I watched a great documentary on CNBC tonight called Crime Inc: Counterfeit Goods (available to watch here) and it prompted a follow-up on the “Boots You Don’t Want To Buy” post from a few months back.
If you are wondering what I am referring to, over the last year a string of suspicious websites have sprung up, causing a lot of confusion among players looking to buy new boots. The prices listed on these sites are incredibly low, making the boots extremely appealing. I have received hundreds of emails about the sites, so I figured it was worth again highlighting to ensure you are getting real shoes and realize that there are sites that should be avoided.
I am sure most of you have seen one of the websites in question at some point. You will not find any of the URLs listed here as I simply don’t want to give them any attention. But, when you see a website posting prices that seem too good to be true, it is too good to be true and the products are counterfeit! The boots are not actually manufactured by the specific brand. Instead, these sites are producing boots that look like the specific boot and brand in question, but are “economical” version. The boots are not tested and do not feature the true intended technology included by the likes of Nike, Adidas and Puma. If you want something that resembles the real thing, then these might be the ideal boot for you. But, would you actually want to buy a Ferrari if it came with a Fiat Punto engine? (no offense to the Fiat!) All looks, with downgraded performance.
In the CNBC documentary, they highlight a legal battle that running shoe company New Balance faced. A company in China started producing running shoes under the name “New Barlun“. New Balance President and CEO, Robert Di Martini pointed out several pretty important points. First off, these companies produce counterfeit goods for one reason – they want to make a quick profit and move on. The shoes feature technology that is painted on and they do look like the real deal, but underneath they won’t have the same technology. Here is an interesting fact – shoes are actually the most counterfeit product in the world at a cost of $12 billion a year to shoe manufacturers. In turns, this actually leads to loss of jobs in the US and your money leaving the US economy in return for a product that will last for a few months at most.
My advice is simple; stick with the sites that have a positive reputation and allow you to make returns if there are any problems. Take advantage of sales and look out for great deals on top boots – one of the primary reasons I post so many deals is to help you save on official products, use those sales to get the similar prices. Buying counterfeit is an issue that impacts more than you actually think, and it can cause a chain reaction of problems. As reference, sites that I recommend and trust include:
On a final note, it has also come to our attention that some of these sites are stealing SC101 content and images – including one specific site that went as far as displaying the SC101 logo across their website! As a result, several consumers have purchased from the site and contacted SC101 with complaints – I apologize if you have fallen foul on a fake pair, but SoccerCleats101 does not work with, promote, encourage or endorse purchasing counterfeit soccer shoes!