Archives for April, 2012

Rocker sole shoes improved symptoms of intermittent claudication

Intermittent claudication is the name given to the symptoms that occur, usually in the calf muscle, in those with poor circulation. It occurs after walking a set distance because the oxygen supply to the muscle cannot meet the muscles’ needs. This pilot study from researchers at the University of Salford in the United Kingdom and published in the Journal of Vascular Nursing looked at the use of a rocker sole shoe which mimics the action of toning shoes in a group of people with intermittent claudication. The participants were given two therapeutic shoes that were identical, except that one had a specific three-curve rocker sole. Participants then did walking trials to determine the distance until the claudication pain occurred and the intensity of the pain. They found that while wearing the rocker sole shoes, the distance until claudication increased and the intensity of the claudication pain was less.

This study is promising. It was only in eight people and was only done in one session. It is not known if the benefits demonstrated would be apparent after a longer period if adaptation to the rocker soles shoes was allowed to occur.

Link to study

Vibram Five Fingers Class Action Suit

Not exactly a toning shoes issue, but Vibram Five Fingers have had a class action suit filed against them that has all the hallmarks of the Reebok settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and the class action cases filed against Skechers. Vibram Five Fingers are a minimalist running shoe offering no support or cushioning. They are very popular with the barefoot and minimalist runners. The suit alleges that the health gains promised by wearing the shoes did not eventuate. Vibram have issued a statement denying the claims and stating they will vigorously defend them

Link to the suit.
Runners World’s legal analysis of the suit.
There has been a lot of online discussion and debate about the merits of the case (eg see: Vibram Five Fingers facing class action over health claims).

There is a good analysis of the more recent unsuccessful attempt attempt by Vibram to get the case dismissed here.