Vibram FiveFingers is a brand of shoes that has become supremely popular in the last decade or so. Everyone knows at least a few barefoot runners who wear the odd, glove-like shoes for their runs. It’s a trend as popular as CrossFit and boot camps, and most people thought that the fad was here to stay!
But could recent events spell the end of Vibram FiveFingers?
Vibram FiveFingers Settling Lawsuit
NBC News published an article stating that Vibram USA Inc. is offering a refund to people who have bought its shoes. A class action lawsuit was brought against the company back in 2012, and only now is it being settled.
The lawsuit claimed that the health benefits put forward as solid fact by Vibram FiveFingers went just a bit too far. According to the NBC News article, Vibram FiveFingers claimed that the shoes were able to strengthen foot muscles as well as decrease injuries for runners. Hundreds of thousands of pairs of the strange shoes were sold, but now it looks like Vibram is going to have to reimburse customers.
The company has set aside $3.75 million in order to settle the lawsuit, and every person who purchased a pair of Vibram FiveFingers shoes can claim as much as $94 from the company. That may not seem like a lot to you, but to the company, that is quite the blow.
So could this be the end of Vibram FiveFingers? With the barefoot running hype slowly going the way of the dinosaurs, it may be that the company won’t be around within the next few years if they don’t radically change the way they do things. Of course, that could detract from the unique Vibram FiveFingers brand, which is what makes them stand out from their competition.
Vibram FiveFingers Are Still Useful
The good news for owners of Vibram FiveFingers shoes is that they’re not just useful for barefoot running, so you don’t have to go and throw your shoes away just yet.
If you have a pair of Vibram FiveFingers shoes, they make an EXCELLENT pair of gym shoes! You’ll find that a lot of the exercises you will do at the gym–leg exercises in particular–will be easier and more effective thanks to these barefoot running shoes. Why is this?
When you do exercises like squatting, you want as much of your foot in contact with the floor as possible. You want to have as little between your foot and the floor as possible, as that will make it easier for you to have good form. However, with the stable sole of the shoes, it will provide you with a solid base for your squats. Deadlifts, lunges, and even leg pressing will be more effective thanks to these shoes.
And, of course, if you are a barefoot runner at heart, you’ll need that pair of Vibram FiveFingers to keep running. There are many people who have found that barefoot running works for them, and they’ll keep doing so no matter what happens to the company that makes their shoes. Barefoot running has worked for some, providing them with a new way of running that helps them to get in shape the way they want to. It’s no longer just a new type of exercise, it’s a way of life.
If you have a pair of Vibram FiveFingers, consider using them in place of your old Chuck Taylors as the gym shoes of choice. They’re grippy, flexible, and very comfortable, and you may just find that they’re an awesome pair of workout shoes!