Many of us see Vibram FiveFingers and think ‘Vibram? They’re a new brand. I don’t know whether to trust these or to stick with Nike / Adidas / Asics / New Balance / etc [delete as appropriate].
But Vibram have been around a long, long time. In fact, Vitale Bramani founded Vibram the same year that Dame Shirley Bassey was born; the same year than J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was published; and back when our George VI was still King.
You may recognise the yellow octagonal Vibram logo. It can be seen on rubber soles around the world on shoes and boots designed for outdoor purposes, fashion, performance, work and orthopedy. Having almost 80 years in the market, Vibram is a renowned leader synonymous with performance, quality, innovation, design and safety.
Vibram created the first sole made from vulcanised rubber, after Vitale Bramani applied the same technique used by tyre manufacturer Pirelli, applying the rubber under his mountaineering boots. That kind of performance, reliability, and durability had never been seen before, and since then Vibram has been the sole of choice for outdoor shoe manufacturers.
To further elaborate on the strength of the brand, here are some other brands that are now industry standard:
Since 1937 Vibram have applied their experience and unique know-how to develop the worlds most technologically developed soles. Today, 99% of the US Military wear Vibram soles.
It is fair to say that Vibram revolutionised the world of mountaineering, and now, with Vibram FiveFingers, they are revolutionising the sport of running.
Even Vibram FiveFingers are not as new as we think. Many of us think that they have only been around a couple of years at most. In fact, it was 2001 when the idea of Vibram FiveFingers was first proposed by Robert Fliri, an industrial designer, to Marco Bramani, the grandson of Vibram founder, Vitale Bramani.
2004 saw the patent filed, and in 2005 the Vibram FiveFingers went in to mass production. Soon, Fliri arrived at Vibram to begin his work in a team of experts to redefine and realise his idea of a shoe especially created for bare feet. The minimal footwear revolution was born, directly inspired by the barefoot phenomenon. Vibram had developed what is often referred to as a ‘barefoot shoe’: a flexible glove for your foot, with a Vibram rubber sole, each toe (finger) having its own ‘pocket’, helping the articulation of the foot, whilst stimulating the muscles of your lower limbs, thus giving a higher sense of wellbeing to the whole body.
Vibram continue to dedicate themselves to innovation. Their appreciation of continuous development and improvement has seen Vibram open their mega Technology Centre in Guangzhou, China. If you’re wearing a pair of Vibram FiveFingers, you can bet they’ve been researched, prototyped, tested, and manufactured inside this 41,000 square-metre innovation plant.