Vibram rubber can be found absolutely everywhere. From the feet of US soldiers to the alpine frontiers of the Himalayas – if there are extreme environments waiting to be explored – there’s a good chance a pair of Vibram boots won’t be far away. While the rubber-making masters at Vibram have plenty of magical compounds up their sleeves, it’s the ‘Climbing Performance’ rubber range that we get excited about.
The Road to Revolutionary Rubber
This Italian company has been the undisputed king of rubber since climbers first started cramming their grubby feet into shoes. After six of his friends died in a mountaineering accident Vitale Bramani, the company’s founder, was inspired to create the world’s first ‘tank tread’ rubber sole in 1937. But it wasn’t until 1988 that they introduced the Vibram Grip, a revolutionary new rubber formula designed to specifically tackle the vertical world of free climbing.
Today, the Vibram climbing performance range has grown to three rubber compounds; the XS Grip, XS Grip 2, and XS Grip Edge. Each rubber formula is brilliant in its own right, all designed to perform optimally in different types of terrain. If you’re interested in learning a bit more about each of these compounds, then I recommend you take a look at this page, where you can see our comparison of each Vibram rubber, as well as plenty of other popular climbing compounds.
However, if you’re just looking for a list of Vibram rock climbing shoes, then you have landed in the right place. Here, I want to talk you through every climbing shoe brand that uses Vibram, and which rubber formula they use.
Every Vibram Climbing Shoe
I am sure you already know that Vibram does not make its own climbing shoes. Its sole purpose (pun intended) is to discover, test, and refine rubber compounds. Instead, the company sells its rubber to climbing shoe brands that then use it to make their shoes.
Here’s the complete list of every manufacturer currently using Vibram rubber for their shoes in 2023.
La Sportiva does have its own rubber compound (FriXion) but this is only used for a handful of budget shoes like the Cobra and Tarantulace. For its performance shoes, it turns to its friends at Vibram.
Vibram’s XS Grip 2 compound is exclusive to La Sportiva and Scarpa climbing shoes. This is, by far, Vibram’s most advanced and versatile climbing rubber. In fact, Vibram claims that Grip 2 is 30% more adhesive than the original XS Grip. La Sportiva uses this for most of its shoe lines, especially for its high-performance bouldering and sport climbing shoes, as well as for its range of No-Edge climbing shoes.
For those shoes that need a little extra support, La Sportiva put the Vibram XS Edge to good use.
Katana Lace (Male)
Miura Lace (female)
Miura Lace (male)
Miura VS (male)
XS Grip 2
Katana Lace (female)
Miura VS (female)
Besides La Sportiva, Scarpa is the other main creator of Vibram climbing shoes. While they too have their own rubber compounds (the super soft S-72, most recently found on the Veloce and Vision rubber, found on their budget beginner shoes) Scarpa opts for Vibram rubber for its top-of-the-range climbing shoes.
Unsurprisingly Scarpa uses XS Edge and XS Grip 2 for the vast majority of their shoes.
Instinct VS (male)
Vapor V (male)
XS Grip 2
Instinct VS Women
Vapor V (female)
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 they were spotted on the feet of 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 more recently, the Mastia and Indalo
Ocun might be one of the smaller manufacturers 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 its 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 manufactures plenty of other climbing hardware, apparel, and accessories.
For those who aren’t familiar with Red Chili, this company is the brainchild of German climber Stefan Glowacz. The company has specialized in making climbing shoes since 1996, but they have diversified into other accessories over the years too.
When it comes to their shoes, you will find that their shoe line consists of a blend of shoes, some that use Vibram XS Grip, and others that use their own rubber, RX.
The next batch of Vibram climbing shoes comes from another mountaineering hardware company – one that most gym rats have never probably heard of – by the name of Simond.
Simond is a lesser-know name in the climbing world and seems to exclusively supply its shoes to the retail giant Decathlon. While its shoes position themselves on the budget end of the spectrum, its high-performance shoe, the ‘Edge’, consistently receives high praise.
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.
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 came to fruition in 2002 at the hands of master craftsman Benjamín Rastoll. Garra hand-crafts their shoes in a small factory outside of Madrid, Spain, and while their range isn’t as extensive 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.