'Five fingered' shoes cause problems for Knoxville runner

'Five fingered' shoes cause problems for Knoxville runner; how to take part in class action suit

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Jeff McPherson gave these barefoot running shoes a try for nine months. As clinic director for Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics, he was careful to follow instructions on shoemaker Vibram FiveFingers' website. Jeff McPherson gave these barefoot running shoes a try for nine months. As clinic director for Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics, he was careful to follow instructions on shoemaker Vibram FiveFingers' website.
"The more I did it, it didn't feel right," said Jeff McPherson. "The more I did it, it didn't feel right," said Jeff McPherson.
"I see a lot of plantar fasciitis is probably what I've seen with those shoes, in the patients I've seen, and the surprising thing is that's one of the things it's supposed to help with," said Dr. Tracy Pesut. "I see a lot of plantar fasciitis is probably what I've seen with those shoes, in the patients I've seen, and the surprising thing is that's one of the things it's supposed to help with," said Dr. Tracy Pesut.
By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - You've probably heard about the class action lawsuit over unusual running shoes that look more like gloves for your feet. They're called FiveFingers shoes, and you have until September to make a claim if you've worn them and had problems.

Jeff McPherson gave these barefoot running shoes a try for nine months. As clinic director for Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics, he was careful to follow instructions on shoemaker Vibram FiveFingers' website.

It says to "listen to your feet," take it slow, and "stop if your arches or top of foot hurt." Despite following those instructions, McPherson says he still had problems.

"The more I did it, it didn't feel right," said McPherson.

Dr. Tracy Pesut of TOC isn't surprised by the class action lawsuits, three in all, that claim the company falsely advertised the potential health and fitness benefits of the footwear. She has treated patients for problems resulting from the shoes.

"I see a lot of plantar fasciitis is probably what I've seen with those shoes, in the patients I've seen, and the surprising thing is that's one of the things it's supposed to help with," said Dr. Pesut.

She says if you want to transition to this shoe from a typical running shoe, you must change the way you run.

"The problem is people use those shoes inappropriately. Just like training for anything, it's like starting from scratch, because if you're a heel striker  and you're used to running in normal shoes, you make the transition to the barefoot running or the minimalist shoe, then you've got to totally change the way you run," she said.

McPherson says he's through with the FiveFingers shoes.

"I went back to tennis shoes, and the pain went away in almost two weeks," he said.

You may be eligible for just under $100 if you purchased those shoes and didn't like them.

More online: Vibram FiveFingers Class Action

Click the above link to learn more about the lawsuits and if you qualify.
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