Butt-ugly shoe provider Vibram has agreed to put aside $3.75 million to refund its
Anyone who’s had the misfortune of purchasing their FiveFingers shoes since March 21, 2009, could receive up to $94 from the company. This is the result of a settlement for a “class-action lawsuit brought by a woman who claimed that the company deceived consumers when it claimed, without any scientific backup, that its shoes could decrease foot injuries and strengthen foot muscles,” the Washington Post reports.
Vibram denied any wrongdoing in the court papers. But a recent study shows transitioning to minimalist running shoes can cause increases in bone marrow edema, which is a precursor to stress fractures, as Deadspin points out.
Vibram isn’t the only company that’s come under fire recently because of its dubious health claims. Skechers paid $40 million in refunds in 2012 to a bunch of poor schmucks who thought lacing up an especially matronly pair of walking shoes would give them butts like Kim Kardashian, the Post points out. One more hideous “fitness” shoe lawsuit and we’ll have a bona fide trend here.
Although the settlement means we’ll never know for sure whether Vibram is officially guilty of misleading consumers, the potential payout still feels like a victory for anyone who’s ever had to listen to a Vibram FiveFingers fan yammer on about their shoes or read the comments section under a story about the glorified toe socks. Barefoot runners are some of the most insufferable people on the planet. So for purposes of our foot bones and our dignity, we’ll be sticking to sneakers, thank you very much.