One of my coworkers has become a FiveFingers convert. He used to run but knee and gait issues caused him to stop. FiveFingers, he realized, allowed him to run again. He is in training for a triathlon this fall. His runs are short – two to three miles.
FiveFingers are all the rage. Many runners are buying them. Non-runners read Born to Run and decide to by a pair of Vibram FiveFingers (VFFs). Many do not understand the basic tenets of barefoot running and become injured. Others preserve and love the unique footwear.
This sudden surge in popularity has led to a host of fake FiveFinger being sold on the Internet. The only surefire way to protect yourself from fakes is to be informed.
Vibram has the image (shown here) on their VibramFiveFingers.com website homepage. It opens an alert to inform readers about issues with fake FiveFingers. In part, it says, “We want to inform you about our efforts to fight the sale of counterfeit merchandise, a serious menace that has recently surfaced after the success of our authentically unique Vibram FiveFingers. Fake merchandise and trademarks appear daily in the market, often sold from unauthorized or fraudulent Vibram or FiveFingers websites.
Please refer to this website to:
◦ Find the list of authorized Vibram FiveFingers retailers and distributors:
◦ Verify our phone number, address, and contact information; many counterfeit sites won’t provide this information.
◦ Verify the stock list of colors and styles we produce.”
I love this ad that Vibram uses to enforce their brand.
If you have questions or concerns about suspicious websites, on-line discounted sales, or counterfeits of Vibram designs please contact Vibram at www.vibramfivefingers.com/info/contact
A great website to bookmark as a favorite is http://www.BirthdayShoes.com. This huge website does a fantastic job of informing readers of what’s new with VFFs. Their website says,
“ALERT! As many as half of the search results on Google for [Vibram Five Fingers] are fake five fingers retailers and MANY fake five fingers retailers are utilizing Google Ads to hock their counterfeit wares!
“All authentic Vibram Five Fingers are going to have the Vibram yellow octagon stamp on their sole. Additionally, any “Vibram” branding should be yellow (and not white or blue or some other color).
The site adds, “The BirthdayShoes Store lists out many (but not all) online retailers of Vibram Five Fingers. Realize that in the United States retailers are only allowed to sell Vibram Five Fingers online if they have a brick and mortar store. Ever wondered why VFFs weren’t on Zappos? It’s because of this policy. To my knowledge, there are no brick and mortar stores that exclusively sell Vibram Five Fingers! By extension, there should be no online retailers who only sell Vibram Five Fingers and no other products – except for VibramFiveFingers.com, of course!
“If you’re on a website that is selling Vibram Five Fingers to U.S. buyers, look for a physical address. If the site indicates it will be shipping you the product from some place around the world, raise an eyebrow! If said online retailer appears to be only selling Five Fingers (and no other products), this is a red flag!
“Many of these fakes are making it onto eBay. Reality is that no legitimate retailer of VFFs is allowed to sell Five Fingers on eBay! So apart from one-off eBayers trying to unload a single pair here and there, be very suspicious of eBayer resellers who are selling VFFs!”
BirthdayShoes.com even maintains a list of known fake Five Fingers retailers – and the list keeps growing.