If you bought a pair of Vibram FiveFingers shoes between March 21, 2009 and early 2014, you can file for a refund of up to $94 per pair. No proof of purchase is required for the first two pair, but may be requested. The refunds are part of the settlement of a class action suit alleging that Vibram USA made unsubstantiated health claims about the foot-shaped minimalist shoes.
Further details of how to register for the refund will be available at the web site they agreed to establish, http://fivefingerssettlement.com. That web site is not yet active as of May 8, 2014.
Vibram FiveFingers shoes let you have that barefoot experience while protecting your tootsies from rocks and beer bottle caps and other hazards. Like many minimalist shoes, they allegedly purported to help you develop balance and foot strength, while not providing any arch support, motion control or stability.
We first reported on the FiveFingers fad with a guest review from David Van Veen, who said they changed his life by giving him a whole new reason to go walking.
Review: Vibram FiveFingers Barefoot Shoes
But eventually we also heard from experts and studies that said minimalist and "barefoot" shoes might not have benefit, and might in fact lead some to injury.
Study Says Barefoot Shoes Not a Cure-All
Will Minimalist Shoes Injure You?
Photo © Wendy Bumgardner