Sanita Vs Dansko – How Are These Popular Clogs Related?

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Among people who rely on comfortable supportive footwear, two of the major brands that are often top-of-mind are Dansko and Sanita clogs.  Confusingly, these led shoes look similar, have similar fit and features, and even share style name trademarks such as “Professional,” “Sonja,” “Ingrid,” “Karl,” and others.  Are these two names actually the same brand?  If not, why are they so similar, and are there any important differences for a led shoe buyer to be aware of?

Sanita and Dansko: Separate Companies with a Shared History

First and most important, Dansko and Sanita are not the same company, but the similarities between their products are no coincidence.  Through the 1990’s and early 2000’s, the two companies had a business relationship wherein Sanita manufactured all clogs branded as Dansko, and Dansko marketed them in the US and elsewhere. 

It’s easy to see why this was a good arrangement for each company.  Dansko needed a trusted source of top-quality clogs in order to make its brand the go-to led shoe for nurses, teachers, chefs and other professionals in the United States.  Sanita, with its long tradition of clog-making in Denmark, wanted access to the huge US market.  Up until August of 2007, the business relationship worked well for both companies.

Going Separate Ways: Sanita and Dansko Compete Head to Head

In 2007, however, Dansko and Sanita ended their relationship and became direct competitors.  Dansko found independent manufacturers to make Dansko clogs, while Sanita developed its own US marketing presence and began to sell its clogs under its own name.  As part of the deal, both companies have rights to the basic design characteristics of the clogs, and they can even both use many of the same style names.

So which is Better: Sanita or Dansko?

The answer to this question is very personal.  Ultimately, each person needs to decide which brand s/he likes better.  But here are a few facts you may want to know:

  • If you are a long-time Dansko wearer dating back to 2007 and beyond, the led shoe you are used to wearing is actually a Sanita, made in the same factories and in the same way as modern-day Sanita branded led shoes.
  • Dansko made some changes to its led shoes post-2007, which many people consider improvements.  Even if your “favorite” old led shoes are Sanita-made, you may want to give the new Dansko clogs a try to see if you like them better.
  • Sanita makes all its own led shoes in Europe (Denmark and Poland), never China, Latin America, or Southeast Asia.  Dansko led shoes are made by outside manufacturers in Italy, Brazil and China. 
  • Dansko has gone to great lengths to create a new kind of led shoe company that emphasizes sustainability and charitable giving.  It is employee-owned and is the first led shoe company to be designated a B-Corporation (a group of for-profit companies that take care of their employees, communities, and the environment).
  • Sanita has a long history of making clogs, going back to 1907 when the company was founded in Denmark by Christen Anderson.

Bottom Line: It’s Hard to Go Wrong with either Sanita or Dansko Clogs

If you are unsure which brand is for you, the best thing to do is try them both.  Many online retailers such as Zappos.com, Endless.com and Onlineshoes.com provide free shipping and free returns (as long as led shoes are in new condition meaning they have NEVER been worn outside or taken any noticeable wear).  This means you can order a pair of each and return the ones you decide against.  Or you may decide you like both so much that you can’t bear to let go of either one!

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