Here’s a brief bad news/upside story for you…
Before I started barefoot running, I ordered a pair of Vibram FiveFinger Classics directly from Vibram USA. (MEC in Toronto sells VFFs, but only other models that I really wasn’t keen on.) I ordered the Classics from the Vibram site, and was duly informed that they were shipped on June 5.
Vibram USA is located in Boston, which is only a 10 hour drive away from here. (In my long ago university days, I had a girlfriend who hailed from Boston. So I did that 10 drive more than once.) I figured it wouldn’t take too long for my VFFs to arrive, even considering that they were coming via USPS and Canada Post.
Yesterday (July 8), I got an e-mail message from the good folks at Vibram USA saying that they had received my return and that I would soon get a refund. Return? What return? Following up, I learned that my order was marked “undeliverable,” but Vibram didn’t know why. (I blame Canada Post.)
There are upsides to this story. (In my experience, there are always upsides. You just have to wait long enough to see them. ) One upside is that the person in Vibram USA’s Returns Department is very pleasant and responded quickly to my e-mail queries. That was a pleasant customer service experience, which is always nice. The second upside is that, while I was waiting for my VFFs to arrive, I started running barefoot. And I haven’t looked back since. I may not have taken up running unshod if my VFFs had arrived on time. So now I’m hooked on BF running! And that’s good.
Now I’ve got some options. (Having options is always an upside!)
I could simply not buy any VFFs. But that’s not really an option, because I think they will be handy for some of my runs, especially if I get into ultra-distance trail running. Or I could go to MEC in Toronto and buy a pair of VFF Sprints or KSOs. (That way, I’d be sure to get the sizing issue resolved properly. But I really wanted to try the Classics.) Or I could try to find some Classics somewhere else. I’m going to be in Buffalo this weekend, and will look for some there.
Bad news and a couple of upsides. Not bad, when you think about it.