152 6 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

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."

Read or Share this story: http://on.wkyc.com/1lbujLr