- badvertising May 9
Vibram USA settled a class-action lawsuit on Wednesday, filed by a woman who said the company has deceived customers by claiming, without scientific evidence, that its FiveFingers shoe could strengthen foot muscles and decrease injuries.
The minimalist FiveFingers shoe is flat, has no cushioning, and, like a glove for feet, has individual pockets for each toe. As part of the agreement, The Washington Post says, Vibram will pay $3.75 million in refunds — up to $94 to anyone who purchased a pair of the shoes since March 21, 2009. If there is any money left over, it will go to the American Heart Association.
Runner's World reports that not only will the company pay customers, but it must also stop saying that FiveFingers shoes are effective in building up foot muscles and preventing injuries, unless new research supports those statements.
In court papers, Vibram did not admit to "any wrongdoing" or "any actual or potential fault... or liability," The Post reports. In 2012, Skechers announced the company would give out $40 million in refunds to people who bought Shape-ups, advertised as helping boost weight loss and increase muscle tone. Before that, Reebok agreed to a $25 million settlement after the Federal Trade Commission charged that advertisements for their toning shoes misled customers.- - Catherine Garcia
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How to trim $500 from your monthly spending
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Comic-Con 2014: Everything we learned about Avengers 2, Batman v. Superman, and more
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- Are there too many good shows on television?
- The forgotten victims of the war in Ukraine
Subscribe to the Week