The favorite toe-shoe of vegan restaurant servers and 55-year-old men with ponytails has settled a class action lawsuit brought against it by what sounds like every person who ever wore its foot-condoms.
Runner's World Newswire's Matt McCue reports that though Vibram "expressly [denies] and continues to deny any wrongdoing alleged in the Actions, and neither admits nor concedes any actual or potential fault, wrongdoing or liability," the company has agreed to pay a lot of money.
The initial claim, filed in 2012, accuses Vibram of deceiving consumers by saying that its shoes could "reduce foot injuries and strengthen foot muscles." Unfortunately, Vibram appears to have pulled this out of thin air, really hoping it was true.
It is not true.
Science takes time, and since the advent of Christopher McDougall's best-selling Born to Run (a book based mainly on anecdote that sparked the minimalist footwear revolution), science has discovered that barefoot running can really fuck you up.
"This study showed that increases in bone marrow edema [the precursor to a stress fracture] are more common in subjects who were transitioning to the [Vibram FiveFingers]," concluded this 2013 study.
In penance for its crimes against fashion and humanity, Vibram has placed $3.75 million into escrow. Those funds will go to the fitness idiots who purchased a pair after March 21, 2009, with up to $94 for each in an effort to help your friends and family not shudder when looking at your feet.