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When it comes to achieving an optimum level of health and fitness, the average person seldom wants to put in the discipline and hard work. They look for quick fixes in the form of supplements and gadgets that will help them reach their goals.

For some footwear companies, this is an opportunity to sell consumers on the idea that their sneakers are a gateway to the shortcut they constantly seek. The problem arises when these companies distort the actual benefits of their products, like with the recent class action lawsuit against Vibram FiveFingers.

The Huffington Post recently looked at this trend in running, and why it's all a pipe dream.

Vibram, the maker of the infamous barefoot trainer, settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit earlier this month that alleged the company of making false claims about the benefits of the sneaker.

Vibram isn't the first footwear company to come under heavy criticism from consumers questioning the true benefits of its products. Reebok's EasyTone and Skechers' Shape-ups also resulted in the two companies settling lawsuits around the sneakers' baseless claims.

While these recent events provide a cautionary tale, there's a pyschology around it that some consumers will never be able to outrun.

“The whole sports category is both aspirational and inspirational,” SportsOneSource sneaker analyst Matt Powell told The Huffington Post. “It’s intended for people to think their game is better—whether it's running or golf or whatever—if they just get this new kind of equipment.”

[via The Huffington Post]