Vibram Soles

How long do your soles last before they wear out? Vibram brand is the lead name when it comes to soles. The company has invested a lot in making superior soles that last for years. The world today is changing. Many soles have been introduced in the market but none has been able to surpass Vibram sole. Why? Keep on reading to find out why Vibram sole is the best product in the market.

vibram detachable sole

In this article you will know the following:

  • Basic knowledge of the brand Vibram® soles
  • What are recommended soles under the brand Vibram® that worth buying
  • Forget about the brand, what you should know on the vibram sole


What Is Special About Vibram® Sole?

Many shoe manufacturers use Vibram shoe soles to make their products from ice boots to regular footwear. Vibram sole has maintained its reputation for quality, durability, traction, and comfort. With a Vibram sole, you can chase your dreams all day long, every single day.


What Is A Vibram® Sole?

vibram cobbler

Vitale Bramani is the name behind the Vibram brand. The Vibram brand was founded in 1935. The name comes from a combination of letters from his name. He was on an adventure in the Italian Alps together with his friends.

Back in the 1930s, outdoor footwear was very different and heavier than it is now. Six of his friends died while they were trying to climb a mountain. He concluded that the footwear was at fault for the death of his friends.

For this reason, he resolved to make the best shoe sole with great traction, water resistance, and good insulation against freezing. Bramani together with a renowned tire specialist at the time, Leopoldo Pirelli, managed to come up with the first rubber boots. He manufactured a lug model with a yellow Vibram logo in the center.

The boots had three major advantages:

  • They were made from vulcanized rubber, thus providing great insulation.
  • The lugged tread pattern ensured the boots had better traction.
  • These boots ensured safe hiking and fewer cases of frostbites.

The first successful soles were used to climb Mt. Everest (the second largest mountain on earth). These soles are what made Vibram brand the best shoe sole in the industry. And the company has remained the best for over 60 years now.

The soles feature a unique technology that helps provide great traction across a variety of hard to defeat surfaces such as rocky forest floors, loose rubble grounds, and hard-packed snow. Vibram sole ensures your feet are well protected from any type of harm.


Features and Benefits of Vibram® Soles

Vibram makes several varieties of soles owing to their reputation for quality, durability, and comfort. Some of the key features in Vibram soles include:

vibram steel toe boots military

– Tread and traction

The original caramato lugged tread pattern is still among the best tread patterns for soles used in hiking, working environments, and slippery conditions.

What if you are not a hiking person, does Vibram have a sole for you?

Vibram manufactures many types of soles with treads and traction to serve everyone.

They manufacture tread patterns to work in less demanding conditions such as the Eva outsole and Newporter replacement sole. You are guaranteed superb traction, comfort, and support.


– Slip-resistant

Vibram soles are the best quality soles worldwide, no doubt. If you compare a Vibram sole and another rubber sole, you will notice distinctive features that exist between them. The sole is slip-resistant. It has a firm grip on the floor, whether slippery or dry, thus giving you the needed support.


– Comfort

The first thing you look for when buying shoes is comfort. The sole makes a shoe comfortable. Vibram sole provides a light and springy outsole. The manufactures blend foam and rubber compounds to come up with an outsole that features the best traits of both materials (the softness and springiness of foam and the toughness and traction of rubber).


– Long-lasting

Vibram soles are praised for their durability, where some even last for more than 10 years.

If you are an explorer or hiker, your boots will last for over a year without a need to replace the sole. This is a valuable investment, isn’t it? Blend of rubber and foam used in making these soles strike a balance between sturdiness and traction.


– Waterproof

This sole is water-resistant. This means that it is designed to repel water leaving your feet and socks dry. Additionally, it prevents your shoes from damaging quickly.


– Resoling

Many shoes lack soles to resole them, hence people end up throwing good shoes away because the sole is worn out. This is not the case with Vibram sole.

When they finally wear out (which is rare since they are long-lasting), soles are available. You can replace the outer sole making your shoes look brand new again.


What Are Vibram® Soles Best For?

Vibram manufactures many soles. Every sole is made for a particular purpose.

– Walking/hiking

If you are a person who loves walking and hiking, Vibram has a product suited for you.

For hiking, you need a sole with the best treads and traction. The caramato lugged tread design is still one of the best tread patterns in the market when it comes to hiking and walking on slippery grounds. Vibram soles offer your feet protection on any terrain whether you are hiking or walking.


– Running

When running you need stability, grip, and comfort. These three things will help you enjoy your running, whether it is for fun or competition. Vibram soles guarantee you of all these.


– Climbing

Vibram climbing soles have been designed to provide an optimal balance of grip, weight, slip-resistance across various climbing surfaces.

