Generations of children have obsessed over light-up footwear since L.A. Gear introduced the concept in the ’90s with L.A. Lights, but a recent report places the novelty shoes in a negative light.
New York mother Sherry Foster took to Facebook last month to warn other parents that her 9-year-old son Peyton suffered second degree chemical burns on his feet after his light-up Skechers “Skech Rayz” sneakers malfunctioned.
She said the shoes’ batteries released a chemical causing the shoes to burn her son after they got wet during a school water activities day.
In an interview with Metro U.S., Foster said she didn’t immediately realize the shoes were causing her son’s discomfort. “The day it happened, he came home and said ‘My feet hurt.’ They were a little bit red, I didn’t think anything of it—maybe that they were cold from playing in the water. The next day he came home and was really complaining,” she said.
A doctor told Foster she had seen shoes burn children’s feet before.
In a response to Foster’s Facebook post, which has been shared more than 500,000 times, Skechers stated:
“Skechers footwear products are rigorously tested for safety. Skechers, a family brand, has sold tens of millions of pairs of children’s lighted footwear worldwide and has not had one incident of chemical burns reported. Notwithstanding, when Ms. Foster’s Facebook post was brought to our attention Friday, June 29, we immediately contacted her, inquired about her son, and asked her to send us the shoes so we can determine whether the shoes contributed to her son’s injuries. Ms. Foster has agreed to send us the shoes, and we will continue our investigation. Despite the lack of any other similar reported incidents, we are taking this complaint very seriously and giving it the highest priority.”
Skechers’ light-up sneakers, which include the S Lights and Twinkle Toe lines, are often a bright spot for the brand.
The company said its robust holiday selling season in 2017 included increased demand for its “innovative lighted children’s footwear,” and the brand’s Twinkle Toes for girls are often named retailers’ bestsellers for back-to-school season.