Founded by Vitale Bramani, a member of the Italian Alpine club, Vibram patented the first vulcanised-rubber lug soles for mountaineering boots in 1937. The thick sole was created to replace the leather hobnail soles mountain climbers used at the time. The model was named Carrarmato, meaning ‘tank tread’, due to its distinctive footprint. The company’s industrial design, technology and product development are based in Albizzate in northern Italy. Vibram’s lightweight and durable soles are developed for specific performance needs – grip, abrasion resistance, elasticity or hardness – and are used in everything from outdoor and hiking boots to running shoes and professional footwear.