The sad decline of crumbling Dansko clogs and why we won't (buy or) sell them anymore
As you can see in the photo of our entryway, we love wearing clogs. Since we don't wear shoes inside our house, they're great footwear to slip on and off. Danskos have, until recently, been worth the cost for the quality we wanted. Super comfortable. We have clogs for just working outside, and nice clogs when in a professional office setting.
According to Wikipedia, Dansko was started in Pennsylvania in 1990 by a husband and wife team. To this day it's 100% employee owned. Sounds like a great business model.
When we first started on eBay, we loved finding Dansko clogs to resell. They had a great reputation so always brought a strong price. As resellers, it's important for us to feel like we're passing on items that will last and be useful.
Unfortunately we started having returns and complaints a couple years ago. Danskos that looked almost new would suddenly start crumbling once customers started wearing them. At first we thought it was just a bad pair, but then it even started happening to our own clogs. You can see in these photos what my latest pair looks like after just a couple months.
Dansko must have changed the material they use for the soles. Instead of a solid rubber, they use some kind of squishy flexible foam. I believe it's a molded polyurethane. So after just brief storage, the clogs seems to just disintegrate. It's a total shame because the leather is always still in great shape.
If you google "Dansko crumbling", there's plenty of documentation of this issue. If you read through the comments on other blogs, you'll see that Dansko does try to soothe customers with coupons. But I've never seen any official response to how they plan to fix the issue. Are they going to use a new material? I would expect an ethical company to take responsibility for the problem, admit the mistake, and be transparent with the solution.
Dansko says that if you buy used shoes then they don't guarantee them. That's fine, but I bought a used pair of Red Wing Boots that will last me a lifetime +. When the heels wear down, I just get them resoled at the repair shop. Unfortunately Dansko doesn't sell soles to shoe repair shops. The leather tops may be fine for years to come, but once the soles are gone--they're just garbage.
We sell hundreds of used shoes each year on eBay. We do especially well with vintage shoes and boots made out of leather since it's quality rarely seen today (at an affordable price). Many of these shoes have been in someone's closet for thirty years and wear well after a quick wipe down. Rarely do soles crack or crumble.
To be fair, there are other brands (like Born and Clarks) that also use the same molded polyurethane so have also crumbled after being shipped to customers. We don't buy these brands either.
We both just bought new clogs, that are not Danskos, on eBay with sturdy wooden soles. Until Dansko comes out with an official fix for their crumbling soles, we won't buy and sell them anymore.