Vibram: The Soul Behind The Soles
We partnered with Vibram for their footwear sole technology with the launch of the first Circuit Cross-Training Shoe in 2018. Now, we’re introducing two new shoes on HYLETE Project featuring Vibram outsoles. Get to know more about Vibram, and why they’re the perfect fit for the HYLETE community.
What does the name Vibram mean?
The name Vibram comes from our Founder, Vitale Bramani (Vi)tale (Bram)ani.
What’s your story?
In 1935, Vitale Bramani experienced a tragedy while out on a mountaineering expedition with his friends. At the time, mountaineering shoes consisted of leather or steel soles with limited to no grip and ultimately caused his friends to slip and fall to their demise. This tragedy drove Bramani to create and patent an all-purpose climbing sole that was lightweight, durable, and flexible. He partnered with Leopoldo Pirelli of Pirelli Tires to develop the first vulcanized climbing rubber sole, creating the iconic Carrarmato (Italian for “Tread Tank”) design. This revolutionary breakthrough for the mountain climbing and footwear worlds led Bramani to establish Vibram in 1937. 80 years later, Vibram has committed to developing an extensive range of high-performance soling products for a wide variety of activities and lifestyles, while building an international reputation synonymous with quality, performance, and innovation.
What does the Vibram team do to connect with its community?
A few years ago our team developed Vibram Sole Factor and built a giant 38-foot mobile cobbler unit that would travel all around the country. Customers would drop their shoes off with us for the day and we would upgrade their footwear with a new Vibram sole. Pretty much making their shoes look and feel brand new again! It’s been one of our most loved programs to date. We have met so many amazing people who have known about us for years or are just learning about us for the first time. The cost was a $25 donation that would go towards the many incredible non-profit organizations that we work with, such as, Big City Mountaineers, The Conservation Alliance, Appalachian Mountain Club, etc. We also opened up a Boston storefront and office location where we started to host sneaker forum events. A panel usually consisting of the industry's top leaders would come together to talk about all topics surrounding the sneaker culture. The audience consists mostly of designers, people wanting to enter the footwear industry/those already involved, and all lovers of shoes. Since COVID, we have made these events virtual, so anyone can attend no matter where they live. We hope to host more in the near future!
What does Vibram Technology mean?
We deliver the best quality, grip, and performance outsoles in the whole world. We have proven technology that our customers can trust and rely on.
Why did you choose the outsole you did for the HYLETE Circuit Shoe?
It was a collaboration between both product teams to tune into the exact needs of the HYLETE nation. We delivered a lightweight outsole that offers supreme stability and traction during lateral movements and high impact activity. This sole performs best for lifting, running, and fitness training, and checked off all the boxes for what HYLETE was looking for.
What did you do differently with the outsole of HYLETE’s Circuit Shoe that you haven’t done in other shoes?
The goal was to make a shoe that could be versatile in and out of the gym, we accomplished the goal of making a sole that could accommodate a wide range of end uses that meets the diverse needs of the core HYLETE consumer.
Why did you choose the compound you did when making the outsole for HYLETE’s Circuit Cross-Training Shoe?
We wanted a compound that could hold up to the abuse of daily training, yet not sacrifice on grip and traction. We decided to utilize our trusted and proven XS-Trek compound.
How would you describe the Vibram XS-Trek outsole?
Our XS-Trek outsole is a multi-use, performance compound that elevated the playing field for active sports and lifestyle activities. It is non-marking and is suitable for all indoor and outdoor sports activities. The core benefits of XS-Trek are the following:
- Multi-surface grip and durability
- Responsive to unpredictable terrain and conditions
- Engineered for stability and comfort
Is there anything interesting about the materials used to make Vibram outsoles?
Technology and innovation is the key to Vibram soles. Our development team is always on the lookout, looking for innovative and sustainable materials – from naturally tacky rubbers to hemp, metals, or even nanomaterials, bringing the performance to the next level.
What is the most adventurous thing you've seen someone do with a Vibram outsole?
The craziest thing we’ve ever seen was Alex Honnold climbing in the Free Solo documentary. The shoes he climbs in have our Vibram soles on them. We were all on the edge of our seats watching that entire film. If you haven’t seen it - watch it!
How would you describe the Vibram team and its team members?
We have an active, diverse, enthusiastic crew that works hard and plays harder. We are passionate. We’re a little crazy. We are a family.
What do you want the HYLETE community to know about Vibram?
Vibram produces the best performing outsoles in the world. Look for the iconic Vibram yellow logo on the bottom of your footwear, like the one you see on the bottom of HYLETE's Circuit II shoe. Thank you to HYLETE for trusting in our brand!!!
Click here to learn more about Vibram and their outsole technology.