It’s the age-old question of genuine vs fake, the original vs the copy.
Why should we fork out a few more dollars for a pair of genuine Vibram FiveFingers, when alternative versions can be bought on sites like Amazon and eBay for half the price or less?
In this article, we’ll be exploring the most important differences between original Vibram shoes and cheaper knock-offs.
We’ll start with:
The False Economy of Cheap Vibram Fivefingers and Furoshiki Copies and Replicas
When you buy a pair of Vibrams Fivefingers, you’re buying the hundreds of hours of painstaking work and years of experience that have been poured into each design.
This level of expertise is applied in ensuring every original model works and fits as perfectly as possible.
This means top materials, consistent fitting, durable and an aesthetic that’s been carefully perfected by experts that are filled with knowledge as well as passion.
What’s wrong with buying fake goods?
People who buy knock-offs are ruining the reputation of famous brands, stealing revenue from legit companies, contributing to an unethical labor market and subsidizing organized crime.
When you buy a cheap replica from a someone else, you’re essentially buying someone’s attempt at taking that marvelous design, and then trying to skimp out as much as they can to produce their own version as cheaply as possible.
The same principle can be related to almost any other product. If we think about bin bags for example; when you go to the bin bag shelf in the store, there are expensive versions and other versions that cost half the price. If you’ve ever bought the cheaper bin bags, you’ll know that they hold less, rip easily and can cause you far more trouble.
A lot of the time when you use a cheaper bag that lets you down, you’ll wish you paid that little bit more for the amazing ones that do the job perfectly every time.
Are fake Vibram Fivefingers worth it?
So getting the cheap ones is a false economy, because you end up paying more for them in terms of time, stress, and perhaps even buying the more expensive versions anyway to replace them.
Don’t make this mistake with your Vibrams. You’ll only regret it and wish you bought the real thing!
Your feet are very fragile and need the best care
The vast majority of Vibrams FiveFingers users love them for running or some type of intense outdoor activity.
Counterfeit Fivefingers may look the same, they may be wrapped in pretty much the same packaging, and they may even feel very similar when you first put them on. But as soon as you start running, the signs should become clear very quickly.
Vibrams feel like you’re not wearing anything because a huge amount of research and careful design has gone into ensuring no points within the original shoes cause any amount of friction.
The first thing you’re bound to notice when you put cheap knock-offs to hard work is that they’ll rub in unbearable places.
Authentic Vibrams will last longer and perform impeccably
Check out this image of a replica after one run covering several miles:
As you can see, the rubber elements on the sole of this cheap alternative have worn very quickly, many areas have been disfigured, and the coloring is already starting to change.
Vibram soles won’t degrade anywhere near as swiftly as these have.
The TC1 rubber used on many Vibrams designs is built to endure far more punishment and will maintain its integrity throughout demanding activities.
This degradation of cheap copies leads to two vital consequences:
- The first being aesthetic. If this is how much they degrade after just one run, imagine how different they’ll look after 30 runs. That is if you can endure the pain of running in them that many times.
- The pain is the other consequence.
Deformation means a change in shape and performance, which is bound to lead to rubbing, blistering and cutting.
There’s no way anyone will enjoy running while suffering these injuries and any shoe that causes these problems is utterly counterproductive.
Fake Vibram Fivefingers come with fake customer service
When you buy Vibrams, you can be sure your original pair of FiveFingers are going to arrive perfectly wrapped, straight to your door, and in perfect time!
You have far less of a guarantee of such sublime and consistent service when you buy copies from sites like eBay or other online marketplaces.
The last thing you want is to pay any amount of money to then be disappointed with what turns up if anything arrives at all!
It can be easy to mistake fakes for originals
Take a look at this original Vibrams next to a close replica:
It can be very hard to spot the difference until you have them side by side. This is what fakes feed on. If you see a copy and think it’s close enough to the original to merit a punt, think again because it’s just not worth the risk.
The popular saying is “if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably false.”
Keep this in mind and remember, if you want everything to go exactly to plan and your experience with FiveFingers to be as perfect as it should be, nothing beats ordering original Vibrams models.