A class action suit has been filed against Vibram Five Fingers for the health claims that they made for their products that did not eventuate to those who are taking the action. Following the many blog and forums posts on this and the comments on them have been interesting with most missing the point of the suit.
Vibram made health claims for their product that was not supported by the evidence, when there is none that actually supports the claims. It is that simple. Reebok had to settle with the FTC for $25 million for doing the same thing concerning claims about their toning shoes. Skechers is also facing a number of class actions and is in discussion with the FTC for the same allegations. They have set aside $44 million to deal with this.
There have been calls, mostly on minimalist and barefoot websites, for a class action against the traditional running shoe companies. The point being missed is that these companies are not making medical or health benefit claims for their shoes. Just check the most recent editions of running magazines and look at the claims being made in the advertisements. The only claims regarding injury and health are being made by the manufacturers of the minimalist shoes. I suspect Vibram is just the first to face a class action and more will follow. A recent motion to dismiss the case was declined by the judge.
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