Adidas Sued for Barefoot Running Claims

Adidas can now join Vibram as another toe shoe manufacturer being sued for barefoot-related marketing claims.

Reuters reports plaintiff Joseph Rocco believes he was “duped” into buying his $90 pair of Adidas Adipure Trainers (reviewed here) based on…

Adidas can now join Vibram as another toe shoe manufacturer being sued for barefoot-related marketing claims.

Reuters reports plaintiff Joseph Rocco believes he was “duped” into buying his $90 pair of Adidas Adipure Trainers (reviewed here) based on claims the Adipures would “increase training efficiency” and decrease “risk of injury.”

What happened to Rocco? Seems he suffered compound fractures after training in the toe shoes. Yes, you read that right — not stress fractures but compound fractures (where the bone sticks through the skin).

Anyone ever had that happen to them in FiveFingers, Skele-Toes, or other minimalist shoes? If it’s happened to you, would you blame the shoes?

I really, really want to know just how Rocco managed to get a compound fracture while wearing Adipures. Furthermore, I want to know just how his reliance on Adidas’ marketing claims (or lack of warnings) directly caused that fracture. How hard must you be running in a pair of minimalist shoes for this to happen to your foot? Would a wedge of foam prevent a fracture if you’re running this hard? Oh the questions this case begs …

You’ll recall that Vibram is being sued in class action lawsuit over barefoot running claims and the FTC laid the smackdown on Skechers over Shape-Ups claims. Where does individual responsibility come to bear on these sorts of cases? Is this just another example of the U.S. legal system gone awry?

Questions and more questions. Anyone care to opine?

Source: Reuters

By Justin

Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad of three, working from Atlanta. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.

15 replies on “Adidas Sued for Barefoot Running Claims”

Individual responsibility? Surely you jest. Sadly, that noble virtue has gone the way of the dodo bird in today’s society, where suing the deep pockets is lauded and accepting responsibility for your own (foolish) actions is frowned upon.

‘Reducing the risk’ doesn’t mean you won’t get hurt. Next time I get a compound fracture I’m going to sue the company that made the pants I was wearing.

Just the pants? How about the whole outfit? What about your headphones? … or the artist performing the song you were listening to at the time?

“That music got me into a zone and I totally didn’t realize I was in pain until I saw the bones poking through my shoes!”

wow…how do you…

compound fractures????
WTF was that guy doing!?

you don’t get compound fractures from just…walking, or lifting in those things…

did he crush his foot underneath an obviously way too effing heaving object for any shoe to protect him?

wow…i feel smarter

yes saddened that he’s trying to sue and won’t win

This is typical American BS (I’m an American). Like the idiot that sued the fast food joint for burning them selves because they didn’t know the coffee they purchased was HOT!
soon warning labels are going to say everything that can possibly happen to a person using the product. I hope this man gets nothing and is forced to pay for Adidas’s court fees.

There has to be a better way to keep companies and their advertising companies in check about claims, then waiting for someone to sue them. We also have forgotten the common sense and practicality of a product and what it can do. We have forgotten the saying, “If it is too good to be true, then it probably is.” We are a world of “suckers” at least that is how the advertisers see us. (IMHO).

Caveat emptor is Latin for “Let the buyer beware.”

I agree wholeheartedly that manufacturers cannot make false claims about the benefits their products offer, however there is a level of personal responsibility at hand here too. I highly doubt Adidas claimed that the Adipure trainer would make him Superman! If he sustained a compound fracture of any sort, there is NO WAY it is footwear related. That would have happened anyway, regardless of his footwear choice, if he was choosing to engage in risky or dangerous behaviors/activities. I actually think the severity of the injury will help Adidas’s defense, as it is very unrealistic to think that any footwear will make you impervious to compound fractures. I do not think this guy stands a chance at winning based on his injuries, but if his legal team can pick apart the ad campaign Adidas used to market these shoes and find fault in it, he might get a settlement out of the deal, which let’s face it, is all he is after to begin with.

I used to like the saying “I am just waiting for my ship to come in.”, but these days a more apt saying would be “I am just waiting until I figure out who I can sue.”

Wow this is sad. How hard is it for people to own up to their own mistakes? In today’s day in age why don’t people research a product before making a purchase? And how the heck do you get a compound fracture from running, walking, lifting, or whatever in a pair of shoes?

All I am thinking is that a person takes up barefoot running (no shoes totally natural) and injure themselves. Then try to sue the Church cause they represent god and he obviously made an error in the design of our feet cause they got hurt.

Seriously though use your brain and research. There is little to no excuse in teh digital age for people to not be informed. Cause more often then not complaints I read in reveiws are of people who did not research about minimalist shoes and just got at like they did in thier old shoes. If you go to the gym for the first time and try to bench press your body weight you are going to do serious damage. THINK!!!!! Quite blaming people cause you are a moron.

I was brought up with morals and values, to be responsible for myself and respect others. Even if I’m the minority I will live this way forever and continue to teach the same to my son. I have everything I have because I worked for it and earned it, I didn’t extort it from a company or individual.

@ Justin, I was just going to make the same comment about the hot coffee. I also like the “American” comment and agree there as well (I’m an American too, LOL).

– James, lovin’ my VFF’s even if I can’t swing from building to building in them like spiderman or run an obstacle course like the latest round of American Ninja Warriors, LOL.

Almost makes you wonder if other orgs/companies are at play here. Discredit the threat to protect your business. “I make running shoes and this is hurting my business, the entry into minimalist footwear is too costly and/or difficult… So, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, if you can’t join ’em… make ’em look bad.”

I also wonder if this guy can prove definitively that had he been wearing any other type of shoe a similar injury would not have happened. My guess is no.

BTW, I agree with all statements about lack of personal accountability and the fact that we are litigious society.

Old news, but I actually really liked the first generation Adipure trainers. The rounded outsoles are actually a nice touch, in line with the Feet You Wear designs of the late 90’s that were a distant precursor of modern barefoot shoes. I’d love to see Adidas make retro releases, but between the threat of lawsuits and the lack of profit motive it will probably never happen. I’ve resorted to buying a couple pairs of Adipure trainers from Ebay since they aren’t made anymore.

Anyone know what happened to Joseph Rocco? I hope he got exposed and publicly humiliated for this stunt.

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