These claims of "proof" that VFFs (or minimalist shoes in general) are somehow inherently and universally dangerous always strike me as a bit fishy. For one, these studies never seem to take any other variables into account; for another, the actual conclusions always seem to be more along the lines of "one should probably take time to acclimate oneself to these shoes, and they may not be for everyone."
Agreeing with Nimue on this being the best way they could handle it.
As for the Deadspin article: the most citrine of journalism, full-stop. Notice how much effort he spends crowing about the lawsuit on account of hating how VFFs look alone?
These type of people who write such deadspin articles, and their sycophant commenters who are equally vitriolic remind me of the same type of intelligence involved in the whole 9/11 conspiracy debates who bitch up and down about 'twoofers' and how ridiculous people are to question what is bullshit and what isn't. Obviously a completely different topic but the haters seethe of precisely the same low brow, hateful arrogance.
As though one person who is an idiot who uses the shoes too fast accounts for anybody who wears them sensibly? EVERYBODY who buys them INEVITABLY ends up with physical problems because there was a settlement? Such terribad logic. Appeal to authority/popularity/guilt by association blah blah conflation claptrap.
Hell, when I started, I was even such an idiot, decided to run a couple of miles in them with no previous buildup. Had the worst calf pain I've ever had for several days afterwards. I could barely walk...but the difference was I knew that was my eagerness making my calves scream with pain, not the shoes, since obviously I could have gone without the shoes (not a traditional pair, but barefoot) and caused even MORE harm. I guess it's just that moron thing i do called... THINKING? Taking responsibility for ignoring the suggestions?
I haven't really ran with them since, mainly because I'm too lazy, but have been walking with them regularly for the past couple years and have lately actually been getting awesome cooling relief sensations on the bottom of my feet, like those old nerves are separating and getting blood flow again. Precisely the same nerves that had went numb when I had to wear combat boots in the military for several years. But it didn't take me until now to see benefits, when I first put them on they just felt better. more feedback / range of motion = better feel. Not to mention better coordination. Sorry? I don't think so. It's called COMMON SENSE. You know, after a long day of work, you just want to kick your shoes off and walk around barefoot? golly i wonder why it feels better? God forbid anybody try to fill that niche with a form-fitting shoe so you can walk like that everywhere besides just on carpet. smh
Trying to exercise hardcore in them is no different than not buying the shoes and wearing no shoes at all (except abraded/punctured soles without the shoes), too much too soon means you're going to pay for it regardless, as was quite open in Vibram's FAQ's/guides and in-store salespeople... but of course these insecure morons who hate and want to crush anything non-traditional, like found at deadspin, think this settlement is a hole in one argument. XD How laughably weak.
To be fair, I did think the shoes looked pretty stupid on me when I got my first pair. They looked so tiny and dainty like I was some kind of ballerina wannabe, and i'm 6'2" 250 lbs. But it was the difference in FEEL of the ground, that I felt much better in them and didn't care about the look of them anymore. I was still apprehensive on how they made me stick out and otherwise didn't look very 'manly'. Now of course I'm used to it. Especially since I actually get more compliments on the shoes than ridicule. I think out of the several dozen who have said something nice, maybe 1 or 2 people have ever raised an eyebrow.
Everyone asks, are they comfortable? I just tell them they look too silly not to be comfortable right?!
And if people are too thick to understand that, they probably think wearing limiting/slightly painful shoes is ok so long as they look good enough. Shouldn't there be some lawsuits over high heels? That crap is absurd.