Following accusations of false advertising, Vibram- the the makers of toe gripping shoe- has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit.
Post-settlement, the company will not be able to make claims that the FiveFingers footwear is effective in strengthening muscles or reducing injury unless it has scientific backing to prove the claims.
Vibram is also required to create a website to inform class members of the terms of the agreement and post banner ads with the settlement information on several websites such as runnersworld.com and Facebook.com. It has to deliver approximately 300,000,000 impressions. Meanwhile, the brand will also be giving refunds to class members with maximum refund of $94 per pair.
However, a quick check on the Vibram’s Facebook page showed a slew of consumers posting their support for the brand stating ways it has actually helped them.
According to the court filings, Vibram settled to put the matter to rest and avoid any additional legal expenses. “Vibram expressly denied and continues to deny any wrongdoing alleged in the Actions, and neither admits nor concedes any actual or potential fault, wrongdoing or liability,” said the court brief.
The lawsuit was brought forth by one Valerie Bezdek in 2012 where she accused the brand of false advertising of the benefits it might have to runners. Initially, it said the shoes were able to reduce foot injuries and strengthen foot muscles.