Federal Trade Commission Sues Gravity Defyer for Making Baseless Pain-Relief Claims to Market Footwear

Press Release:

The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against California-based Gravity Defyer Medical Technology Corporation and its owner Alexander Elnekaveh, filing a complaint in federal district court to permanently stop their allegedly deceptive pain-relief claims for Gravity Defyer footwear.

In a complaint filed in federal district court, the FTC alleged that Elnekaveh violated a 2001 order barring him from such allegedly deceptive advertising by making scientifically unsupported claims and using misleading consumer testimonials to sell Gravity Defyer products. The FTC claimed that the company’s advertisements often targeted older Americans suffering from pain-related conditions like arthritis.

“Ignoring a prior Commission order, Gravity Defyer and its owner used false pain-relief claims to target older Americans and undercut honest competitors,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Health-based claims require science-based proof, and faking it by misusing studies and customer reviews breaks the law.”

Since at least 2016, the defendants have advertised their Gravity Defyer footwear as containing soles with “VersoShock” technology that supposedly relieves pain, including pain in people suffering from numerous medical conditions. According to the FTC’s complaint, the ads claim, without competent and reliable scientific evidence, that Gravity Defyer footwear:

will relieve pain, including knee, back and foot pain;

will relieve pain in people suffering from multiple conditions such as plantar fasciitis, arthritis, joint pain, and heel spurs; and

is clinically proven to relieve pain, including 85 percent less knee pain, 91 percent less back pain, 92 percent less ankle pain, and 75 percent less foot pain.

Gravity Defyer has sold more than 100 styles of footwear for men and women on its website, including athletic shoes, casual shoes, dress shoes, hiking shoes and boots, and sandals. Prices have ranged from $140 for men’s and women’s sandals to $155 for the widely advertised Mighty Walk walking shoes, and $235 for men’s work boots.

The company sells Gravity Defyer footwear on its own website, through its in-house call center, and at retailers throughout the country, including The Walking Company, Hammacher Schlemmer, and Shoe City, according to the FTC. It advertises the products through magazine ads, Facebook ads, Internet ads, radio commercials and catalogs.

One of the company’s ads stated that Gravity Defyer shoes are “clinically proven pain defying footwear.” Another said, “Enjoy the benefits of exercise, with proven pain relief.” The company’s ads cite a study to back up their claims, but the FTC alleges this study has substantial flaws and was insufficient to determine the effects of wearing Gravity Defyer footwear.

In filing the complaint, the Commission is seeking an order permanently barring the defendants from making misleading or deceptive pain-relief claims, as well as civil penalties and other relief.

