FiveFingers Suit, Filed in Boston, Settled for $3.75m

Vibram USA agreed to settle a class action suit alleging it falsely advertised the health benefits of its unique running shoe.
Vibram USA agreed to settle a class action suit alleging it falsely advertised the health benefits of its unique running shoe.
Wendy Maeda, The Boston Globe

The company that makes those weird running shoes that kind of look like gloves for your feet has settled a class action lawsuit, which claimed the shoes cause health problems despite advertising claiming the opposite.

Runner’s World reports that Concord-based Vibram USA, which sells the FiveFingers shoe (classified as a minimalist shoe because, well, the amount of traditional shoe is pretty minimal), agreed to pay $3.75 million and will fulfill two claims without proof of purchase for the members of the suit.

Vibram USA is part of the larger Vibram corporation, based in Italy. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Boston.

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As part of the settlement, the company will also cease claiming the shoe reduces injury and strengthens muscle, at least until it can prove it.

As Gawker-owned running blog Fittish notes, a 2013 study showed that transitioning to wearing the pseudo-shoes can lead to greater risk of stress fractures. Vibram, for its part, denies any wrongdoing as it prepares to move the money into an escrow account.