Ward said that she wore the toning shoes during her job as a waitress and, after five months, developed severe pain in her hips. According to the lawsuit, Ms Ward had no previous injuries and had a healthy bone density of a young woman, thereby alleging that the toning shoes were the culprits of her stress fractures.
Ward, who has pins in both hips, is now in physical therapy due to the injuries told "Good Morning America," "The extended use of these shoes has injured me catastrophically." Ward added, "The femoral bone is the strongest bone in the human body, and I fractured not one but two of them without being in a car crash or any traumatic incident."
Ward's lawyer said he has heard from more people with fractures and reports quoting doctors who say they've seen other injuries like strained Achilles tendons and falls because people lost their balance while wearing toning shoes.
Sketcher’s Shape-ups are advertised as revolutionary in helping you get in shape and helping reduce pain. There is also a "for-work" Shape-up shoe, which the company's website states is "perfect for industry professionals who want to get in shape while on the job." These toning shoes are advertised to help reduce joint stress which is the very nature of Ward's injuries and resulting lawsuit.
ABC spoke to half a dozen orthopedists and most were skeptical that toning shoes alone could cause stress fractures.
Ward's Lawyer Calls Sketcher’s Shape-up Toning Shoes Dangerous
Ward's lawyer calls Sketcher’s Shape-ups dangerous. "We do not know of any testing or safety studies that Skechers did to determine safety," said Ronald Johnson. "If they're going to invent a whole new way for a human being to walk, the very first thing they should do is studies to make sure that's not going to harm their customers."
Skechers Will Aggressively Defend their Shape-up Toning Shoes Allegations
Skechers says it will aggressively defend the allegations, and gave this statement: "Since this lawsuit is brand new, Skechers has not had an opportunity to thoroughly review the plaintiff's allegations, claims, or medical records. Millions of people wear Shape-ups without experiencing what the Ms. Ward alleges."
Bottom Line on Toning Shoes
Ever since the hype for Shape-ups began in 2009 when the shoes were first introduced, there has been repeated controversy over whether the toning shoes do indeed work. In fact, there is little supporting data that any of the toning shoes on the market really work, and orthopedics in particular, have remained skeptical about their benefits. The one thing that everyone does agree on is that toning shoes alters your natural foot pattern and the way you walk.