January 12, 2022

Sole Searching: How Vibram® Gave Workers Better Performance

The story of Vibram® is the story of the founder of the company itself: Vitale Bramani was a talented mountaineer of the Italian Alpine Club. Vibram® soles were invented in 1935 after six of his friends tragically passed away on a hiking expedition in the Italian Alps. The boots used at that time typically had felt soles which did a poor job of insulating the hikers’ feet, and provided very little traction. He set out to create soles that would save and transform lives; soles that could survive the elements.

Working with Leopoldo Pirelli (of the Pirelli tire company), Bramani developed boots that had two key advantages:

  • The soles were made from vulcanized rubber, which is a much better insulator than felt.
  • The boots had much better traction due to a lugged tread pattern called “Carrarmato” (loosely translated from Italian as “tank tread”).

The combination of better insulation and better traction led to safer hiking expeditions and fewer cases of frostbite, hypothermia and exposure. Vitale Bramani founded the Vibram® sole company, the name a combination of his first and last names (Vi-Bram).

Today Vibram® is a worldwide leader in high performance soles for consumer footwear and work boots and safety shoes. Mister Safety Shoes carries a range of work boots made with Vibram® outsoles designed to meet the needs of workers in a variety of work conditions, including:

Vibram® Arctic Grip -  their most advanced cold-weather gripping system. Engineered for low temperature use, they use a unique polymer blended with an advanced filler system specifically engineered and designed to perform on wet ice. Great for outdoor workers, delivery drivers and anyone doing a lot of walking in and out of buildings

Vibram® FIRE & ICE - formulated for extreme applications while maintaining its performance values (flexibility, traction) in a wide range of temperatures (from -23C to +250C). Great for outdoor workers, those working with high heat applications where they are walking on slag or construction welding, and the steel industry.

Vibram® /TC4+ -  designed to provide a high level of grip and durability while also being tear-resistant, oil-resistant and heat-resistant for harsh work conditions. Good slip resistance & very durable for any worker who needs good traction and does a lot of walking.

We carry a range of work boot brands that feature Vibram® soles, including Canadian-assembled Royer, Canada West, Merrell, Timberland, Wolverine, STC, Kodiak, and Terra Find all them all at a Mister Shoes store near you and mistersafetyshoes.com.

At Mister Safety Shoes our objective is to provide businesses and workers with expert advice on the fit, comfort and protection of safety footwear in order to help create more productive and safe workplaces. Please contact our team if you have any questions about your company's safety footwear program at biz@mistersafetyshoes.com.