New Balance became the latest shoe maker to face a lawsuit over the advertising claims of its toning product. In the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, a 40-year-old Californian women, Bistra Pashamova, is seeking damages in excess of $5 million on behalf of the woman, and other people who have allegedly been harmed by New Balance.
“[Pashamova] was exposed to and saw New Balance's advertising claims, purchased New Balance toning shoes in reliance on these claims, and suffered injury in fact and lost money as a result,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit points to claims made by New Balance that its toning shoes increase muscle activation by at least 27% and increase calorie burn by up to 10%. But the suit alleges that New Balance’s assertions are not supported by scientific studies. The suit contends consumers wouldn’t have bought the shoes “had they known the truth.”
Pashamova claims to have suffered an unnamed injury from wearing New Balance toning shoes.
“There is a concern in the medical field that, because these shoes keep you off balance, for certain people who are otherwise prone to specific types of injuries such as hamstring injuries and ankle injuries, wearing (them) may exacerbate that,” Pashamova’s attorney, Tina Wolfson, told The Boston Globe. “Our allegation is that New Balance should reveal that in their advertising.”
In response, New Balance said in a statement, “New Balance does not comment on ongoing litigation except to say that it will vigorously defend itself from the claims made. New Balance stands behind all of its products, as it has for more than a century.”
Both Reebok and Skechers are facing similar lawsuits.