Why the “Barefoot” Shoe Lawsuits??

Hot off the press: Adidas served with a class action lawsuit regarding claims that the adi-Pure ‘toe shoe’ prevents running injuries, simulates bare-foot running etc. Sound familiar? Just this past spring, Vibram USA was served with a similar suit that is still before the courts.

Even for the litigation-happy US of A, this is unheardof.

Why, you may be asking, is this happening? Well, let me highlight a few reasons why I think this is happening:

1.  The shoe company’s main goal is to make profitable $$. They are in an ultra-competitive market where trends come and go almost like the wind. If they do not stay ahead of the curve, they run the risk of becoming redundant or, worse still, unprofitable. Thus, their marketing approach to the ‘new’ trends is sometimes wanting. Case in point is the unfounded ‘claim’ of ‘no running injuries’ etc. in their latest ‘minimalist’ footwear

2. The Vibrams, Adidas, Brooks, New Balance etc. of this world are not inclined to include disclaimers &/or information that PREPARES users of their ‘minimalist’ products for the challenges of shifting out of the COFFINS

3. The consumer buys the ‘minimalist’ products & fully expects to immediately head out & run as per ‘usual’ with no risk of running-related injuries. Without proper running preparation, expect the same related injuries as if you were still pounding the surface in your ‘coffins’. This is on you, the consumer. If you don’t learn to work vs. gravity throughout the running motion, then all bets for injury-free running are OFF – no matter what you have (or don’t have) on your feet – coffins, adi-Pures, FFs, bare-foot etc.

Thus, I say, stop with all of this! To the ‘shoe’ companies, wake the hell up & make the effort to hold transition running seminars, workshops etc. & develop proper transition running videos. To the consumer, wake the hell up & research the best bare-foot running coaches in your area. We are the ones who know how to make the transition safely, efficiently & powerfully to mid-foot, squat/scoot bare-foot type (injury-free) running. Also, research foot-strengthening systems such as Bare-foot Science (www.barefootscience.com) that are placed inside any of your footwear. They provide proprioceptive stimulation for the feet that serve to strengthen & balance the body from the feet up. These are NOT orthotics that encase your feet in ‘cement’.

Let’s work together & forget about all of the legal BS. We’re supposed to be on the planet to support each other in being the best we possibly can be – come hell or high water. Thus, let’s get on with this!!

Coach Jeff

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