BirthdayShoes.com Vibram Five Fingers Forum
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Author Topic: Severly disappointed in Vibram Fivefingers  (Read 3057 times)
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4meterburst
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« on: July 18, 2011, 02:23:23 PM »

Its with great regret that i post this, as I'm a huge fan of the fivefingers lifestyle.  I recently ordered my 3rd pair, and having never paid attention to them before, I read a label inside the shoe clear as day that says "Made in China".  I thought this couldnt be; did I just get a fake pair from an authorized retailer?  I called Vibram direct and was shocked to learn that their headquarters is in the good ole' USA, but their products are all manufactured in CHINA.  Of all friggin places; China.  Yes, Im a fan of the footwear. but im a bigger fan of things NOT made in CHINA.  To me, all this is saying that Vibram is manufacturing their products at dirt cheap prices and passing on the savings to NOBODY.  All while not helping our economy.  So, all this being said; these will be the last pair of fivefingers that I ever purchase until they caome with a different "Made in.." label.  I dont care if theyre made in Kazikstan; Id much rather there than China.  Truely a disappointing revelation.  Anyone else feel this way or am I the only one?
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« on: July 18, 2011, 02:23:23 PM »

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dirkverelst
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 02:31:36 PM »

Wake up, it's not up to Vibram to change the world economy or even put idealism before making shoes people want to wear. If you want to ban everything from your life that is 'made in China' you're in for a tough ride I think.
no offense, but I think you are overreacting.
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azure
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 03:11:10 PM »

That is pretty disappointing to me too, considering how much they charge for a pair of VFFs. But a business is a business, I suppose.
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Rick
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 03:31:14 PM »

LOL! Vibram is an Italian company too! They might have a USA HQ, but the home company is Italiano my friend. So, youse guys better keep buying them at any price or they will have to make you an offer you can't refuse.

Cool brochure too:

http://www.vibram.com/brochure2009/

« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 03:37:22 PM by Rick » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 03:31:14 PM »

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Zephyr
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 04:07:41 PM »

Not only low-quality articles are made in China my Apple laptop was also made there and has lasted 5 years.

On the other hand, manufacturing in China is perfectly avoidable. Many New Balance running shoe models are MADE IN ENGLAND, they're of good quality in materials and manufacture, and sold in large batches at competitive prices!
So if it was a serious Vibram's will they could produce in Europe or the US and make benefits.
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Bango Skank
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 05:01:50 PM »

Welcome to the global market.
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Mr. Leigh
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2011, 05:47:27 PM »

Although I do not share your dismay for any and all things "Made in China", I do think that by using a cheap labor force to create their products, Vibram has sort of brought on their counterfieting issues themselves.  Not to say they would not be copied if they were made elsewhere, just saying that by being over there they have delivered the shoes to them on a silver platter.  As Justin has often said, a lot of the fakes we see may actually be "third shift" shoes made directly at the Vibram plant.  I shutter to think what a pair of VFFs would cost if they were made in the USA.  As others have said, it is a global market and China is where the cheap labor is at.
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Zephyr
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 06:45:46 PM »

You only have 1 post so you might just be trying to....but...you might want to do a bit of simple research...

Did you know Vibram is ITALIAN??
Did you know Vibram soles are manufactured in Brazil, China, Italy and the United States .*

You DO  understand most of what you use and purchase daily (computers, clothing, etc.) are made in China (and dozens of other contries), right?
How did you make this forum's post ...oh yeah, a computer where majority of parts are from China. Grin


*Wikipedia


In fact, possibly the only real measure that consumers have to prevent this is avoiding purchasing stuff made in China when there's an alternative (in this case I give you a couple Vivobarefoot shoes are made in the UK and Soft Star in the US). Another question is whether there's a real ethic/moral concern to avoid products made in China. The idea that you're not helping your national economy is weak, over-simplistic and inaccurate.

