Monday, July 07, 2008

Kinoki Foot Pads: There's Bullshit Afoot

There is a Walgreens Pharmacy about a half-mile from my house. These particular establishments seem to be as ubiquitous as Starbucks franchises in Las Vegas. The Walgreens near my house has an animated billboard in its parking lot which advertises various products that can be found for sale inside. One day while driving by, I noticed the billboard display: "Kinoki Footpads: $19.99." Now, I had seen the occasional television commercial for these products in Bellingham, WA and I must admit, I thought it was a Northwest thing. I laughed off those commercials like I have done for those of thousands of other products that offer vague claims of "cleansing your body naturally" and "removing toxins." So, my understandable first reaction to seeing these things for sale not a mile from my house was, "They're actually selling this crap?"

Since this happened a few days after I had decided to post on my blog every day, the first thing I thought of doing was going to down to Walgreens, shelling out the $19.99 (plus tax) and trying these things for myself. They plan was to offer a day-by-day report on my blog on whether or not these things actually worked.

All that changed when I searched "Kinoki" on Google and found that John Stossel over at ABC News had already done the work for me and wrote an article about it; four months ago at that. The article handily debunked the foot pads as being nothing more than strips of absorbent material that darkened when moisture was applied to them. This darkening was claimed by the Kinoki people as evidence of the toxins that had been removed from your body overnight.

So, feeling a bit disappointed that I didn't get to do my own investigative journalism, I decided to do the next best thing: write a letter to Walgreens asking why they sold these things. What follows is the text of that complaint.

I have a complaint regarding Walgreens' decision to sell Kinoki Cleansing Detox Footpads. I would like to know why a fine establishment like Walgreens chooses to sell this product despite the fact there is absolutely no scientific evidence that they do what the Description on the Walgreens website claims. Indeed, there is no earthly reason why these foot pads would "absorb toxins and impurities" as claimed.

A recent report by ABC News revealed these foot pads for what they truly are: useless pads of absorbent material that rely on the placebo effect to produce results in the user. From the article:

"The idea that they're drawing toxins through the skin out of the body in any significant amount, I think is just wrong," said Dr. George Friedman-Jimenez, the director of the Bellevue / New York University Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic in New York City.

NMS Labs, a national laboratory in Willow Grove, Pa. tested for a lot of things, including heavy metals like arsenic and mercury and 23 solvents, including benzene, tolulene and styrene (materials the foot pads are claimed to remove) and found none of these on the used pads. There's no evidence that it's toxins. When I dropped distilled water on the pad, it turns dark in seconds.
Link to article online:

So, I would like to know, is it the usual practice of Walgreens to sell products that don't perform as claimed? If so, I'm afraid I may have to rethink my decision to shop at your particular pharmacy.

I will post any response I get from Walgreens here.

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Anonymous said...

The test ABC did could hardly be considered "scientific".

Many people are very satisfied using these products. Unfortunately, ABC tested what I consider to be an inferior brand.

I find that the original brand( is far superior.

Paul said...


Does your brand have more vinegar on them? Must by why they work so well at drawing out "toxins".

And lots of people are "satisfied" with the placebo effect. That doesn't mean the thing doing the satisfying works as claimed.

Michel Margarita said...

Toxin removal from feet is a crazy idea to feel fresh cause a proper method of toxin remove can make your feet healthy and more beautiful. Visit our site to know how to remove toxin from feet easily.

Rocco St.Bruno said...

Thank God for Kinoki Foot Pads, I have been concerned about the toxic build up in my body ever since aliens abducted me six years ago. These little miracle pads took care of all the interplanetary toxins, not to mention the alien viruses I was exposed to. My advise to you is to buy a years supply and use them every day, one on each foot and one on your forehead. As an added bonus, the little aluminum foil wrapper the pads come in makes a great hat, shielding your brain from the cosmic rays sent by alien forces in an attempt to program all of humankind for self-annihilation. So do it today, after all the giant frog commands it.

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