The Pitch: "Detoxify your body while you sleep"
April 2009. Kinoki Foot Pads are self-adhesive strips that are supposed to draw harmful toxins like heavy metals and "metabolic wastes" from the body through the feet, turning from white to dark in the process. The infomercial says that the darker the pad, the more toxins are cleansed from your system. However, in professional and user reviews, most people say the pads don't do anything at all. Most customers who try the Kinoki Foot Pads claim to feel no different after using them, and they complain of how awful the pads smell when removed.
In more scientific testing, several used pads were lab-tested for various toxins and metals, but none were found in the pads. Doctors agree that if users are experiencing an improvement in their health and level of energy, it is probably due to the placebo effect.
A small percentage of users like the effects of the Kinoki Foot Pads, saying they notice certain health improvements after using them. While most positive reviewers agree that it's probably the placebo effect causing these improvements, they don't see any harm in continuing to use the pads.
An ABC News "20/20" report tries the Kinoki Foot Pads on a group of volunteers and consults a specialist; all agree that the pads don't really do anything, though they probably aren't harmful. Reporters for MSNBC and the Los Angeles Times also put the pads to the test, coming away with the same conclusion, and even finding that any kind of moisture (including sweat and plain water) can discolor the pads. Customer reviews on InfomercialRatings.com are split, with some calling the Kinoki foot pads a scam and others saying they notice certain improvements. Most of the customers on Amazon.com are displeased with the Kinoki pads, but a few think they helped improve their swollen or sensitive feet.
As part of an ABC News "20/20" program, John Stossel puts the Kinoki foot pads to the test with a group of volunteers. They all report that they feel no healthier or more energized after using the pads. The Kinoki Foot Pads looked filthy when removed, but after running a test on the used pads, the lab results found no toxins or heavy metals in the pads. The testers all agree that the pads do not work; two of them describe the pads as a "scam." Stossel also interviews Dr. George Friedman-Jimenez, a specialist in environmental medicine, who agrees that the Kinoki Foot Pads have no health benefits. If users claim to feel better, Friedman-Jimenez says, "The placebo effect contributes to the improvement in the symptoms."
Review: Ridding Yourself of Toxins, or Money?, John Stossel, April 11, 2008
Paige West tries the Kinoki Foot Pads for two weeks and finds that despite a boost of energy after the first night, they don't work. Each morning the pads are black and smell awful -- "a vile combination of sweat and the acrid smoke of a campfire," she says. Contrary to what the commercial says, they do not get increasingly clear as she continues to use them. West consults with Dr. Devra Davis, an expert on toxins, who speculates that the Kinoki foot pads just contain green tea and vinegar. Both West and Davis agree that the Kinoki foot pads probably aren't harmful, but they don't have any health benefits, either.
Review: Kinoki Foot Pads: Sucking Away Toxins Or Just Your Money?, Paige West, June 19, 2008
3. Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times reporter Chris Woolston contacts several doctors and health experts for their opinions on whether the Kinoki foot pads could actually improve a person's health and energy. The unanimous conclusion is that they cannot. Woolston tries the Kinoki pads out himself, and while they come away dirty each morning, he doesn't feel any different. He even tries dripping some saline solution on a clean pad, which turns the pad dark and grimy just as it is after being used on a person's foot, leading Woolston to conclude that any kind of moisture can discolor the pads.
Review: Kinoki Foot Pads' Detox Claims Don't Stand up to Science, Chris Woolston, Sept. 22, 2008
More than 40 customers review the Kinoki foot pads on InfomercialRatings.com, and the reviews are split pretty evenly. Those who give negative reviews agree with health experts who say the pads simply don't do anything to improve their health or energy. They also echo the common complaint that the pads smell terrible after being used. Those who like the Kinoki foot pads say they work, claiming improvements such as better digestion, deeper sleep and increased energy. Most positive reviewers admit that they don't know if the pads really do remove toxins from the body, or if their improved health is due to the placebo effect, but they like how they feel while using the Kinoki foot pads, so they will continue to do so.
Review: Kinoki Foot Pads Reviews and Ratings, Contributors to InformercialRatings.com
A handful of customers review the Kinoki foot pads on Amazon.com, and most agree that the pads don't do anything as they don't feel any different after using them. A couple of reviewers like the pads because they help to alleviate their foot problems, like swollen and sensitive feet, and find using the pads is easier than soaking their feet in water.
Review: Kinoki Cleansing Detox Foot Pads (14 Ct), Contributors to Amazon.com