Gravity Defyer Footwear Targeted in FTC Lawsuit
The Federal Trade Commission is suing Gravity Defyer, the Sherman Oaks, CA marketer of athletic, casual, hiking and dress shoes, which range between $155 and $235 retail, for deceptive advertising related to pain-relief claims and the brand’s “VersoShock” technology.
In a federal complaint, filed earlier this month in the District of Columbia, the FTC alleges that Gravity Defyer ads claim the brand’s footwear will relieve knee, back and foot pain and help consumers suffering from plantar fasciitis, arthritis, joint pain, and heel spurs without competent and reliable scientific evidence. Additionally, Gravity Defyer owner Alexander Elnekaveh is charged with violating a 2001 order barring him from making allegedly deceptive advertising.
Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said Gravity Defyer, which sells its products direct and through retailers such as The Walking Company and Shoe City, has targeted older U.S. consumers and “undercut honest competitors” with its false pain-relief claims.
But in April, according to the Pain News Network, Gravity Defyer sued the FTC on the grounds that a 2017 study it conducted for five weeks with 52 participants justifies its marketing claims. That study, recently published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Association, contends the brand’s “shock-absorbing sole” reduced knee pain an average of 85 percent.