19 October 2021

The Story of Vibram Soles


The Vibram sole is a 100% natural rubber sole made in Italy. It will be your most faithful partner for rainy and snowy weather by providing you with grip, cushioning and insulation. In this article, we will trace the history of this mythical Italian brand.

  1. A family brand
  2. Properties
  3. Dainite soles
  4. Our associations

A family brand

Vibram is a family-owned Italian company founded in 1937 by Mr Vitale Bramani. On a trip with some mountaineering friends, Bramani lost six of his comrades whose studded leather mountain boots didn't have the grip they needed to hang on the cliff. He realised that the climbers of the time were poorly shod and approached Pirelli (the Italian tyre brand) to design better soles: this was the birth of the Carrarmato, designed with vulcanised rubber technology. It was the first Vibram sole.

Figure 1. The Carrarmato in 1937 (source)


The first factory was set up in Albizzate, Italy in 1945. It still exists today and has become a hub for the company's production and administration.

Figure 2. The famous yellow logo was attached to the underside of the soles in 1969 and has become the company's symbol to this day.


Over the years, Vibram has developed several ranges of soles: Vibram Security®, Evaflex®, Grip®, Gumlite®, Ecostep®, Clusaz®, Monster®, Megagrip®...


Properties

The most common Vibram sole model in the high-end shoe industry is the Montagna "Commando". This model is part of the Megagrip range. It provides unrivalled grip on dry and even wet surfaces. It is also an ideal balance between stability and flexibility.

Figure 3. The Montagna "Commando" model on our Classic Moc


These soles are made of a special rubber that offers unparalleled grip, waterproofing and comfort. These characteristics are very popular with two-wheelers. They are also very popular for walking in rainy weather and for sports activities. Historically used on mountain boots and then hiking boots, they are now found on the shoes of many city dwellers and are used by many shoe manufacturers.


Dainite soles

You have probably already heard of Dainite soles. They come straight from England (1984). To find out more, read our article on Dainite insoles here.

Figure 4. Dainite soles on our Pablo Chocolat


The English company Dainite (contraction of "day and night") is certainly the only competitor as famous as Vibram, both for the quality of its products and its history. These soles have the advantage of being easier to clean as dirt will nestle less in the nooks and crannies, unlike Vibram. However, the Dainite will be slightly stiffer and somewhat less grippy. In our opinion, the grip of Vibram is still unmatched today...


Our associations

For part of our Autumn-Winter 21 collection, we opted for this sole and its deliberately adventurous look. We have used it on several models, such as our Basile, the Gatsby, the Trima, the Moissac, the Rennan Boots, the Tobar, and even our Classic Moc! Which model will accompany you this winter?

Figure 5. Our Basile Commando

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