FiveFingers Shoe Company Pays $3.5 Million For Misleading Customers

Vibram's FiveFinger running shoes have developed a strong following among runners who believe minimal cushioning in shoes provides a better running experience, but the company recently settled a lawsuit claiming there was no science backing up their claims. (Patrick Yodarus/Flickr)

Vibram USA — the maker of those funny-looking shoes that look more like rubber gloves with separate compartments for each finger — has agreed to pay $3.5 million settlement in a class action suit for allegedly misleading their customers.

The lawsuit was brought by a woman who says the shoe company claimed to decrease foot injuries and strengthen foot muscles, but had no scientific research to prove it.

The shoe appealed to a niche market of minimalist and barefoot runners, who believe that running with less cushioning in your shoe and closer to the pavement is better for the feet.

The Financial Times’ Cardiff Garcia joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the lawsuit.

Information on filing a claim will be available at, once the website is set up.


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