Friday, May 28, 2010


In 1935, the deaths of six of Bramani’s mountaineering friends in the Italian Alps was partly blamed on inadequate footwear. The tragedy drove Vitale Bramani to develop a new climbing sole. Two years later, he patented his invention and launched the first rubber soles on the market with a tread design called the ‘Carrarmato,’ with the financial backing of Leopoldo Pirelli of Pirelli Tires. The sole was designed to provide excellent traction on the widest range of surfaces, have a high degree of abrasion resistance and was made using the latest vulcanized rubber of the time.

Traditional Carrarmato lugs
In 1954, the first ever successful summit of K2 was made by an Italian expedition wearing Vibram rubber on their soles.

Here's an early example of Vibram soles on a pair of 1950's Engineer Boots

Little known me: Vibram is pronounced "Veebrum" where the "Vi" in Vibram sounds like a hard "V" and the "bram" ryhmes with "drum." The name Vibram was created from the name of the company's founder, Vitale Bramani.


  1. Good post, I didn't know that. Are you sure about the pronunciation though? I can't think why an Italian (I live in Rome) would pronounce 'bram' as 'brum'. Unless it's an northern Italian thing.