Sketchers – Retro Blog

With the recent lawsuit filed against Sketchers and their subsequent multi-million dollar settlement – I thought it would be appropriate to post a blog.

Well, re-post a blog. Why re-post? Because I originally posted this in May of 2010. Yes. Now I can officially say, ‘I told you so!’

Sketchers Shape-Ups Retro Blog!

 

Really? People thought these were the answer to their fitness goals?

OK, let me first start by saying that I love Sketchers. I think their shoes are stylin’ and I have many pairs. So you need to remember that this blog is not about Sketchers the company or most of their products. Let me repeat, I like Sketchers and most of their products.

Sketchers is a business and they need to make a profit. And Reebok is the same. They are jumping on the fitness show bandwagon. Know what I am talking about yet?

It is the new get fit the easy way plan -Sketchers “Shape-Ups” and Reebok “ Easy Tone”. You know, the running shoes that firm your butt, shape your legs, strengthen your back, and are the revolution in fitness?

But is it true?

Ha. Come on, do people really believe this stuff? Are we really so desperate for an easy way to get fit that people are willing to shell out over $100 for these things? Ahhh!   Are people really not learning anything about fitness? Or do they just not want to hear it?

I went to the websites and checked out the information. Hey, I believe in being informed. The Reebok site had no data or research whatsoever. People are just expected to read the info and believe the company. Which people must be -they are selling like hotcakes!

Why is it that I have to bleed, plead, and throw a tantrum to get anyone to hear what I am saying, yet these companies just have to pop up a website and offer a new product for everyone to jump on board? I actually base what I say on science and facts.

In the case of Reebok I understand why people get sucked in so easily, at least they are perceived to be a fitness company (we won’t go there, but you shouldn’t be taking fitness advice from fitness product retailers such as Nike, Adidas, or Lululemon), but Sketchers? Why do they have a greater impact on people’s fitness than I do?

Well, back to the investigation. Sketchers website actually presents some studies! I am thinking, awesome, I will pull them up on Pub Med (note: any professional should know what that is, quiz your trainer) and check out the data, see if these shoes are for real. Well, I was disappointed.

They quote two studies; both of them were commissioned by Sketchers, neither are peer reviewed, neither study was published, and none of the actual data (including baseline numbers) is currently available. There are no direct claims but every legalese expression is there. You know them, the ‘this may happen but don’t expect it because we can’t really prove anything.’

On the site there is a warning that results may vary and you should combine wearing the shoes with a diet and exercise program, interesting…. So the AMAZING results the participants achieved in the 6 week trial (lost 3.25lbs and 1.1% bodyfat, although they never list how they tested that, how many participants, or any other variables) were probably not from diet and exercise changes but from wearing the shoes?  We won’t really know because there was no control group.

Are these actually real studies? No. Not really. One was done by a single person, a chiropractor. Companies pay various professionals to make these statements, but I am sure you know this already. The other study was done by an associate professor in Japan and his team. I am wary of this, as typically when academics do research they want it peer reviewed and published, that’s what makes the academic world tic. The alternative must pay a nice check I guess.

You see where I am going? Are these new products really as effective as they say they are?

No.

You will not shape your legs, tone your glutes, strengthen your back, or lose any significant amount of body fat using the new unstable footwear advertised to get you in shape.

You will change your body’s natural biomechanics, which could potentially lead to knee, hip, and back problems down the road. What? I can’t say that without proof? But Sketchers says that based on their six week trial they can assume your butt and thighs will get results. If they can say it so can I.

Go read the site. See for yourself the vague wording and legalese talk. That’s if you bother to look for the info. It is buried pretty deep on the site. Most people probably don’t go there. I don’t know, however, I haven’t studied that. I guess that based on the statistic from 3 years on our website most people only read the front page and one other page, usually the prices.

Result may vary.

So back to the shoes… Here’s the thing, don’t waste your money, they won’t make any impact on your life or fitness.

-Taylor

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