Saturday, October 1, 2011

Prove it, or pay

Prove it, or pay:
No study has ever shown that running shoes do anything to reduce injuries or improve performance. Yet the whole multi-billion dollar industry business is based on the marketing lie that running is dangerous if you’re not wearing some kind of super-cushioned or motion-controlling footwear. It’s amazing the shoe companies get away with it. But one of them, finally, has been spanked: the FTC announced it was hitting Reebok with a $25 million fine for claiming its rocker-bottomed sneaks strengthen muscles.

Could this be the beginning of the end of running shoe scam? Look at what the FTC had to say about Reebok:

“Advertisers cannot make claims about their products … without having some basis for it,” he said. “If you’re going to make specific claims, particularly about health benefits, about your product you better have some kind of adequate substantiation about those claims before you make them.”

—David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection

By that standard, what kind of substantiation can Asics provide for this claim about its Gel-Kayano 16?

“The result is better protection from injury and outstanding ride.”

—Simon Bartold, Asics research consultant

“Better protection from injury” — really? Now that it’s exploded the toning shoe swindle, it will be fascinating to see what happens if the FTC begins tearing into the video-gait analysis/pronation-must-be-controlled/every-runner-is-unique ripoff.

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