Runners who use FiveFingers shoes could get refund

Runners who use FiveFingers shoes could get refund

Credit: Photo11: H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY

Runners who use FiveFingers shoes could get refund

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by Lindsay Deutsch, USA TODAY

USA TODAY

Posted on May 9, 2014 at 12:33 PM

It's not a good week for Kashi-eating barefoot runners.

Vibram USA, manufacturers of FiveFingers shoes, has agreed to a $3.5 million settlement of a class-action suit that alleged the company misled customers as to the health benefits of its "barefoot-style" shoes.

The company came under fire for marketing claims that its shoes could strengthen feet and prevent running-related injuries better than traditional running shoes.

The money will be used to refund runners who bought the shoes after March 21, 2009. Customers who submit claims could receive from $20 to $50. (The shoes retail for about $94.) Leftover money will go to the American Heart Association.

FiveFingers shoes have a glove-like design with individual pockets for each toe, touting a minimalist approach to running that is not scientifically proven.

Although they settled the lawsuit, Vibram USA denies any wrongdoing in a court brief:

"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."

Follow @lindsdee on Twitter. - ORIGINAL STORY

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