Anyone who knows a bit about footwear or who has pulled on a pair of walking boots or climbing shoes before venturing out over tough terrain might recognise the little yellow octagon that stands for Vibram soles. This logo, and the brand behind it, is synonymous with quality, performance and comfort, making it prolific in the world of shoes.
Vibram soles were invented in 1935 by Vitale Bramani, after a tragic hiking expedition in the Italian Alps left six of his friends dead. Bramani blamed their deaths on their inadequate footwear. At the time, walking boots would be made with felt or leather soles, with hob nails for grip, neither of which offered reliable traction on the frozen mountain terrain. The incident subsequently prompted Bramani to source a safer alternative.
Working in collaboration with Leopoldo Pirelli (of the Pirelli Tyre Company), Bramani developed soles that were made from vulcanised rubber with a lugged tread pattern called “Carramato”(or “tank tread” in English). 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.
In 1954 the first ascent of K2 was made by an Italian climbing team wearing boots with Vibram soles.
To this day, Vibram manufactures long-lasting soles that withstand the wear and tear of daily use, on mixed ground. Therefore, each of our shoe designs has been carefully matched with a Vibram sole, for functionality and style. For example, our Keeper Forte- the strongest boot in our range- has been paired with the Vibram Cleated sole with signature “Carramato” design.
All our shoes and boots can be resoled by us up to three times, increasing the lifespan of your footwear. And, of course you can change your sole type when you order a resole:
Gloxi Cut sole
The Gloxi Cut is a blown rubber wedge sole. Its main feature are the large splices in the wedge which allow flex and provide maximum cushioning. The Gloxi Cut is slightly thicker than the Vibram Christy.
The Cleated Newflex sole offers resistance to wear and strong grip. It offers the look of a heavy sole but with more comfort and flexibility, due to the aerated materials it is manufactured from. This is a lightweight version of Barman’s original Carramato sole.
Part of Vibram’s Italian- made Heritage Series, the Cristy sole is a lightweight blown rubber sole which provides sneaker-like cushioned comfort.