Lawsuit accuses New Balance of false walking shoe ads

Tue Jan 4, 2011 5:59pm EST
 
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BOSTON (Reuters) - A class action lawsuit filed against New Balance accuses the Boston-based sneaker company of false advertising in claiming its toning walking shoes burned more calories and improved health.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in the U.S. District Court in Boston, calls New Balance's marketing claims that the shoes increase muscle activation and calorie burn "false, misleading, and reasonably likely to deceive the public."

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of plaintiff Bistra Pashamova and others like her who say they have been misled or harmed by the sneakers. Plaintiffs are seeking class action certification and more than $5 million in compensation.

On the New Balance website, the company says its truebalance toning sneaker, "uses hidden balance board technology that encourages muscle activation in the glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves, which in turn burns calories."

Studies cited in the lawsuit say the sneakers, which cost roughly $100, do not necessarily boost health benefits and may even lead to injury.

Lawyers for the plaintiff and New Balance did not return calls seeking comment.

(Reporting by Lauren Keiper, Editing by Greg McCune)