Continuing in the vein of personal responsibility and risk versus reward, Vibram will pay $3.75 million to runners who became injured after using their minimalist FiveFingers shoes. Having owned a pair of FiveFingers for over three years without injury, I wonder how many runners followed Vibram’s advice for wearing their shoes:
“Running barefoot with a strong heel strike will send you to the sofa to let your bone contusion or fracture heal. One of the goals of Vibram FiveFingers footwear is to encourage forefoot striking, meaning your forefoot will contact the ground first then engage muscles in your feet and lower legs as your heel touches down.”
I would certainly expect to see “increases in bone marrow edema [the precursor to a stress fracture]” in heel-striking FiveFingers runners, as one study indicates. The real question is how many such injuries resulted from poor strength and/or improper running technique as compared to wearing a particular brand of shoe. And no, I don’t wear my FiveFingers as a fashion statement, though they are quite comfortable.