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Vibram’s claims about preventing injury and increasing muscle were barely true


The slipper-like running shoe company is shelling out $37.5 million because of false health claims.
Vibram FiveFingers, barefoot running
(Photo: news.byu.edu)

If you’ve been running nearly barefoot in Vibram’s FiveFingers shoes, you might deserve a refund. (And a podiatry appointment.)

The company, known for those glove-like, barely-there shoes, recently settled a class action lawsuit because of false claims they made about their shoes’ ability to reduce running injuries and increase muscle.

Vibram will have to shell out $3.75 million to customers who purchased a pair of shoes going back as far as March 2009. (You’re potentially entitled to up to $94, if you’ve got a pair in your closet. Here’s further intel.)

This suit isn’t totally dissimilar from the trouble Skechers ($40 million) and Reebok ($25 million) got into with their ShapeUps, and EasyTone and RunTone shoes, respectively. Both companies made false claims about the booty-firming abilities of their footwear.

As far as injury prevention and the law goes, we think it’s probably best to leave the claims to helmets and suits of armor. —Molly Gallagher