Fake Vibram Five Fingers – Buyers Beware!

fake vibram five fingers showing up in the marketAnytime something is successful chances are there will be copycats following quickly behind. With Vibram Five Fingers the case is no different. Not only are other companies copying their trademarked style, but many of these companies (which happen to be Chinese in origin) are just outright pretending to be the Vibram! They are making their own fake versions; putting Vibram’s logos on them, using the same shoe names, and flooding the market with their Vibram FakeFinger shoes. That’s gutsy!

The problem is big enough that when you go to Vibram Five Fingers homepage that you are greeted with this warning letter.

Fake vibram fivefinger shoes are flooding the market.  Vibram wrote this letter to address the fake problem

If that is too small to read I’ll transcribe the main parts below:

To All Consumers,

We want to inform you about our efforts to fight the sale of counterfeit merchandise, a serious meance 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.

Purchasing only authentic Vibram FiveFingers ensures that you avoid wasting your money on poor quality product, or worse, having your personal and financial information compromised. In addition, insisting on authentic Vibram FiveFingers supports fair labor and ethical business practices, responsibilities counterfeiters flagrantly ignore.

If you have questions or concerns about suspicious websites, on-line discounted sales, or counterfeits of Vibram designs please contact us at www.vibramfivefingers.com/info/contact or info@vibramfivefingers.it

So there you have it.   The problem has become big enough that Vibram has decided to address it head on.  What are some ways you can prevent being duped from purchasing fake Vibram FiveFingers?  Below are some tips:

  • Check out the official list of Vibram FiveFinger retailers
  • See if you can find a phone number, address, or any other contact info for the site selling FiveFingers (or possible FakeFingers)…most counterfeit sites won’t post any kind of contact info
  • Check and see if the colors/styles are what are listed on the FiveFingers website.  Often the fakers will offer shoes with colors that don’t exist
  • Look at the price of the shoes.  Most fake shoe makers are selling FiveFingers for more than 50% off the retail price.  So if you see a pair of FiveFingers for $50 as opposed to $100 warning bells should go off. The old adage of “if it sounds too good to be true…than it probably isn’t” applies here…

Crunchgear has a compiled a list of confirmed online stores that are selling the fake versions of Vibram’s shoes.  If you are looking to avoid being scammed into buying a fake version of FiveFingers you probably should avoid these stores.

Fake Vibram FiveFingers Websites and Stores

vibramfivesfingers.com (Note the “S”)

If you guys know of anymore let us know and we’ll add it to this list.

We are curious to know however, if anyone has bought a pair of these fake FiveFinger shoes. If you have let us know in the comments how they are and what your experience was like. My experience with fake Chinese goods is that while it is much cheaper than the original the quality is sorely lacking. Case in point. Check out my “Burberry” wallet.
Well, you’ve been warned.

12 thoughts on “Fake Vibram Five Fingers – Buyers Beware!”

  1. I bought a pair from China. Through Aliexpress.com (part of alibaba.com)the website is meant to connect China to the world but the sellers are the same people who are also on the above sites. I bought 2 pairs and they were delivered in about 10 days to India. I paid via CC.It cost me $110 for 2 pairs and free shipping.

    But just like in the case of your wallet, my VFF KSO has also developed a small tear after only 3-4 days of use.

    I truly believe that one pays for quality.

    I wouldn’t advice anyone to buy these shoes.

  2. My coworker ordered a fake pair and he insisted that they were real until I showed him that the color he ordered didn’t actually exist through Vibram… And once he got them (which took about three weeks) the sole part on the big toe came unglued after two days of wearing them, so then he ended up going to City Sports and buying a real pair. Overall it ended up costing him a lot more than it would have if he just bought the real ones in the first place. I don’t know why if you really like the idea of the shoes, you wouldn’t just pay for the real things in the first place and support Vibram, not the knock off companies…

  3. I’m surprised that these fakes are of such low quality. Usually these “pirates” just run an extra shift or two on the production line and ship the un-accounted for product of a different doc.

