More than half a million people will start receiving checks from the Federal Trade Commission this weekend as part of a settlement for shoppers who bought toning shoes from Skechers. The company agreed last year to pay $40 million to settle FTC charges that it deceived consumers by making unfounded claims that its Shape-ups shoes would help you lose weight, and strengthen and tone your buttocks, legs, and abdominal muscles.

Looking to get in shape? Visit our treadmills and ellipticals buying guides for our latest Ratings.

Our medical experts worried about the instability caused by the rocker-style bottoms, which could be dangerous for some people. A quick search of "toning shoes" on SaferProducts.gov, run by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, pulls up more than a hundred complaints from people for various brands of the shoes. And, one of our medical advisers, Orly Avitzur, M.D., first wrote about some of the risks of wearing these shoes more than three years ago after spending a weekend feeling like she was "walking on a flimsy suspension bridge." She even had a former patient miss a vacation to Mexico after suffering a broken foot 45 minutes after putting on her toning shoes at work.

"The FTC found that consumers were duped by advertisements that failed to disclose their researcher's conflict of interests," says Avitzur. "When considering medical and scientific claims it's important to ask who did the research, and whether they have any affiliations with industry."

The refund checks must be cashed by October 10, so don't hold on to it too long. You can put the money towards a new pair of sneakers! Consumers with questions about the refund can call 1-866-425-3186. The final date to submit your claim was back in April.

Copyright © 2005-2013 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission. Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this site.