Ever since my husband bought me my first pair of beloved VFFs I wondered if they were the real deal, that is, made by Vibram. The packaging and insert company info all seemed to add to the VFF's legitimacy. But, after today I am certain that my first generation VFFs are indeed counterfeit.
After a couple of runs through the hard rock salt on the city`s sidewalks I decided a few weeks ago to check out my VFF`s condition. I found a small hole starting on one toe where fabric covered the side, and a second hole on my right big toe. The second hole went all the way through the material and small insulation barrier material, so no wonder my toes were getting extra cold on that foot!
So, after lamenting the sorry state of my shoes to my husband he surprised me yesterday by offering to swing by a store today to look at buying a new pair of VFFs. Yay! Not only would my toes benefit, but I would finally find out if my VFFs were real or fake.
The stock and selection of the Trail Shop on Quinpool isn`t huge, but they did manage to have my size and the model I was looking for. The salesguy was pretty knowledgeable and a good help. Right away I noted that suddenly I needed VFFs two sizes larer than my first gen pair. Then I noticed how muted the color was on this legit pair of VFFs, and the straps were a bit smaller. Once I got them home I compared the two more closely. My first gen pair was wider, brighter in color and had missing stitching that the second pair did have. Yup, my first pair of VFFs, the ones I`ve worn through the past 7 months were a fraud.
But hey, I got 7 months out of these VFFs, they made me love running again and made it fun, yes FUN to do. My feet have gotten stronger and thinner and I want to run more now than ever before. So does wearing VFFs that were likely made in a Chinese warehouse change any of that- Nope. But now I`m curious how my new pair will perform, so I gotta run.