Failed runner attempts to sue shoe maker
Having read it, there seems to be an implication in the case that all runners naturally heel strike and that cushioned shoes allow them to continue doing this. They also contest that it's only when running in Vibrams or barefooted that anyone would ever use a forefoot strike.
I'd argue that both parts of that statement are untrue.
Where do Vibram claim in their advertising lit that VFFs will automatically strengthen your feet or make you a healthier runner? Most of their wording is very careful, and is couched in hippyish terms of 'making you more connected with your body' and 'Vibram believe that...' or 'many of those who have practised barefoot running have found that...'. Heck, there are many, many images of people running barefoot on their website and in their literature, and no claims that VFFs are better than proper barefoot. Certainly, they don't explicitly say that barefoot is better; but they are a business after all.
From Vibram's North American website:
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR FEET
As a result, barefoot/minimalist running has spawned arecurring public debate across today’s newspapers, magazinesand webscape. So, how are we supposed to do this minimalist/barefoot thing? The truth is, there isn’t a single correct approach –it’s probably more complicated than that. However, as one ofthe prominent leaders in this movement, we want to give youVibram®’s take on it. We hope this guide will help you discoverhow YOU can safely get back to movement’s natural roots.Our running guide brings you a selection of scientific researchand anecdotal evidence resulting from more than six years ofliving in Vibram FiveFingers®.
Vibram® believes that moving and running in FiveFingers canmake us healthier and more connected to our bodies.
In the same document, they highly recommend you follow their two-week programme of foot strengthening exercises before running in VFFs at all.
And here is the conclusion in which they list what they feel are the benefits of VFFs:
It may help you run faster. It may just allow you tolove running. No matter your speed or ability, it will stimulate a newunderstanding and appreciation of your body.
I don't see how anyone could argue with these statements. Apart from them being correct, they are only stated as opinions and possibilities. Surely it's the press and independent fan-sites that have been guilty of promulgating glib statements that running in minimalist footwear will end all injuries and automatically correct all problems with gait.
Sorry for the crusade: I'll refrain from posting further in this thread. I just can't see that Vibram have been guilty of making exaggerated claims in their advertising. Particularly when you compare that advertising to Reebok's with Tone Ups (against which there was a successful class action suit) and Zigtech (no class action suit ).
Helen Liz wrote (see)
Having read it, there seems to be an implication in the case that all runners naturally heel strike and that cushioned shoes allow them to continue doing this. They also contest that it's only when running in Vibrams or barefooted that anyone would ever use a forefoot strike.I'd argue that both parts of that statement are untrue.
Homeopathy makes a lot of statements about how their treatments work which have no basis in fact, and there is no independent research which shows it to be of any benefit whatsoever.
Reminds me a lot of the modern running shoe industry actually, which also makes up a lot of pseudo science clap trap about support and cushioning, but produces no evidence to show there is any positive benefit.
In the meantime all debate and discussion on improving the form of runners is squashed, and every thread on forums like this one becomes a pointless cycle of 'go and get a gait analysis and buy some new shoes' without anyone stopping to ask if maybe there might be a cause of the problems people have which could, shock horror, be addressed by changing the way they run.
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