The history of Vibram soles

September 10, 2011

The invention made to save life that today has grown to became a symbol for function and quality throughout the world.

The iconic Vibram sole has it roots in the 1935 when soon to be founder Vitale Bramani led an expedition into the Italian Alps. Back in this time the climbing boots was constructed in a different way, starting out at the lower part of the mountain with hobnailed boots to get a good grip, and then later on switch to a special thin-soled rock climbing boot. It was these boots that would prove fatal on this expedition in 1935. When the wind was blowing cold and the climbers became victims of the thick fog and a blizzard waiting high up in the mountain…. This would prove to be the end for six climbers who died from frostbite and exposure to the extreme weather.

It was this event that laid the foundation for Vitale Bramani to create a special all-purpose climbing sole. Lightweight, long-wearing and flexible was the vision and Vitale created a rubber compound with excellent traction and high abrasion resistance. He designed a new lug sole and called it Vibram, after his own name.

Since that day the Vibram sole has been there for the climbers who conquer Mt. Everest, and other high peaks around the world. The Vibram has also been part of many major research expeditions through the years, known to keep your feet warm and steady on the ground even in the toughest environments.

Today the Vibram sole has gone on to become a legend, but the company is still working hard to make it tougher and better to make it last as long as possible. And today the sole is not only on boots, but on a whole range of fine casual, service and dress footwear. All Vibrams are marked with the iconic octagon with the Vibram name inside, which through the years has become a symbol for reliable quality.

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