If you own a pair of Vibram FiveFingers shoes, you may be eligible for a refund

vibram

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.

Class members can submit a claim for up to two pairs of shoes without any kind of receipt or proof of purchase, though the company can request proof of purchase at any time.

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.

Vibram will deposit $3.75 million into an escrow account to distribute to consumers who make claims.

The company will soon establish a website where consumers can make their claims. The company is also required to post banner ads with the settlement information on a number of websites, including runnersworld.com and Facebook.com, in order to deliver approximately 300,000,000 impressions.

9 comments

  • Galen Muhammad

    In the meantime, there’s no publicly available info on this alleged refund or how to even apply for it.

  • nik (@n13)

    I don’t wear anything but VFFs. I wear them everywhere. They’re awesome. This lawsuit is not representing me, nor, I’d think, the vast majority of people who bought them. Once you try them, and once you get it, you wonder why we ever had shoes that aren’t barefoot shoes. This lawsuit is just about a bunch of lawyers getting rich, that’s all. Not going to be part of this.

    • Matt

      I tried a few pairs and they all hurt my feet, shins and calves. I couldn’t walk in them for more than a quarter mile, if that. Just because something is true for you doesn’t mean that it’s true for everyone.

      • Derelicte

        I think you’re doing it wrong…those exact symptoms are from heel striking, which you are NOT supposed to do with barefoot running. This is a physiological truth, unless you have different physiology than the rest of us, you are incorrect.

  • andrew friedman

    I’m on my third pair of these after wearing the soles flat on the first two pair. after a couple of years and well over 200 miles walking in them, I can say that they take some getting used to. i started wearing them very gradually until my feet and legs were accustomed to walking in a slightly different way. i am a heavy pronator, very flat feet, so one would think these aren’t up my alley. i am surprised they have worked out so well. some soreness for the first few months goes with teh territory, i think, and i’m sure some people don’t like them. i have not run in them – i use them for walking and hiking.

  • SB

    You can injure yourself running in ANY shoe- it’s about misuse. Vibram FF are an excellent shoe if a) transitioned into properly and then b) ran in properly. If I stab at a grounder off the wrist and break it, I don’t sue Rawlings. Sheesh.

    And all of the “I told ya so” comments are silly. People get injured in padded running shoes all the time, and where are the lawsuits against Nike, Saucouny, Hoka, Ascics, and so on? Frivolous at best.

  • P.K.

    I turned and broke my foot 6yrs ago and pulled all my calf muscles and bruised all the way up to my thigh. My husband is a Chiropractor and has been adjusting my foot and knee since then. I finally bought a pair of VFF’s last mth. after I could no longer find or order my favorite running shoe. My new shoes were causing my foot to hurt daily So I had to do something so I thought why not try these out. My foot pain is gone and my right foot/leg is getting stronger. I am ordering another pair today b/c when they get wet they do smell. But I heard about the lawsuit yesterday and wanted to give my personal review. I’m wondering how long it will take for someone to sue Nike over their just do it campaign. One who is sue crazy could argue that they were not able to do xyz by owning a pair of Nike shoes. I’ve tried so many shoes over the years and no not every shoe is going to be the right shoe for you or do what it states for every single person. But don’t sue a company just b/c the shoe didn’t work for you.

  • John Thomas

    well I have never worn these shoes, in fact I can’t remember the last time I walked further that from my Lazyboy to the fridge. That however will not stop me from joining the lawsuit and getting my FREE money from Vibram.

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