The labourer abuse is instead in my opinion a stronger objection, however, there're many other countries in which workers suffer worse laboral conditions. Some companies that have move the manufacturing to China are committed to care for the conditions of their laborers or of those from those local manufacturers they've hired the manufacturing of their products (I'm thinking about Foxconn). BTW, in that respect Vibram isn't transparent. Have any of you heard from the conditions of the workers who are making VFFs?

There's still a major concern related in some extent with the previous one: the political conditions in China, the constant violation of human rights, lack of freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of information (including preventing the access to websites critical with the Chinese government, BTW, censure made possible thanks to Microsoft's technical assistance), right of association and other political rights, the arbitrary and generalized use of the capital punishment, just check this out:

China carries out far more executions than all of the rest of the world combined, and is notable as the only country in the world that regularly executes thousands of people every year.[94] On 25 Feb 2011 China's newly revised Criminal Law reduced the number of crimes punishable by death by 13 to 55.[95] Among these are embezzlement; rape of children; fraud; bombing; people trafficking; piracy; rape; corruption; arson; murder; poaching; endangerment of national security; terrorism[96] (see Capital punishment in the People's Republic of China)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_capital_punishment_by_nation#Asia-Pacific

or this:

Officially not released.[51][52] In the thousands,[49] may be up to 5000.[53]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_sentence#Global_distribution

By the confirmed numbers, the rate of executions in China is higher than the United States and Pakistan, though Iran executes more prisoners per capita. The Dui Hua Foundation declares that the true figures were higher; they estimate that China executed between 5,000 and 6,000 people in 2007, down from 10,000 in 2005.[1]
The exact numbers of people executed in China is classified as a state secret; occasionally death penalty cases are posted publicly by the judiciary, as in certain high-profile cases. One such example was the execution of former State Food and Drug Administration director Zheng Xiaoyu, which was confirmed by both state television and the official Xinhua News Agency.[8] Other media, such as Internet message boards, have become outlets for confirming death penalty cases usually after a sentence has been carried out.
In 2009, Amnesty International estimated 1718 executions took place during 2008 (which equates to 0.0001%, or 1 in 1,000,000 of the Chinese population[9]), based on all information available. Amnesty International claimed that the figure was likely to be much higher.[10] Amnesty international made an estimation of the Chinese execution rate and then indicated their estimation was likely inaccurate.
Pressure placed on local and regional bureaucracies under the auspices of the "strike hard" (严打) campaigns has led to the streamlining of capital cases; cases are investigated, cases and appeals are heard, and sentences carried out at rates much more rapid than in other states.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China

Some of those crimes are perfectly suited to be applied arbitrarily against annoying political dissidents to the totalitarian regimen.
In my opinion those are more than justified reason to boycot products made in China in order to:

2) prevent/minimize the strengthening of the Chinese regimen, take into account that the Chinese government is owner/co-owner of the infraestructural (and human) capital placed in Chinese territory.
1) push for political/social reforms.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 07:51:47 PM by Zephyr » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 07:25:12 PM »

Dude, wake up and smell the poo-poo platter!  You can have anything you want...as long as it's made in China...for 85% of what's ever made, like shoes.  Have you ever looked at where Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and most other footwear are made...China.  If not China Thailand, Indonesia...where else are these footwear, clothe wear companies going to get cheap prices made and charge a cool C note for a product that was made pennies on the dollar???  Not the U.S....which I too would purchase from the U.S., but that $100 pair of VFF's would cost you $200+. 

As much as I hate to pay for something made overseas it's the way of the world...now.  When I was big with golf, I had a hard time paying for a $400 driver that the driver head was made in Mexico, the shaft in China, the grip in China...all assembled in the U.S.

Things have changed so much through the years that QC has gotten better from "made in China" or for that matter "made in ...." you fill in the blank of country of origin.  I remember when buying something w/ a made in Japan was not good quality, now look; you can't even come close to touching something made in Japan, it's expensive.  Take fishing gear especially fishing reels and rods, the ones made in Japan are expensive.  Even Japanese companies are outsourcing their stuff to be made cheaper in cost...quailty...that's to each his/her own to decide.

