Maryland Defective Products Attorney Applauds Good Morning America Segment That Focuses on Injury Risk from Toning Shoes

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Baltimore personal injury lawyer Robert K. Jenner says toning shoes’ benefits are outweighed by serious risks, which include stress fractures, broken bones, broken or sprained ankles and broken hips from falls.

Robert K. Jenner

[H]ealth and exercise experts who don’t have a profit motive from selling trendy sneakers question the value of toning shoes and emphasize their risks. We do, too.

Toning shoes, touted for their value during exercise, were featured this week on Good Morning America, and a Maryland product liability lawyer praised the TV show’s focus on the serious injuries toning shoes have caused for some users.

“We’d all like to get more exercise just by wearing different shoes,” says Robert K. Jenner, a partner in Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC, a nationally recognized law firm that represents victims of defective products. “But according to health experts, toning shoes such as those highlighted on Good Morning America may actually increase your risk of injury without offering any health benefit.”

Toning shoes – also called wellness shoes and rocker bottom shoes – are athletic shoes with an unstable sole. The shoes may have a rounded sole that increases the heel-to-toe motion of the foot.

Built-in instability can increase the risk of stress fractures, falling and fall injuries. According to sports medicine experts, toning shoes may pose a particular risk for elderly people and those with poor balance, vertigo, lack of feeling in their feet or chronically weak ankles.

The Good Morning America program featured a 38-year-old Ohio woman who alleges her use of Skechers Shape Ups toning shoes caused stress fractures in both of her hips.

“The extended use of these shoes has injured me catastrophically,” Holly Ward said on a Good Morning America consumer segment, “Could ‘Toning Shoes’ Hurt Instead of Help?”

Ward claims she developed fractures in both hips after five months of using the toning shoes at her job as a waitress and during exercise.

The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, a professional organization of podiatrists who treat sports injuries, says that some manufacturers of toning shoes overstate the benefits without disclosing the risks associated with toning shoes. The risks include broken bones, broken or sprained ankles, broken hips from falls, and pain or tightness in the heel, calf or Achilles’ tendon.

An independent study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise found that toning shoes do not deliver the claimed benefits. The study, conducted by exercise scientists at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, found no evidence that toning shoes provided any significant increase in exercise benefit or muscle strength over traditional athletic shoes.

Commenting on that study in an article in The Boston Globe, Dr. David M. Davidson, national president of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, said, “There are major risks, particularly for adults.”

Jenner says toning shoe manufacturers have a legal responsibility to produce and market products that are safe and don’t cause injury.

“Toning shoes may be good for shaping up shoe manufacturers’ bottom lines because they typically cost more than regular tennis shoes,” Jenner says. “But health and exercise experts who don’t have a profit motive from selling trendy sneakers question the value of toning shoes and emphasize their risks. We do, too.”

Jenner's law firm has a Web page devoted to the risk of injuries from toning shoes.

About Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC

The law firm of Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC is a nationally recognized law firm dedicated to representing victims of defective products, medical devices, prescription drugs and medical malpractice. Each of the firm’s principals is named in The Best Lawyers in America® and Super Lawyers®. The firm has offices in Baltimore, Maryland; Columbia, South Carolina; and Asheville, North Carolina. The firm accepts clients and referrals from clients and attorneys throughout the country. For more information about claims related to toning shoe injuries, contact the firm at (888) 463-3529 or through the firm's website.


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