Running Barefoot Is Falling Out of Fashion

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — There may be nothing like going barefoot but runners are increasingly finding out that it may not be the best option for them.

At the turn of this century, companies that specialized in so-called minimalist footwear saw their business boom with companies like Adidas, New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. and Fila all getting into the act.

However, runners who went barefoot or at least wore footwear to capture that experience soon discovered that claims on how this style of working out caused fewer injuries didn’t really pan out.

Barefoot running didn’t really do much to relieve shin splits or knee pain and instead, runners wound up with more blisters and calf injuries.

Sales of minimalist footwear have tailed off and Vibram, maker of FiveFinger shoes, wound up getting sued because its claims of injury prevention and muscle strengthening turned out to be overblown. Now, the company is paying $94 for every FiveFinger pair sold to settle a class action suit.

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