    This is what happens when you offshore your production to a country with no respect for “foreign” laws or property rights.

  4. I just bought a pair of these and did not know why were fake until I told some people about them and they said that 65 for an 85 dollar pair sounded too good, so after doing research I found that they were in fact fake. I looked at the stitching and you could tell they were poorly made. I was able to return them and got my money back.

  5. I too ordered a pair of fakes without thinking that there were counterfeit companies out there selling these things. I became suspicious AFTER I ordered from newfivefingers.com, and noticed that they had an msn, gmail, hotmail, and skype account for their “Contact” information. I became a little uneasy so I just called Vibram, whom confirmed my fears and emailed me a list of official distributors. Oh well, just got the fakes in the mail today. I honestly would not know that these were fakes….if they didn’t come in a very small cardboard box….yeah. I certainly was expecting an actual box or packaging system. Anyways they are the right size and color…black kso’s. They came with the sprint tag attached… I honestly laughed for about ten minutes as to how dumb I am for buying something like this from a less than credible website. I would send them back but I really don’t want to get totally burned here, I guess I’m not as brave as James. I have an official pair arriving in a couple days. I’ll probably just keep the fakes and wear them until they blow out or fall apart, then switch to the real pair. I’ll try to remember to do a follow up on here in a few weeks and let you all know how the fakes I purchased are holding up….

    • sucks to hear about the fakes, hopefully you can use them for something, post up some pictures if you get a chance, I’d like to see how fake they look.

  6. So, the final verdict….
    drum roll please!

    There is virtually no difference, in these shoes(95% the same). That is if you consider the rubber sole to be made of godlike material or something, you may have a different opinion.
    There are subtle differences that are comment worthy, however.
    The most notable is the rubber material. It’s different, not in a bad way, but it’s not the same. The real ones are more pliable, the fakes not as much. The fakes are seemingly generic in quality, but nonetheless just as functional. No serious damages from running roughly 20 miles in them, so far anyways. I honestly think that one might benefit from using either one without regrets, aside from warranty/customer service …etc. I will however say this, don’t do what I did and pay $73 for the fakes. From what I understand you can get them for around 40 bucks elsewhere.
    Moral of the story. If you’re cheap buy fakes(for $40 bucks or less), or just fork out the extra cash and get the real deal for and feel a little better about your purchase.
    Sorry, no pics. I would suggest youtube, as you’ll probably get a far better view as to how they look.

  7. Hi, I bought fakes for $35 on ebay and they are wonderful. My friend’s expensive real fivefingers developed a tear on both big toes. Mine on the other hand are great ! I even stretched the second finger of my shoes cuz its my biggest. I stretched it by putting the shoe directly on the fire of a candle and pulling with pliers. They are still brand new after 7+ months of running ! The only problem with Fake Vibrams is that they are not available on ebay anymore !!! I should have bought 5-8 pairs more to have color variety and so I can use some while the others are drying (from placing them in the washer).

  8. I was not aware of all this & ordered a pair from fivefingersclearance.com for $79.90. They charged a bit more like $3 extra, and when I realized that the charge was from China I became suspicious & became aware of the problem of fakes. I tried to cancel the order to no avail & seems to be at NY customs now — I tried to see if I can contact a fraud unit there or at USPS but have failed to find any contact em/phone. This was my last exchange with the vendor:

    On May 21, 2011, at 5:49, anna molly wrote:

    Dear Eduardo xxx,

    We are so sorry for delay because of our company anniversary celebration.

    We have shipped out your order on May 19.

    Here is your tracking number: xxx

    Tracking site: http://www.usps.com/shipping/trackandconfirm.htm?form=global

    Sorry again for the inconvenience.

    Best Wishes to you and your family.

    Customer service

    2011/5/20 xxx
    From: xxx
    Email: xxx@gmail.com


    Please, as instructed by my previous emails:




    Office Use Only:
    From: xxx
    Email: xxx@gmail.com
    Login Name: Exxx
    Login Email: xxx@gmail.com
    IP Address: –
    Date and Time: Fri May 20 2011 13:20:40 CEST


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