Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vibram FiveFingers Lawsuit

A federal class action lawsuit civil was filed in Massachusetts at the end of March against Vibram FiveFingers, LLC and Vibram USA, Inc. The company makes minimalist running shoes which feature a pod for each toe. The plaintiffs' claims exceed $5 million.
The lawsuit says the manufacturer makes false claims about its product's health benefits. The complaint says there is no proof that running in Vibram's running shoes will improve posture and foot health, promote spine alignment, strengthen muscles, or reduce injury risk. It also alleges that running in the footwear, which costs between $80- $125 a pair, may actually increase the injury risk as compared to running in traditional sneakers or barefoot.
Vibram's website reiterates that moving from traditional running sneakers to minimalist shoes takes time. They believe that running in their shoes makes you healthier, happier, and more connected to your body. Vibram FiveFingers lists the following recommendations in using their product:

  • Listen to your feet. Switching will take some time, whether it be a matter of weeks, or even a year. Much is dependent on your foot type, the activities you're using the shoes for, and whether you pronate or not. Improving those muscles will increase both endurance and strength (proof?). 
  • Stop if your arches or the top of your foot is hurting. Discomfort should diminish after one to two weeks. Pain can sometimes occur when you land too far forward from your hips and pointing your toes too much. As well, pain can also happen from landing on too rigid a foot and not letting your heel drop gently. 
  • Let your body heal if you've experienced pain. Tired muscles are normal. Bone, joint, or soft-tissue pain is not. See a podiatrist if you are suffering.
  • Bring your traditional running shoes in the beginning as a back-up. You can switch shoes if you need to stop. 
If you are having pain from running barefoot and do not currently see a podiatrist, call our Newington, Kensington, and Middletown office to make an appointment.

Craig M. Kaufman, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Podiatrist in CT
Podiatrist in Newington, Kensington, and Middletown, CT
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