Why Is Good Feet Store Under Investigation? (Explained)


I’ve been wearing Good Feet arch support for a while because it helps with my plantar fasciitis. However, as much as using shoe inserts can help to reduce foot-related pain, many angry customers felt like they’d been “ripped off” by the franchise and filed lawsuit that put the Good Feet Store under investigation.

In general, Good Feet Store is under investigation for allegedly falsely advertising that its product can treat various health conditions and making outsized promises regarding the ability of their orthotics. However, many people find Good Feet arch support to be effective when combined with other treatments.

DISCLAIMER: This is not a knock-on Good Feet franchise. Personally, I’ve been using Good Feet since 2014 and I must admit that they did help me with a variety of foot problems (more on that later).

Is the Good Feet Store a ripoff?

Good Feet is a company that sells arch support with the promise to place the feet in the ideal position, and align the body from the feet up.

As much as shoe inserts can help to align the foot, the company claims that their arch supports provide health benefits like improving balance, and correct skeletal alignment, as well as relieving hip, knee, and back pain.

In October 2019, a lawsuit was filed against Good Feet Store due to the number of unsatisfied customers who believed they’ve been ripped off.

In general, many people claim that the Good Feet Store is a rip-off because they offer “off-the-shelf” shoe inserts while charging more than “custom orthotic devices”. They also employ their sales personnel with no background in podiatry and anatomy which would qualify them as specialists.

I won’t cover here details of my experience and what to expect from visiting the Good Feet Store. I’ve already written a Good Feet Store review, which I suggest you read.

Good Feet claims to treat common foot-related problems

One of the reasons why Good Feet store is under investigation is because the company claims that its shoe inserts can treat some of the most common foot-related problems like arthritis or metatarsalgia.

According to their website, most foot problems happen due to poor biomechanics, so by wearing arch support, the body can realign itself, improve balance, and comfort and relieve some of this pain.

Of course, wearing custom-fit orthotics does influence the structure and function of the neuromuscular and skeletal system, which can help to improve the alignment and red rid of the symptoms.

However, there can be many different reasons why a person has foot, knee, or back pain, and without a physical examination done by the physiotherapist, orthotist, or another healthcare professional, it’s irresponsible to say that wearing shoe inserts can help with the concern.

Plus, studies have shown that “there is strong evidence that insoles are not effective in the prevention or treatment of back pain. The current evidence on insoles as a treatment for low-back pain does not allow any conclusions” (Sahar, T et al. 2007).

Good Feet fail to disclose that results may vary

According to the lawsuit against the Good Feet store from October 2019, the company fails to disclose that the effects of wearing their arch support vary, depending on the individual.

As much as there are people who are happy with their orthotics, many unsatisfied customers saw no benefits. Plus, the company does not mention people who complained because their condition got worse after wearing their inserts.

In other words, the company is not transparent about people getting mixed results and mislead customers that everyone will get the benefits. In reality, wearing arch support is not for everyone.

From my experience, I know that it takes time to fully adjust to the shoe inserts. When I purchased Good Feet in 2014, the store manager told me to wear my arch support for a couple of hours per day, and gradually increase the duration.

However, I remember I felt the difference from the moment I put them on. If I would not feel any difference at all, I would probably not buy them.

Most podiatrists do not recommend the good feet store

Another reason why Good Feet store got a lawsuit is that they employ personnel without any formal training or podiatry background. Customers who come to the Good Feet store are mostly people with some health-related problems and believe that they’ve been taken care of by specialists.

In general, most podiatrists do not recommend the good feet store becasue their personnel has no medical background and should not be allowed to provide any recommendation to the customer who experiences specific pain or discomfort.

It’s kind of like going to a personal trainer or physiotherapist who does not have any formal education but completed two weeks of in-house training to close the sale.

Good Feet sells off-the-shelf inserts

One of the biggest complaints against the Good Feet store is that the company claims to provide a personalized fitting, which makes people believe that arch support is individually suited to their feet and don’t expect that the inserts are mass-produced off-the-shelf products.

The reality is that the franchise sells cookie-cutter inserts without precise physical examination and charges more than “custom fit orthotics”.

Here’s how it works.

  • When you come into the Good Feet store, you will get a Footprint by walking on the ink paper mat which will show you where you put most of the pressure.
  • Based on this footprint, the salesman will measure the distance from your heel to the ball of the foot, and choose the size of the arch support.
Good Feet sells personally fitted arch supports, not custom-fit orthotics

So technically, the Good Feet arch support are personally fitted to each person, but the advertising can be misleading as people can think they’re getting “custom fit” orthotics.

  • Custom-fit means the orthotic was designed based on the clinical picture obtained from a physical examination (e.g. shoe insert was molded in a specific way to match the deviations of the foot).
  • Personally fit can be interpreted in many ways (e.g. the person got personal attention during the fitting process or had measured their foot length by someone personally).

As you can see, there is a big difference between “custom fit orthotics” and “personally fit orthotics”.

Good Feet has a questionable refund policy

The next reason why Good Feet store is under investigation is becasue they have a return policy that unable customers to return the product, but only to exchange it for another one.

According to their website, you cannot get money back once you purchased the product, but you can get store credit. If you wish to return the arch support, you have a 60 days return policy.

Store credit means you can exchange your arch support for a different pair, or for other products available in the store.

NOTE: The picture above is the screenshot from the Google snippet, however, once you click on the Good Feet FAQ, the featured paragraph from the search page is no longer available (at least I couldn’t find it).

Learn more: Click here to learn more about the good feet store alternatives.

My thoughts on why Good Feet Store is under investigation

Okay, here are my thoughts on why I think Good Feet store has such a bad reputation.

  • The company seems to have a questionable foot assessment. Instead of using physical examination, they do “footprint” and choose size based on the measurements. Nevertheless, I’ve used Good Feet for many years and feel comfortable while wearing them.
  • They charge up to $1,000 for orthotics that can be found elsewhere for less than $100. I understand that the product is overpriced, but in reality, we live in a free market economy and people can charge as much as they want for their products or services.
  • Customers are being encouraged to use credit to finance their purchases. However, CareCredit, which is a credit provider, charges 26.99% interest rates. I personally hate this type of arrangement and the lack of transparency.
  • They employ people without a formal degree to give people recommendations about their foot problems. On the other hand, people who work in a shoe store and measure feet to personally fit running shoes also do not have formal training.

Check out my article where I list most of the pros and cons of the Good Feet Store here.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are several unsatisfied Good Feet customers that believe the company is a scam. On the other hand, I personally know dozens of people who swear by their products and use them every day (including me).

I’ve been using Good Feet long enough to see how it works and I cannot see myself walking around without them. Before, I used to have a plantar fasciitis problem whereas now I have no issues at all.

Reference

(Sisk et al v. Dr.’s Own, Inc. and Good Feet Worldwide LLC, Case No. 19-cv-2079, S. D. CA.)

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc) and a veteran endurance athlete. He loves to experiment and share his successes and failures to help busy men and women who want to lose weight.

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