Vibram is the world leader in the technological development and manufacture of high-performance rubber soles, for the outdoor, work safety, lifestyle, orthopaedic and repair markets.
For 80 years, the unmistakable yellow octagon has been the symbol of a company synonymous with quality, performance, safety, innovation and design. From the moment we created the first rubber sole for mountaineering, Vibram has become a benchmark in the footwear market. Vibram soles – derived from a desire to boost safety and protection – are known all over the world, and are the result of a constant commitment to research and development.
Behind every Vibram sole lies in-depth study of the specific performance characteristics required of each particular application, with a view to meeting a three-fold quality objective and guaranteeing maximum performance, comfort and durability. To ensure this, tough static and dynamic tests are conducted both in the laboratory and in action by the Vibram Tester Team.
A STORY OF INNOVATION
The Vibram story began in 1936, when Vitale Bramani (an Academic of the Italian Alpine Club), on his return from a mountaineering ascent that ended in tragedy, came up with the idea of making footwear soles using the same technique employed for making vehicle tyres. This stroke of genius led to the début of the first soles branded Vibram – a combination of the inventor’s first name and surname – and the famous Carrarmato sole that revolutionised both mountaineering and the world of footwear, allowing for unprecedented performance in terms of abrasion resistance, traction and grip.
Over the years, important new developments, product launches and technology patents have shaped the history of Vibram, a company that has shown an impressive ability to innovate and keep pace with change. The launch on the market of Vibram FiveFingers®, in 2006, marked a major turning point for the business, bringing it closer to the end customer and consolidating its leading position on markets worldwide.
The Vibram headquarters, which remains the powerhouse of the business, is in Albizzate, in the province of Varese. It is here that most of the company’s industrial design and development activities are carried out, in order to guarantee reliable, consistent quality standards for customers, wherever they are. Vibram operates in more than 120 countries worldwide, with commercial and industrial facilities in the USA, Brazil and Japan, as well as in China, which in 2009 saw the inauguration of the Vibram Technological Center, a futuristic research centre for the testing and development of new products. The two Vibram flagship stores, on the other hand, can be found in Milan and in Boston.