Gravity Defyer previously courted controversy over their sperm like logo.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Gravity Defyer G-defy Women’s Pain Relief | Arch Support | Plantar Fasciitis | Foot & Knee Pain | Wide Shoes | Orthopedic | Heel Pain | Free Orthotic Included Gray, Pink
  • VersoShock Patented Technology: shown to relieve pain in the knees.
  • Roomy Toe Box extra room for comfort and better blood circulation.
  • Front Rolling Design designed to reduce foot stress by isolating 28 bones, 30 joints, and over 100 muscles from harm.
  • Durable Breathable Mesh provides proper ventilation & flexibility.
  • BONUS FREE PAIR CorrectiveFit orthotic insoles in every box - designed to correct body alignment and help with plantar fasciitis.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Gravity Defyer G-defy Men’s Pain Relief | Arch Support | Plantar Fasciitis | Foot & Knee Pain | Wide Shoes | Orthopedic | Heel Pain | Free Orthotic Included Grey
  • VersoShock Patented Technology: shown to relieve pain in the knees.
  • Roomy Toe Box: extra room for comfort and better blood circulation.
  • Front Rolling Design designed to reduce foot stress by isolating 28 bones, 30 joints, and over 100 muscles from harm.
  • Durable Breatable Mesh provides proper ventilation & flexibility.
  • Free Corrective Fit Orthotics included – Orthotics provide full-body alignment and perfect biomechanics.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Gravity Defyer Women's Black UpBov Sandal 7 M US - VersoCloud Multi-Density Shock Absorbing Ortho-Therapeutic Sandals
  • VersoCloud multi-density nucleated polymers absorb shock, recycles impact energy, and boosts energy return.
  • Front Rolling Design designed to reduce foot stress by isolating 28 bones, 30 joints, and over 100 muscles from harm.
  • Protective Deep Heel Cup designed to provide improved stability and support.
  • Fully Adjustable Comfort Straps for easy hassle-free wear and a secure fit.
  • Built-In Arch Support with gcomfort orthotics built right in you get superior arch support and full-body alignment to relieve stress.
Bestseller No. 4
Gravity Defyer Women's GDEFY Mighty Walk Limited Edition Athletic Shoes 7 M US - VersoShock Proven Performance Walking Shoes Grey
  • ROOMY TOE BOX extra room for comfort and better blood circulation.
  • FRONT ROCKER SOLE with a supported midfoot.
  • REMOVABLE INSOLES to accommodate custom orthotic support.
  • DURABLE BREATHABLE MESH breathable seamless mesh construction that provides proper ventilation & flexibility.
  • Free Corrective Fit Orthotics included – Orthotics provide full-body alignment and perfect biomechanics.
SaleBestseller No. 5
G-DEFY by Gravity Defyer Men's XLR8 RUN | Road Running | Wide Shoes | Pain Relief | Arch Support | Plantar Fasciitis | Foot & Knee Pain | Orthopedic | Neuropathy A5500 | Free Custom Orthotic
  • VersoCloud multi-density nucleated polymers absorb shock, recycles impact energy, and boosts energy return.
  • HARDENED TPU FULL-PERIMETER SHANK From heel-to-toe protection against mid-foot trauma and hyperflexion injuries designed to provide maximum lateral stability while walking, standing, and running.
  • NON SLIP HEEL COUNTER to avoid heel from slipping when running and prevent inflammation
  • 304 NEEDLE WOOL BLEND KNIT UPPER
  • Free Corrective Fit Orthotics included.
SaleBestseller No. 6
Gravity Defyer Women's G-Defy Energiya 8 M US - Hybrid VersoShock Performance Shock-Absorbing Cross-Trainer Shoes White,pink
  • Hybrid VersoShock Technology A smart pain relief cushioning and recovery technology that combines our patented pain relieving VersoShock with the full-sole shock absorption of our exclusive VersoCloud spring cell sole.
  • Micro Fiber Leather Upper Step cool and secure with our light, eco-friendly, leather with outstanding abrasion resistance and high tear strength. Excellent flexibility and elasticity for any instep.
  • Front Rolling Design Smooth movement and stability. Designed to reduce foot stress by isolating 28 bones, 30 joints, and over 100 muscles from harm.
  • Seamless And Soft Silk-Like Interior Soft seamless mesh inner lining that is excellent for avoiding irritation with continued wear.
  • Free Corrective Fit Orthotics included – Orthotics provide full-body alignment and perfect biomechanics.
SaleBestseller No. 7
Gravity Defyer Womens XLR8 Blue/White 7 M
  • Hardened TPU full-perimeter shank is engineered to protect your midfoot from trauma and hyperflexion injuries while providing maximum lateral support
SaleBestseller No. 8
Gravity Defyer Men's G-Defy Compass 2.0 Work Shoes 11 W US - VersoShock All Day Comfort Slip-on Shoes Supportive Slip Resistant Clogs Black
  • ASTM F2913 - 11 SLIP-RESISTANT OUTSOLE Special rubber material provides max grip on any surface due to unique tread, design and compound that is oil resistant for great traction.
  • FULL GRAIN LEATHER - Light soft premium full grain leather upper.
  • FRONT ROCKER SOLE with a supported midfoot designed to prevent and relieve plantar fasciitis.
  • ELASTICIZED GUSSETS provides stretch for easy slip-on and take-off wearability.
  • Free Corrective Fit Orthotics included – Orthotics designed to provide full-body alignment and perfect biomechanics.
SaleBestseller No. 9
Gravity Defyer GDEFY Women's MATeeM Cross-Trainer 7 M US - Hybrid VersoShock Performance Pain Relief Comfortable Shoes with Support Black
  • Hybrid VersoShock Technology A smart pain relief cushioning and recovery technology that combines our patented pain relieving VersoShock with the full-sole shock absorption of our exclusive VersoCloud spring cell sole.
  • Micro Fiber Leather Upper Cool and easy to wear upper is a flexible knit with ventilated weave and ghillie reinforced instep making every step cool and secure.
  • Hardened TPU Full-Perimeter Shank From heel-to-toe protection against mid-foot trauma and hyperflexion injuries designed to provide maximum lateral stability while walking, standing, and running.
  • Seamless And Soft Silk-Like Interior Soft seamless mesh inner lining that is excellent for avoiding irritation continued wear.
  • Free Corrective Fit Orthotics included – Orthotics provide full-body alignment and perfect biomechanics.
SaleBestseller No. 10
Gravity Defyer Women's G-Defy Compass 2.0 Work Shoes 8 W US - VersoShock All Day Comfort Slip-on Shoes Supportive Slip Resistant Clogs Black
  • ASTM F2913 - 11 SLIP-RESISTANT OUTSOLE Special rubber material provides max grip on any surface due to unique tread, design and compound that is oil resistant for great traction.
  • FULL GRAIN LEATHER - Light soft premium full grain leather upper.
  • FRONT ROCKER SOLE with a supported midfoot designed to prevent and relieve plantar fasciitis.
  • ELASTICIZED GUSSETS provides stretch for easy slip-on and take-off wearability.
  • Free Corrective Fit Orthotics included – Orthotics provide full-body alignment and perfect biomechanics.

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