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 Vibram Soles
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AcesHigh
Advanced Member


Chilliwack, BC
Canada

7500 Posts

 Posted - 07/08/2009 :  12:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply to this posting
I was looking at a few different Asolo hiking boots using the Vibram Soles, it seems Columbia is using them too. They showed me a demo of how to compare the soles of different boots, and it sure is impressive how good they are on the new Asolo boots this year. I tried to bend the boot and could barely bend it compared to some other flimsy hiking boots.

A good read is in the lower section of their site:
http://www.vibram.us/products/default.asp

They certainly aren't new and they've come a long way.
What do you guys think of your Vibram? Have you compared the comfort?
The new soles seem better than my Asolos a couple years old..

Edited by - AcesHigh on 07/08/2009 12:18 AM

spacemonkey
Junior Member


Vancouver, BC
Canada

479 Posts

 Posted - 07/08/2009 :  07:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a pair of Raichle Kootenays, about 5 years old, very stiff soles, but they still grind on my heels on long treks. Been thinking about taking a look at some new boots next season.

spacemonkey
Junior Member


Vancouver, BC
Canada

479 Posts

 Posted - 07/08/2009 :  07:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a pair of Raichle Kootenays, about 5 years old, very stiff soles, but they still grind on my heels on long treks. Been thinking about taking a look at some new boots next season.

jd22
Senior Member


Ask me next week, British Columbia, sometimes.
Canada

1889 Posts

 Posted - 07/08/2009 :  10:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I must say I prefer Salomon's contagrip. I haven't had too much experience with Vibram, but contagrip is incredibly comfy. I've had a few people tell me that vibram is a bit harder (less comfy after pounding 30km).

Also, Aces, when you were bending the boot, were you bending the shanked area or the actual sole?

GusChiggins
Junior Member


Nanaimo, BC
118 Posts

 Posted - 07/08/2009 :  2:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Remember that vibram is a brand with many different products. The sole on one boot may be much different than that of another; the rubber on a mountaineering boot is much harder than that of a day hiker or approach shoe.

hafilax
Senior Member


Vancouver, BC
Canada

1461 Posts

 Posted - 07/08/2009 :  2:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GusChiggins

Remember that vibram is a brand with many different products. The sole on one boot may be much different than that of another; the rubber on a mountaineering boot is much harder than that of a day hiker or approach shoe.

You also have to consider the mid sole in thinking about how soft a boot feels.

I've generally been quite happy with all the vibram soles I've used. They have such a huge market share that I don't think I've tried anything else. I don't buy boots based solely on the sole material. I'm not sure that there is that much difference between the soles of equally spec'ed boots.

shrubhugger
Senior Member


Vancouver, BC
Canada

1129 Posts

 Posted - 07/08/2009 :  2:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jd22

I must say I prefer Salomon's contagrip. I haven't had too much experience with Vibram, but contagrip is incredibly comfy. I've had a few people tell me that vibram is a bit harder (less comfy after pounding 30km).



I was on a trip with someone who had Salomon boots. There was extensive travel on soft snow and his boots were continuously balling up, like crampons without anti-bot plates. He had a constant huge struggle to keep his feet under him when we were side-hilling. From that experience alone, I'll steer clear of Salomon boots.

corn_dog
Junior Member


Squamish
Canada

148 Posts

 Posted - 07/08/2009 :  2:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been quite happy with the Vibram sole on my Asolo boots. However considering they are only a year old it is reasonably worn, but I do hike a lot?

dan

jd22
Senior Member


Ask me next week, British Columbia, sometimes.
Canada

1889 Posts

 Posted - 07/08/2009 :  3:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by shrubhugger

quote:
Originally posted by jd22

I must say I prefer Salomon's contagrip. I haven't had too much experience with Vibram, but contagrip is incredibly comfy. I've had a few people tell me that vibram is a bit harder (less comfy after pounding 30km).



I was on a trip with someone who had Salomon boots. There was extensive travel on soft snow and his boots were continuously balling up, like crampons without anti-bot plates. He had a constant huge struggle to keep his feet under him when we were side-hilling. From that experience alone, I'll steer clear of Salomon boots.



That's strange. I was using some north face boots for most of winter, but once May hit, I have used my Salomons extensively. I've never had a problem with them on snow and balling up. The model I'm using is the Mega trek GTX.

shrubhugger
Senior Member


Vancouver, BC
Canada

1129 Posts

 Posted - 07/08/2009 :  4:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jd22

quote:
Originally posted by shrubhugger

quote:
Originally posted by jd22

I must say I prefer Salomon's contagrip. I haven't had too much experience with Vibram, but contagrip is incredibly comfy. I've had a few people tell me that vibram is a bit harder (less comfy after pounding 30km).



