Well, dang. Five law firms have teamed up to file a class-action law suit against Vibram, maker of the popular FiveFingers shoes, alleging that the health-benefit claims the company makes about its shoes and barefoot running are deceptive.
As Footwear Business Update reports, the suit also posits that the barefoot-like shoes may increase injury risk in runners and that there are no well-designed scientific studies to back up Vibram’s claims.
Apparently, the warnings and cautions on the box are not enough:
The lawsuit also acknowledges Vibram FiveFingers hangtags advise first-time users to ease into running in the shoes and to visit their website for related natural running and training tips. It also notes that Vibram acknowledges that transitioning to running in its shoes might take some runners more than a year.
The plaintiffs are bringing claims exceeding $5 million. The 28-page complaint [PDF] was filed in a Massachusetts court on March 21st.
Tell us: Do you wear Vibrams or other barefoot running shoes? What’s been your experience with running in them?