-Ups, and the results of their study showed no significant increase in exercise response or in muscle activation. Further, the researchers expressed concern about how the toning shoes alter the natural gait pattern. Extended research is needed to examine the long-term effects of the shoes on a person's gait.


        One of the first things the wearer notices about Shape-Ups is that they are heavy compared to a normal athletic shoe. Shape-Ups weigh between 13 to 17 ounces, compared to 9 to 12 ounces for other athletic shoes. Wearing heavy shoes puts more strain on muscles, bones and joints and can also cause repetitive stress injuries and fatigue. With fatigue comes a breakdown in form and natural gait patterns, increasing the risk of injuries in the ankles, knees and hips. Another health risk associated with the Shape-Ups is the increased risk of falling or slipping. Because the shoe has extra cushion and a higher sole, you have a higher center of gravity displacing your body's control. The shoe has poor traction and — combined with the rolling sole — it may increase your risk of slipping. Finally foot and ankle sensations help control balance and walking patterns, and wearing Shape-Ups may take away these important sensations, which supply sensory information to the brain. Strength and reaction time are highest in individuals who have the strongest foot and ankle sensations, according to Consumer Reports.

        A number of studies have shown that the Shape-Ups do not have the benefits Sketchers claim for their shoes. These shoes are an attempt to find an easy solution to get fit without doing any work, but the health risks can be long lasting and can create havoc on the body. A number of injuries have been associated with wearing Shape-Ups, including stress fractures, hip fractures, ankle fractures, ruptured Achilles tendons, back injuries and other types of series injuries. In February 2011, Sketchers entered a federal class-action lawsuit after an Ohio woman claimed the shoes caused stress fractures. A large number of claims are being submitted and evaluated currently. Consumer Reports medical adviser Orly Avitzur conducted an evaluation of the shoe and concluded that Shape-Ups are not recommended for any duration, especially for those who have balance issues or nerve damage in the feet. The American Council on Exercise's chief science officer Cedric Bryant Ph.D. says he is concerned that wearing these shoes will change a person's gait and cause lower-extremity problems. Dr. Bryant is planning more studies to evaluate the long-term effects of the shoes.