I was on a trip with someone who had Salomon boots. There was extensive travel on soft snow and his boots were continuously balling up, like crampons without anti-bot plates. He had a constant huge struggle to keep his feet under him when we were side-hilling. From that experience alone, I'll steer clear of Salomon boots.



That's strange. I was using some north face boots for most of winter, but once May hit, I have used my Salomons extensively. I've never had a problem with them on snow and balling up. The model I'm using is the Mega trek GTX.


I don't know what model he had, or what the tread type was (it looked very different from a standard Vibram-type tread). I can't account for why this was happening to him, and perhaps it was a freak coincidence of various conditions, but I wouldn't take a three or four hundred dollar gamble to find out. They don't usually have snow slopes in the store for you to test them out.
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darrenbell
Advanced Member


Penhold, Alberta
Canada

2186 Posts

 Posted - 07/08/2009 :  6:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been wearing these Solomon's for a few years now and I really like the boot. Very comfortable, only wet out once over the brim and they have the Contra grip sole that jd22 spoke of. The only issue I have had with the sole was mud balling up under my heel this spring. We were hiking with 4" of wet snow over mud/clay . That was the only time they had ever done that as well though! I find the sole to be very good on rock, scree and snow.

Boots are a very personal and private thing so don't expect to see these pics too often!!



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ChuckLW
Advanced Member

Night owl posting,Subie driving, backpacking Dad who is perpetually trying to catch up to his kids on the trail.

Vancouver, BC
Canada

3142 Posts

 Posted - 07/09/2009 :  12:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's pretty much meaningless to try and compare boots based on the brand of sole used. Way back Vibram used to be synonymous with a good sole for hiking and mountaineering boots and they didn't seem to have much competition (the Montagna sole was pretty much the definitive vibram sole).

Now there are many competing products in a bewildering variety of tread patterns, rubber compounds etc. Some are excellent, some are crap and others fill every quality gradient in between. And all are designed for certain types of uses rather than others.

As an industry leader, Vibram makes soles for virtually every conceivable application and every one is different. The linked web site shows 11 different soles in the "field" category. I checked my footwear collection and noted 3 more, different Vibram soles that are not shown on the web site at all. Every one is different in terms of lug pattern, rubber compound used and thickness.

And the sole is hardly the primary determinate of a boots stiffness. You must also factor in the type of mid-sole, overall boot construction and, most important, the type of shank used (both length and material used).

If someone is trying to sell you on a pair of boots and is pointing to the brand of sole as being the critical determinate of its quality and performance characteristics they are either lying to you or don't have a clue what they're talking about.
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Matt
Senior Member


Langley, BC
Canada

1094 Posts

 Posted - 07/09/2009 :  08:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by shrubhugger

quote:
Originally posted by jd22

I must say I prefer Salomon's contagrip. I haven't had too much experience with Vibram, but contagrip is incredibly comfy. I've had a few people tell me that vibram is a bit harder (less comfy after pounding 30km).



I was on a trip with someone who had Salomon boots. There was extensive travel on soft snow and his boots were continuously balling up, like crampons without anti-bot plates. He had a constant huge struggle to keep his feet under him when we were side-hilling. From that experience alone, I'll steer clear of Salomon boots.



My Salomon boots were junk. They were my back-up boot for shorter trips, probably less than 1000km on them, and between the two boots there must be like 20-30cm of fabric tears and seams busted open. I don't remember which model, BUT I bought them about three years ago. (Gore-Tex, mid-ankle, synthetic.)

friendofacatahoula
Starting Member


calgary, ab
22 Posts

 Posted - 07/09/2009 :  09:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A couple of strange answers in regards to the oringal post...

But as mentioned Vibram is a company who supplys/makes soles for shoes. It is a rubber compound that has been available for many years. I describe Vibram as being soft, flexable and sticky as it appears to stick to terrain rather than grip it. You can get soles which are very aggresive Vibram or designed for light trekking.

I love my Asolo's which happen to have Vibram soles. I have a pair of lighter weight Salomons which have the contra grip which are nice, but don't seem to be as sticky. I have a pair of Columbia's for the winter which also have Vibram soles.

I liked ChuckLW's response, hit some key points. Only you can decide which boot feels best to you. Don't let someone sell you on something that they feel is right. In the end I do like boots which have Vibram soles because I like how the compound sticks to the terrain. Keep in mind that you shouldn't be wearing your Vibram soles shoes out to the grocery store or hiking around the city streets like I see so many people doing as it can actually reduce the compounds effectiveness. I am sure someone will speak up and say I wear mine everywhere and never had any issues, each to their own I guess.

cpetterson
Starting Member


Red Deer, AB
Canada

45 Posts

 Posted - 07/16/2009 :  05:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a Vibram sole on my Merrell Phaser Rush boots.

If you look at them though, they are a different design from the standard lugs. These are a light weight boot but the sole is fairly stiff on them. I love them.
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