If you are thinking about purchaseing some Vibram Five Fingers, beware for counterfeiters. If the price seems too cheap then that quality probably is as well.
The Vibram S.p.A, the manufacturer of the Five Finger shoe, has been making footwear using a thin outer shell and their patented rubber sole, which many long distance runners describe as a second skin. Over the years the shoes have been redesigned with many improvements which helped bring international attention to the company most recently by articles in the New York Times and the designer magazine ELLE, of Milano, Italy March 2010 edition.
The Vibram five finger shoes were developed with a design concept based on stimulating the muscles in your lower legs and feet by using their specially created rubber sole allowing for better traction that improves your agility and balance.
The concept of the rubber sole was first created by the founder of Vibram, Vitale Bramani due to the tragic deaths of six friends of Bramani’s who died in the Italian Alps in 1935 while mountaineering. One of the causes of the accident was blamed on inadequate footwear. From this tragedy Bramani is credited with inventing the first rubber soles for shoes in 1937.
These specially designed soles, first used on mountaineering boots, had abrasion resistant surfaces and were made with vulcanized rubber which was the best quality rubber at the time.
Although the Vibram Five finger shoes with special rubber soles are probably still best known in the outdoor sports community, they have evolved over the years into a variety of shoe models used by over one thousand shoe manufacturers in the United States, Brazil, Italy and China who design shoes for the military, law enforcement, industrial workers, rescue workers as well as being used in the fashion world in designer shoes.
Unfortunately as the interest by consumers in purchasing the Vibram Five Finger running shoe has increased so has the attention of the counterfeiters who what to profit from another companies work. These counterfeiters have been making copies of the popular shoe and charging significantly less than Vibram’s authentic version causing customers who unwittingly purchased the counterfeit shoe to be dissatisfied.
Investigators are now following leads in China in an attempt to locate the counterfeiters. To their credit Vibram’s has been working with the victims of the fraud who unwittingly purchased the fake shoes and offered discounts for purchasing an authentic pair of Vibram five finger shoes.