For instance, Vibram FiveFingers is lightweight and minimalistic. Climbing relies more on the climber’s feet strength. Researchers have proven that Vibram soles are the best when it comes to strengthening your feet as a climber.


– Weightlifting

When lifting weights you need a sole with a tight grip, support, and comfort. Vibram offers you great traction ensuring you maintain ground control during tight movements. The shoes need to be stable for you to channel the energy of your muscles into lifting rather than trying to stabilize to protect the joints.


– Yoga and pilate

Vibram soles can be used for yoga and pilates. This sole is thin enough allowing you maximum flexibility and increased range of motion while protecting your feet simultaneously.


Top 6 Vibram® Soles Reviews

1. Vibram Large Size Half Sole

vibram mini lug

Vibram is a household name in the footwear industry. The brand’s soles feature in all types of footwear from boots to sneakers. Vibram rubber half-sole replacement is a non-slippery and waterproof rubber sole. The rubber sole is slightly thin but offers an extended shelf life to your light-worn and not-to-patch-up shoes. This sole features a wide width. Therefore, it is ideal for the biggest shoe sizes. Additionally, the sole is easy to trim giving you an easy time while patching it up.

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2. Vibram Christy Replacement Sole

vibram steel toe boots

Christy sole is the most well-known Vibram replacement sole in the market. It is produced from a blown rubber material. The rubber material is durable. Hence, the sole will provide maximum comfortability for a longer period.

Christy replacement sole softens with time providing you more traction and extra cushion on various terrains. Additionally, it adds extra lift for the whole foot when cut to fit. It is great for service and military footwear.

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3. Vibram 1253 Lug half-sole For Men

vibram ice grip

This sole is perfect for leather to rubber conversions. Also, you can use it to repair mini lugs for both men and women. It is a reduced form of a typical commando sole. Lug half-sole provides you ideal comfort and traction through its rubber structure.

For shoe repair, it is used with Vibram #3359 lug heel lift, 10 iron. This provides a high level of grip. The 1253 lug half-sole blends well with perennial workwear boots such as the Red Wing Iron Ranger Boot.

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4. Vibram Red Rubber Sole

vibram gumlite

Vibram red rubber soles are lightweight and flexible. They offer you improved toughness and grip. The rubber sole is 1 mm thick but very resistant to wear. It has a longer shelf life while it provides your feet with much-needed comfort levels throughout its life.

If you love doing your soles, this rubber sole is easy to trim and stick in the shortest time possible. Vibram being the best producers of rubber soles worldwide, you are guaranteed quality performance.

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5. Vibram 132 Montagna Block Unit Sole

vibram 4014

This is your ideal sole for hiking or worker boots. If you are looking for a sole that is durable, rugged, and very much comfortable when working or going to climb mountains, the Montagna block unit sole is your best choice. This sole is known to have conquered the world’s second-largest mountain. It features a thick knobby tread providing you with great traction. Furthermore, it is weather resistant both on dry and wet surfaces.

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6. Vibram Newporter replacement sole

vibram portable sole

Vibram Newporter replacement sole is a lightweight, flat rubber sole designed for casual walking footwear. This sole has exceptional slip-resistance features. It is perfect for the foodservice industry, especially in the kitchen.

The sole has great surface traction and minimum build-up. Additionally, it adds extra lift and cushion when cut to fit. It provides your feet with utmost comfort when working throughout the day.

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Why Are They Important For Work Boots?

resole hiking boots with vibram

When working your feet need to be well protected against water, sharp objects, or any other thing that might harm your feet in the work environment. This sole is important for your work boots because:

  • They are waterproof. They prevent water from getting into your shoes, thus ensure the feet and socks are dry. It also prevents the feet from becoming sore.


  • They are durable. Vibram soles are long-lasting owing to the robust rubber material hence will ensure your shoe has an extended life while offering you the needed protection.


  • They are slip-resistant. If you work in a place with slippery surfaces, you have to be extra careful not to fall. Vibram sole removes the aspect of fear since the sole has the best traction. It provides you the extra support you need when working on a slippery floor.



1. Are all Vibram® soles replaceable?

Yes, you can replace Vibram soles when they wear out. The company produces Vibram replacement soles that you can re-sole. Vibram has made it easy, quick, and affordable for you to replace your sole once it wears out. Vibram soles can be replaced with a shoe whether or not Vibram made the original sole. With this sole, you are assured of better traction, comfort, and water resistance.


2. How do you put Vibram® soles on your shoes?

If you have decided to put Vibram soles on your shoes personally, the process is fast and simple. Good quality glue is what you need and you are ready to start.

