Vibram Climbing Shoes
Find every Vibram climbing shoe available right now.
Vibram rubber can be found absolutely everywhere. From the feet of US Army soldiers to the alpine frontiers of the Himalayas, there is no escaping it. This company has a few magical compounds up their sleeve, but the rubber we get excited about here at Climbing Shoe Review is their ‘Climbing Performance’ range.
This Italian company has been the king of climbing shoe rubber since climbers first started cramming their grubby toes in climbing shoes. After six of his friends died in a mountaineering accident, Vitale Bramani was inspired to create the first ‘tank tread’ rubber sole in 1937.
Today Vibram has three rubber compounds designed for climbing, the XS Grip, XS Grip 2 and XS Grip Edge. You can see our comparison of Vibram climbing rubber (as well as other popular rubbers) here.
In 1988, that Vibram released the Vibram Grip, their revolutionary new compound designed to tackle the vertical world of free climbing.
I am sure you know that Vibram do not make their own climbing shoes, instead, they supply a handful of European climbing shoe brands.
Here is a complete list of every Vibram climbing shoe on the market today.
La Sportiva does have their own line of rubber compound (FriXion) but this is only used for a handful of budget shoes like the Cobra and Tarantulace. For the good stuff, their turn to their friends at Vibram.
Vibram’s Xs Grip 2 compound is exclusive to La Sportiva and Scarpa climbing shoes. This is by far far Vibrams most exclusive and versatile climbing rubber. La Sportiva opts to use it for most of their shoe lines, especially for their high-performance bouldering and sport shoes
For those shoes that need a little extra support, La Sportiva put the Vibram XS Edge to good use.
– TC Pro
– Miura VS
XS Grip 2
– Solution Comp
– Miura Women’s
SCARPA is the other main climbing creator of Vibram climbing shoes. While they too have their own rubber (named S-72, most recently found on the Veloce) they too prefer to turn to Vibram when making their top of the range shoes.
Unlike La Sportiva, SCARPA put the XS Grip to use on their Helix model. Naturally, as the XS Grip is Vibram’s no-frills option, so manufacturers will be able to buy it slightly cheaper than the other compounds, which is why XS Grip is used on budget climbing shoes.
– Force V
XS Grip 2
– Furia S
– Furia Air
– Instinct SR
– Instinct VS
– Instinct VSR
After La Sportiva and SCARPA, Tenaya is the place where you will find the next biggest selection of Vibram climbing shoes.
Tenaya has been concocting climbing shoes in their factory in Spain since 1997. But it wasn’t until climbing superstars like Chris Sharma and Alex Megos that they really started to turn some heads.
While they might not have access to that elusive XS Grip 2, that hasn’t stopped them from creating their fan-favorite shoes including the Iati, Mundaka and the more recent Mastia.
– RA Woman
Ocun might be one of the smallest manufacturer to get their hands on Vibram rubber, but that doesn’t mean you should expect a second rate shoe.
Like Tenaya, this Czech company is restricted to only having the XS Grip at their disposal. Nevertheless, models like the Ocun Ozone have helped propel this brand’s reputation across Europe.
They don’t quite have the range and performance as other climbing shoe brands, but they are they know how to make a respectable shoe that’s budget-friendly. Ocun also manufacturer plenty of other climbing hardware, apparel and accessories.
– Ozone QC
– Ozone Plus
– Ozone Lady
For those that aren’t familiar with Red Chili, this compnay is the brain child of german climber Stefan Glowacz. The company has specialized in making climbng shoes since 1996, but they have diversided into other accessrioes over the years.
– Fusion Lady
– Fusion VCR
– Voltage Lace
– Voltage LV
– Voltage 2
LOWA might be a brand that sounds familiar, especially if you are a mountaineer. This company has almost 100 years of experience making hiking and ski boots.
More recently, the company has moved into a range of their own range of rock climbing shoes. While LOWA does have their own rubber compounds, they use for the hiking boots. While their shoes do use XS Grip, you’ll be hard-pressed to find retailers outside of Europe.
– Falco Lacing
– Falco VCR
The final batch of Vibram climbing shoes comes from another mountaineering hardware company, most gym rats have by the name of Simond.
Simond are a lesser know name in the climbing world and seem to exclusively supply their shoes to the retail giant Decathlon. While there shoes positing themsevels in the budget end of the spectrum, their hig perfomance shoe, the ‘Edge’, consistenyl recives high review scores.
– Edge Lace-up
– Vertika Strap
Saltic is a Czech company that has been creating gear for climbers across Eastern Europe since 1986. While they seem to predominantly sell their shoes in the Czech Republic, this company seems to be growing in popularity, especially across Europe.
– Avax Nop
– Enigma Black
– Enigma Nop
Cypher is the only USA shoe manufacturer (as far as we know) that uses Vibram rubber.
Similar to Ocun, and others on this list, Cypher manufactures a wide range of climbing equipment. While their shoe lines seem to be targeted towards budget and beginner climbers, their highest performance mode the ‘Codex’ seems to be more suited to advanced climbers
Garra is the new(ish) kid on the block. They came to fruition in 2002 at the hands of master craftsman Benjamín Rastoll.
Garra hand-make their shoes in a small factory outside of Madrid, Spain, and while their range isn’t as expansive as the other European shoe giants, this small team takes pride in every shoe they make.
Lavan is the main climbing shoe manufacturer in Iran. You will be hard-pressed to find these shoes outside of the Middle East.
– Red Point
Can you use Vibram Five Fingers for climbing?
If Charles Albert can climb V16 barefoot, or Tommy Caldwell can finish the Fitz Roy Traverse after losing a shoe, I am sure you can survive a trip at the gym with a pair of Five Fingers.
That said, The flexible nature of the Five Finger Design is the exact opposite of what a beginner would want in a climbing shoe. Your toe’s muscles and ligaments will work harder a lot hard to grip and curl around a hold than they would with a stiff, supportive shoe, which is usually what beginners should go for.
What’s better, Vibram Xs Grip 2 or Xs Edge?
Both the Grip 2 and Edge are brilliant compounds that made for different purposes. The Edge, as the name suggests, is designed to excel on technical vertical climbing and standing on mico flakes. This stiffer rubber creates a platform for you to stand on, which is favored for Trad, big-wall climbing.
Grip 2, on the other hand, is a lot softer and will conform to what you are standing on, which in turn increases the workload on your toes. Naturally, softer compounds are more sticky than their harder counterparts, so are favored for indoor climbing, bouldering and sport climbing.