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Lawsuit Against Vibram

 

   

Lawsuit against Vibram and FiveFingers

The popular press is going berserk. Beware misinterpretations and unfounded bad press. The lawsuit did not pertain to the safety of the FiveFingers or to the fact that these shoes were good or bad, but rather pertained to the fact that their advertizing was not evidence-based. Companies have become language experts. They know how to talk consumers into believing that their shoes are the best and that they can help prevent injuries, increase comfort and improve performance… all that, without having lawsuits filed against them for misrepresentation. Vibram is no exception as well… they were just less cunning in playing with words, and that’s why a lawsuit was filed against them!

 

Here are the statements issued by the company which led to the lawsuit. FiveFingers

 

  1. strengthen muscles in the feet and lower legs
  2. improve range of motion in the ankles, feet, and toes
  3. stimulate neural function important to balance and agility
  4. eliminate heel lift to align the spine and improve posture
  5. allow the foot and body to move naturally

 

Science is not clear on these 5 statements, although there is a trend… with, among others, certain publications that have been made following the lawsuit.

 

  1. yes, less shoes seems to strengthen muscles in the feet.
  2. no idea if it improves range of motion in the ankles, feet, and toes.
  3. less interference between the foot and the ground can improve balance.
  4. yes, if you eliminate heel lift you change the posture… certainly closer to how we evolved… but no idea if it’s better.
  5. shoes clearly change the way we move. Yes, walking/running with less shoe (like FiveFingers ) will be closer to barefoot form (what some call “more natural”) than big bulky shoes.

 

  However, I strongly believe that less shoe:

 

  1. strengthens muscles in the feet and lower legs
  2. improves range of motion in the ankles, feet, and toes
  3. stimulates the neural function important to balance and agility
  4. eliminates heel lift to align the spine and improve posture
  5. allows the foot and body to move naturally.

 

  Now we just have to demonstrate all of the above with quality studies. :) Interesting links