Thursday, May 8, 2014

I dig Vibram FiveFingers

Yes, I've seen the Vibram FiveFingers news going around today:
"Vibram USA, the makers of the glove-like FiveFingers running shoes, has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit against them that alleged they made false and unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits their footwear.  

"Consumers who purchased a pair of the shoes between March 21, 2009 and the date of the first dissemination of summary settlement notice or class notice, will be eligible for a refund of up to $94 per pair.


"The class-action suit was brought against Vibram in March 2012. Valerie Bezdek filed the complaint in Massachusetts and said that Vibram deceived customers by advertising that their shoes could reduce foot injuries and strengthen foot muscles.

"The company has denied any wrongdoing alleged in the suit. They settled to put the matter to rest and avoid any additional legal expenses."
It sounds like an issue of semantics in the wording of VFF advertising and whether consumers followed the clear advice given to transition slowly into running in them and using a proper forefoot strike form with them.

A different piece of crap article cites a study and claims "science has discovered that barefoot running can really fuck you up."

That study used 36 participants and was pretty much designed specifically to induce injury by directing the participants to start out running 1-2 miles in their new VFFs. The conclusion of the study states exactly:
"Runners interested in transitioning to minimalist shoes, such as Vibram FiveFingers [OMG WHY ISN'T THERE ANOTHER COMMA HERE?!] should transition very slowly and gradually to avoid potential stress injury in the foot."
Fucking duh.

As for me, VFFs and forefoot striking saved my knees and made me a runner. I sprained my toe badly in 2012 while wearing a pair and suffered shin pain from overtraining in them last fall when I tried to log 70 miles in one month after 50 the month before. I did it but was off from running for a month after that.

Then I completed a 15-mile Spartan race in them in December and 18 miles of racing in them last weekend and feel great.

I know a lot of people who might try to get in on the settlement money for the express purpose of reinvesting the payout in more VFFs.

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