My 2 yen or cents worth...Ghost has left the building
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2011, 09:56:08 PM »

Having everything made in the USA is easy:  Get rid of the minimum wage.








I don't think that it's worth it.

And a very good point was made above about good quality products also coming from China, in addition to the cheap crap.  Not only is labor cheaper there, but the people are more willing to work hard, as opposed to the self-entitled, fat, lazy snobs that the vast majority of this country is made up of these days.

</counter-rant>
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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2011, 07:07:39 PM »

Whats wrong with china? We are all human. You're a racist.
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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2011, 08:49:28 PM »

Whats wrong with china? We are all human. You're a racist.

Perhaps he doesn't want to feed a criminal dictatorship?
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2011, 03:20:17 AM »

Whats wrong with china?

Well it is a legitimate rant. Vibram is cleverly marketing their products as a top quality minimalist shoe for a specialist market (in that it makes you feel special when you have a pair), higher than that of Nike or Adidas etc. And yet they have decided to 'follow the heard' and head to Dictatorship Central and have them made for pennies.

Its like these silly Fairtrade products like coffee beans. The farmer used to take only 3-4 pence per 1 pound made. Now 'fairtrade' gives them 12 pence. Awww thats so generous of you. Wake up and smell the aromas, they will never change until they are forced to change.

I felt EXACTLY the same as you when i read 'Made in China' and thought i had got ripped off. 'Made in Italy' would show Vibram in a much brighter light in many ways. BUT, it wont ever happen.

Put it this way, if someone offered you £10 or £100, what would you take? Well, frankly speaking, i will take the £100 and let them keep working until the world is ready to realize what needs to be done, not just me.
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2011, 11:21:11 AM »

Found on another forum, but applicable here...

Of the following products which ones are predominately Made in the USA and which ones are not? Take you guesses, then scroll down to see the facts.

Barbie Dolls
Louisville Slugger Bats
Rawlings Baseballs
Victor Brand Moustraps
Hot Wheels
Harley Davidson
Etch-A-Sketch
Wilson Footballs
NBA Uniforms
Slinky
Radio Flyer Wagons
Steinway & Sons Pianos
Televisions
Fiesta Ware
Cell Phones
American Flags

Surprise!

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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2011, 11:49:18 AM »

Not exactly a sweatshop:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703775704576161443597255686.html

Quote from: Wall Street Journal
Tucked between drab industrial estates in the south of China, a lone patch of lawn stands out in front of the Vibram Technological Center. But inside the 12,000-square-meter building, technicians are working on glove-like running shoes they hope will gain traction in China and protect the wearer's feet no matter what the ground surface.

One of the tests involves romping around in a pit of mud before climbing one of the many surfaces on ramps and hydraulic lifts, in order to determine a sole's self-cleaning properties.

The minimalist shoes have a compartment for each toe and a sole that averages about 3.5 millimeters thick, much thinner than that of a conventional running shoe. Technicians at Vibram SpA—a 70-year-old Italian-owned firm that primarily makes soles for other shoe manufacturers including Timberland Co. and North Face as well as the U.S. military and Prada—test shoes in an ice room that chills them to sub-zero conditions; on skid pans that can be covered in liquids or electrified; in pits of mud that test the soles' self-cleaning properties; and on a series of ramps made from tile, stone, wood and metal that zig-zag from the floor to the roof. Along one wall, other ramps on hydraulics can be raised and lowered to test a sole's grip.

The firm has even tested the shoes against heated rocks at the request of a fire department that wanted to know how they held up in intense heat.

"It's a Disney World for shoes," says Tom Mendl, the company's sales and marketing director.


I personally would like to see them forged in the fires of Mt. Doom.
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