Consumer Reports Article Highlights Safety Risks Posed By Toning Shoes, Baltimore Defective Products Lawyer Says

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Maryland personal injury lawyer Robert K. Jenner says trendy toning shoes might bring in big profits for manufacturers, but studies show injury risks outweigh purported health benefits.

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Baltimore attorney Robert K. Jenner

No less an authority than Consumer Reports has recognized the danger of toning shoes.

Consumer Reports offered important advice earlier this week when the independent, nonprofit publication advised its readers to avoid trendy toning shoes, according to Baltimore defective products attorney Robert K. Jenner.

"No less an authority than Consumer Reports has recognized the danger of toning shoes," says Jenner, a partner in Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC, a nationally recognized law firm that represents victims of defective products. He pointed to a statement in the online news report that “one false step in a toning shoe could land you in the emergency room."

“Studies show that toning shoes don’t even do what they’re supposed to — tone up legs and boost exercise benefits from walking,” Jenner says, citing a study by the American Council on Exercise that found “no evidence to support the claims that these shoes will help wearers exercise more intensely, burn more calories, or improve muscle strength and tone.”

According to Jenner, sports medicine experts such as the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine have found that toning shoes have built-in instability that can increase the risk of stress fractures, falling and fall injuries, especially among elderly people and those with poor balance, vertigo, lack of feeling in their feet or chronically weak ankles.

Toning shoes, which typically have thick, rounded soles, are marketed under different brand names, including Skechers Shape-ups and MBT’s Sport2.

In a May 25 Consumer Reports article, Dr. Orly Avitzur said anyone with balance issues, back pain, neuropathy or unstable ankles should not wear toning shoes — and he said everyone else should use caution when wearing them.

The report referenced a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission database that has received 36 reports of injuries related to toning shoes since March 11 — more injury reports than for any other category of product.

Among those injuries were 15 reports of broken bones, some of which required surgery. The other injuries included complaints of tendinitis and foot, leg and hip pain.

Jenner says more than a thousand people complaining of injuries caused by toning shoes have contacted him. These injuries include broken legs, stress fractures of hips and ankles, ruptured meniscus, tendons and ligaments.

“This narrow segment of footwear generated more than $1 billion in revenue last year — almost three times as much as in 2009,” Jenner says. “Unlike the companies that make these products, Consumer Reports doesn’t have a profit motive when it says the bottom line is to avoid wearing toning shoes.”

Jenner, whose law firm has a website devoted to the risk of injuries from toning shoes, says that advertising for these shoes is largely aimed at women, exploiting the beauty industry’s profit-raking mantra that women should constantly be concerned about changing their bodies to meet an unreachable ideal.

The Baltimore attorney noted that a “petition of outrage” was recently started by concerned mothers.

“Women are starting to fight back,” Jenner said, “and our law firm stands with them.”

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; Asheville, North Carolina and New York City. 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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