– The first task is to roughen the part you want to apply the glue to. You can use fine-grit sandpaper.

– Apply a thin layer of shoe repair glue on one surface. Consider applying the glue on the sole.

– Press the parts together. Ensure you do this quickly to get the best results. After doing this, use rubber bands or clamps to confirm the glued sides are held fast.

– Leave the shoes for 24 to 48 hours for them to cement.

Once it has completely bonded it will not break easily. Most shoe glues are made to be resistant to hot and cold temperatures. Additionally, go for water-resistant glue. This will make your shoe almost indestructible.


3. Can you wash Vibram® soles?

Vibram soles do come with mudguards and mud clearing channels. Still, the soles need to be washed to ensure excessive dirt does not interfere with your grip. The soles are machine washable. Make sure to use a mild liquid or powdered detergent with lukewarm water.


Let Go of the Brand, Learn More About Vibram Rubber Soles

 1. Types of Vibram soles 

Vibram manufactures many soles including:

– 4014 Christy Wedge

arctic grip sole

Christy wedge features on many work boots. The iconic Red Wing Moc Toe boot is an example. This sole is made from a blown rubber compound. It is initially hard but with time it softness, thus increasing the traction. The sole is very much comfortable. Furthermore, it is durable, hence will serve you for many years as an everyday shoe sole.


– 430 Mini Lug

vibram sierra

This is a reduced version of the original commando lug sole. It is different as it has fewer visible lugs for a lower profile. It offers excellent traction and comfort. This sole is heeled and scored on places it is not lugged. These increase the grip of the sole providing you that extra support when on slippery surfaces.


– 148 Kleeterlift

birkenstock resole vibram

This sole is ideal for outdoor footwear. It is durable and provides the comfort you need when hiking or climbing mountains. Its heel is made using a micro-cellular wedge material. Thus, in addition to providing you comfort, it is also a great shock absorber.


– 132 Commando Lug

christy sole

This is labeled as the boot that conquered Mt. Everest. It is your go-to sole for your hiking or work boots. It features a heavy knobby tread. With these soles, you are sure of optimal grip and weather resistance whether on dry or wet surfaces. The sole is comfortable, durable, and rugged.


– 2661 Ripple & 342C Mini Ripple

This sole comes in two styles. Each provides different levels of support and grip depending on the depth of the ripples. 2661 features deeper ripples providing you with a strong grip and spring in your step. These can serve you well while on slippery surfaces. 342C on the other hand has shallower ripples. It is ideal for your everyday shoe used for normal walks and running errands. It makes the shoe more comfortable for commuting.


– 9105 Gloxi Cut

vibram megagrip sole

Gloxy cut is a blown rubber sole. It comes with huge sipes that bend and flex providing complete cushioning and traction. More so, it is made with Vi-lite technology, which produces some of Vibram’s lightweight soles.


– 2021 Casual Wedge

This sole has been made for your daily casual footwear. The sole is flat wedged and lightweight. It is produced from a Morflex lightweight rubber compound. It also has tiny ridges on the outsole providing more traction.


 2. DIY Vibram Soles 

If your soles are worn out and you need to replace them yourself but do not know how to do it, worry not. We have a simple step-by-step guide that will help you put Vibram soles to your shoes to make them last forever.

You will need:

  • Half soles
  • Heel lifts
  • Pliers
  • Barge cement
  • String
  • A knife

When you have gathered all the materials you need, follow the following quick steps:

– Peel off the old half soles and heel lifts.

– Using your sandpaper sand the surface of the sole and heel clean of old glue and debris.

– Apply a thin layer of glue on the bonding surfaces. Let the glue dry for around 15 minutes then proceed to apply another coat paying close attention to areas that you might have missed.

– Carefully bond the half soles and heels to the surfaces. The soles and heels should leave at 2mm width all around. Use a hammer to pound the soles to ensure they tightly hold.

– Tightly wrap the shoe using your string and allow it to cure for at least 5 hours.

– Use your knife to trim around the soles evenly taking great care not to cut deep into the sole or heel.

– Rub off the excess glue off the shoe and let it cure for at least 24 hours before you try it on.


 3. Cost to Resole Vibram Boots 

If you take your boots to a cobbler they will quickly resole them for you. Prices vary depending on the type of sole and shoe you are resoling.

It cost around $30 to $80 to resole a shoe. Any pair of shoes can be resoled from sneakers to hikers.



Vibram is the number sole option for all your shoes. The brand virtually has every type of sole you need whether for sneakers, casual shoes, running shoes, or hiking boots. To enjoy maximum comfort all day long in any location, choose Vibram as your sole. You will not regret it.