On Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission announced a $25 million settlement with shoe company Reebok over false claims in advertisements that their rocker-soled sneakers increases muscle tone. Beginning in 2009, Reebok put out ads claiming that their EasyTone walking shoes and RunTone running shoes created more muscle strength—in hamstrings and calves and by 11 percent and in the buttocks by 28 percent—than normal shoes. The FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection said that the company's claims were supported by "wholly insufficient" evidence. The commission has also launched a website where consumers may apply for a refund. The market for toning shoes reached $1 billion in 2010, and similar advertising techniques have been used by Skechers, MBT and Fitflops. Federal investigators would not say whether they were considering further lawsuits. Adidas purchased Rebook in 2005 in a deal that made the new company the second largest manufacturer of sports footware and apparel in the United States, behind Nike.
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