Thoughts on Vibram | Blog | Martel+Ram

Vibram is an Italian company based in Albizzate, Italy (near the Swiss border) that produces Vibram branded rubber outsoles for footwear. The company is named after its founder, Vitale Bramani, who is credited with inventing the first rubber lug sole. Vibram soles were first used on mountaineering boots, replacing leather soles fitted with hobnails or steel cleats.

In 1935, the deaths of six of Bramani's mountaineering friends in the Italian Alps was partly blamed on inadequate footwear. The tragedy drove Bramani to develop a new climbing sole. He patented his invention and launched the first rubber lug soles with a tread design called the "Carrarmato" ("tank tread"), with the financial backing of Leopoldo Pirelli of Pirelli tires.

The sole was designed to provide excellent traction on the widest range of surfaces, have a high degree of abrasion resistance and was made using the latest rubber of the time. Things have now become far more advanced and Vibram is known globally as a leader in rubber sole technology.

I have used Vibram soles on many of my designs over the years. I like the industrial quality of the original lug design as well as the lightness of the new expanded compounds like Morflex. Working in the harsh winters of Maine, New York and even Milan, a nice rubber lug is far more practical and comfortable than traditional leather. Also - having mangled my feet running over the years, I am now a complete convert to rubber soled shoes!

I chose the Vibram Morflex compound for Martel+Ram due to its lightness and bouncy comfort. Vibram Morflex is an expanded EVA based rubber compound intended for lifestyle functions which require lightness. When used with wide surface contact designs such as our design, Vibram Morflex compound offers excellent grip and durability. It resembles the comfort of a trainer sole in every way.


Lightweight engineering for enhanced mobility

High shock absorbing & extreme lightness for energy conservation

Excellent comfort in lifestyle shoes

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