What Is a Vibram Sole & Why Do You Need Them?

When deciding on a new pair of hiking or work boots, you’ve more than likely come into contact with the now iconic yellow or black octagon embedded into the soles of your favourite brands. This is the Vibram logo, a brand that has been a leading figure in outdoor footwear ever since it was founded in 1937 on the idea of safety and reliability when it comes to any outdoor adventure.

While Vibram soles are favoured by many of the world's leading bootmakers, you may still be asking yourself: What is a Vibram sole? Are Vibram soles good? Are Vibram soles suitable for my needs? In this article we will dive into the history, the characteristics, and the benefits of investing in Vibram-soled boots, giving you all the knowledge you need to make the right decision when investing in a new pair of boots.

The History and Technology Of Vibram Soles

Vibram was founded by well-known climber-turned-inventor Vitale Bramani who created the first rubber lug sole for climbers and hikers in the 1950s. He was moved into inventing the new soles after a tragic accident on an expedition in 1935 which left six of his fellow climbers dead on the mountain due to hypothermia caused in part by their inadequate footwear. At that point in history, outdoor boots were made with iron studs nailed into the soles of the shoes, and then once the climbers reached higher altitudes they would swap to felt shoes, which offered more grip if the area was dry, but once the rain came then they were practically useless and were not at all waterproof.

Bramini’s invention was designed to fix the issues that plagued the then-current design of outdoor shoes, and in doing so Bramini created a new standard for outdoor shoes that is still being used today. Rubber lug soles are designed in a similar way to car and tractor tires, in the sense that they have deep tracts and patterns in the rubber that allow for a more stable footing on uneven ground.

The rubber used for Vibram soles is no ordinary rubber either, as Vibram also holds the title of being the first company to use vulcanized rubber in their soles. Vulcanized rubber is a rubber that is treated with other materials (such as sulphur and metal oxides) to provide it with improved elastic properties, as well as offering a greater temperature range for the rubber to be used effectively. Both of these factors combined result in some of the most durable soles on the market, being suitable in both extremely hot and cold climates, as well as dry and wet conditions.

Are Vibram Soles Good?

With an understanding of the intriguing history of the Vibram brand,  we can now answer the pivotal question of ‘Vibram soles good?’.

The simple answer is yes! Vibram soles are one of the most technologically advanced options on the market. If we look over what we’ve already discussed then you can see a Vibram sole can provide you with:

·         Unrivalled stability on all terrains.

·         Durability that will last for years, even with consistent use.

·         Protection from both ground hazards and extreme temperatures.

·         Sustained comfort for the wearer.

Are Vibram Soles Suitable For You?

All of the factors we’ve discussed so far make Vibram-soled boots ideal for those enjoying an outdoor lifestyle, or those based in active professions, such as forest rangers, mountaineers, or even those in the military.

LOWA has incorporated Vibram soles in many of their previous and current designs, and for good reason. Reliability is key for any military scenario, and if there are some areas you do not want to cheat yourself on, footwear is up there. Vibram’s proven track record as a reliable sole in all weather conditions makes LOWA boots perfect for those serving in any armed forces, and can be used as an all-in-one solution by both men and women, or can be specialised for warm weather environments to offer increased breathability and comfort.

By combining a tried and tested invention with modern designs and technology, LOWA is bringing to you a product that will not only provide you with a stable platform for wherever you may find yourself but also promises comfort and durability for years to come.

If you have any questions about Vibram soles or wish to discover the perfect pair of LOWA boots with Vibram soles for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team.