My Shoes Suck*!!!

May 8, 2014

Words out, people! Running barefoot SUCKS. Vibram just settled a huge lawsuit because they lied about their shoes!*


(* – they don’t suck… and just like the  fun, ‘shocking!’ Fittish headline that prompted this post, it’s intended strictly for shock value and has nothing to do with the actual meat and potatoes of the post.)

OK… let’s get past the BS and dive into what actually happened with Vibram, and how that will adversely affect me as I continue running.  In a nutshell, Vibram was sued for false advertising. They claimed that their shoes could “reduce foot injuries and strengthen foot muscles” (their words, not mine) which, in fact, they can’t. They said something that was false, and they got caught.

And now they’ll pay customers – 3.75 million dollars to be exact – as part of their settlement on the suit.

Fittish also quoted a study done last year which said “This study showed that increases in bone marrow edema [the precursor to a stress fracture] are more common in subjects who were transitioning to the [Vibram FiveFingers]”

Now I wanna point out a few things:

IMG_20140508_174058* Fittish is a part of the Deadspin community, which is not only AMAZING (one of my daily reads) but is over-the-top on how they report stories. It’s part of the allure. That being said, here’s the actual report, without snarky opinion or judgement.

* The 2013 study talks about the injuries being most common when transitioning into Vibrams. I’m sure that’s true, because ANYONE transitioning into ANYTHING workout-related runs a higher risk of injury when transitioning into it. It’s simply common logic. They push too hard, aren’t using proper form, etc… there’s a bunch of reasons why that would be the case.  That being said, they’re all ‘user error’, not a fault with the product. I had just finished a half-marathon when I decided to start with barefoot running and I started with 2 weeks straight of 2 miles maximum. Did I think I could do more?  Of course – I just finished 13.1! But, the plan said 2 miles for 2 weeks, so that’s what I did. When I had longer runs? I carried my regular shoes with me in a backpack and literally changed shoes mid-run. It takes discipline to transition into barefoot shoes… and lack of discipline equals “…increases in bone marrow edema [the precursor to a stress fracture]… in subjects who were transitioning to the [Vibram FiveFingers]”

* I never started using them because they would “reduce injuries or strengthen foot muscles”… I used them because, for me and how I run, they are FANTASTIC. I’m by no means a speed demon, have a very wide foot and big toes that tear through the toe box on regular running shoes so everything about them is great for me.

* This type of thing is exactly why I never recommended them to anyone other than my best friend. I told people how much I liked them, how great they worked for me but, outside of Joe, not once did I say “it’s better than regular shoes, you’re an idiot if you don’t do it.” My go-to line is “if you’re comfortable when you run… don’t even need to try ’em.” So why did I recommend them to my best friend then?  Simple – the dude walks around barefoot/ in sandals more than anyone I know besides myself… maybe even more. And he was never comfortable running. So he gave them a shot – and he also likes them.

Now, I’m not gonna lie – that headline pissed me off. And having friends FB/ text/ e-mail me about it maybe feel like some of them were laughing at me for it. I know, for most of you, it was done to be courteous and let me know about what was going on… that’s my issue (and in turn my therapists responsibility 🙂 ), so please don’t think I’m mad at ANYONE for sending me the link – I appreciate it! When I saw the story Wednesday afternoon I figured I’d hear about it – and boy, was I right!

But I’m not stupid. And I’m not a sucker. And that headline offended me, because I did A LOT of research before deciding to first try it, then stick with it.  So congrats to Fittish for the eye-catching headline… you accomplished exactly what you set out to do.

As for me? I’m gonna slip on my Komodosport L/S and do what I’ve done for 1 half-marathon (and a 2nd coming next weekend), 1 18-mile race and countless other miles in 5 and 10K’s… I’m gonna run in my Vibrams.

2014-04-06 13.26.47


One comment

  1. […] Runnin' away from being 346 pounds – and NEVER looking back… « My Shoes Suck*!!! […]

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