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Customer sues Adidas over barefoot running shoe

Plaintiffs says shoemaker misrepresented potential fitness benefits

Shoemakers better start paying attention to the accuracy of the claims they make about their shoes because consumers are taking them very seriously.

Yesterday, a New York man filed suit against Adidas, claiming the company’s “barefoot” running shoe isn’t doing what Adidas said it would. This is the second case in about a month involving false advertising claims over athletic shoes. In May, Skechers settled a suit with the Federal Trade Commission, 44 states and Washington, D.C., over claims about the health benefits of its toning shoes.  

In his suit, Joseph Rocco said he paid $90 for a pair of adiPure shoes, which are designed to mimic barefoot running, that he claims Adidas said in its ads would increase training efficiency and decrease risk of injury. The shoe did neither, the suit said. In fact, according to Rocco, the shoe actually increased the risk of bruising and foot damage because it is designed with less padding and deviates in other ways from the traditional running shoe.

Rocco—who suffered compound fractures after training in the shoes—seeks class action status, claiming Adidas never warned him and other runners of this increased risk of injury.

Although this is the first suit filed against Adidas over its barefoot running shoe, the maker of similar running shoe was sued for similar reasons in a class action filed in March.

This suit is only the latest in Adidas’ most recent legal woes. Last month, the company sued a rival shoemaker over a design similar to Adidas’ three parallel lines. 

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Cathleen Flahardy

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