Innovation and sustainability are the two pillars on which the future commitment of Vibram is based, as Anna Nosova, sales team leader EMEA Vibram Work&Safety, tells us. She also unveils the compounds and technologies that will be presented in Germany at A+A 2023
V ibram is the world’s leading Italian company in the production of high- performance rubber soles. Founded in 1937, the company has a long history of innovation and development of cutting-edge technologies and solutions to offer safety and performance to workers all over the world. In the Work&Safety market, in particular, Vibram offers a complete range of soles to meet the needs of professionals working in multiple sectors such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture, mining, and public service workers such as firefighters. Each individual sole is designed to offer optimal grip on different surfaces, even in extreme conditions, and is also produced using materials of exceptional quality that guarantee a very long service life. Among the innovations designed for the occupational footwear market that will be presented at A+A 2023, the most important international event related to Occupational Safety, Health and Security that takes place every two years in Düsseldorf, are: Vibram Traction Lug, a design technology that offers greater grip on uneven and irregular surfaces; Vibram Ecostep Pro, a compound obtained by using approximately 30% recycled rubber from manufacturing waste; and numerous solutions specifically dedicated to the HORECA sector.
Vibram has always been synonymous with quality and safety, especially in the world of sport. What are the main features of Vibram soles in the Work&Safety market and what distinguishes them from competitors?
“For more than 85 years, our company has been committed to offering workers, shoe soles designed to ensure comfort and protection and to prevent the risk of slipping, in any sector or profession. We develop tailor-made designs for our customers based on what they need most to feel protected in the workplace. Every profession has its own needs, which is why we first identify the risks from which the consumer must be protected. The next step is the choice of the right rubber compound for this particular use. Our company constantly invests time and resources in the development of new rubber compounds and new technologies to meet market demands and even, in most cases, anticipate them. Design also plays a major role: it contributes to optimising safety performance (grip, traction, self-cleaning, stability ….) and is not limited to aesthetic appeal. Finally, all our products undergo several levels of testing. In addition to the standard tests in our in-house laboratories and those we carry out through external certification bodies, we test all products in our Test Centre, using purpose-built equipment and following test protocols developed in- house. This allows us to have a clear view of how our product works in real conditions.”
How important is the Work&Safety sector for Vibram?
“Work&Safety is a very important sector for Vibram, we work hard to develop technologies and it is the second largest department of our company after Outdoor, representing 30% of the total turnover globally”.
Who are your main partners?
“We work with the best manufacturers of safety footwear worldwide, with those who, like us, want to create a high-quality product. With our partners, we work closely together at all stages of the development process, from concept to final product, always putting consumer safety at the centre.” What are the main technologies and innovations in the Work&Safety market? Which sectors and types of workers do you target?
“Our main corporate objective is to offer the market/consumer the best soles for every type of use, particularly in the world of safety, where having
a high-performance sole can contribute significantly to worker protection. Our soles can become indispensable when a professional works in high- risk environments and exposed to particularly dangerous conditions (extreme temperatures, hot or slippery surfaces). For example, Vibram Arctic Grip technology is specifically designed for slip resistance on ice and extremely low temperatures. The special rubber compound has unique properties that allow the sole to remain flexible even at -40 degrees, while the Arctic Grip inserts provide unrivalled grip on ice. For indoor work, on the other hand, we developed Vibram Litebase, a true revolution in light weight safety shoes. Thanks to an elaborate technological process, Vibram Litebase allows the sole thickness to be reduced by up to 50%, resulting in a weight reduction of up to 30%, without compromising grip, traction and durability.”
Vibram will be an exhibitor at A+A 2023, one of the most important trade fairs dedicated to occupational safety. What are the main technologies you will present?
“Among the various innovation projects in our pipeline is the Traction Lug technology, which will be one of the focuses at A+A 2023. It is specifically designed for all workers who are confronted daily with outdoor, uneven and irregular surfaces, such as in construction, agriculture, mining ect. Vibram Traction Lug is based on a revolutionary lug design that increases ground contact by 50% and traction by 25%. Vibram has always paid special attention to the sustainable use of resources to safeguard the planet. This is why, during this edition of A+A, we have chosen to re-propose Ecostep Pro, a compound obtained 30% from the recycling of manufacturing waste that offers Vibram quality and performance while respecting the environment. Finally, there will be solutions for the HORECA sector, where slipping on wet and oily surfaces remains the main challenge. Vibram also responds to them with custom designs and compounds.”
Are you working on new solutions dedicated to the professional market? Can you give us some details?
“Innovation and development at Vibram know no rest because the professional world is constantly changing along with the needs of those who are part of it. Safety for professionals in every sector but also sustainability: ideas and projects are not lacking, as this has always been a theme dear to us.”
Anna Nosova, Sales Team Leader EMEA Vibram Work&Safety
EACH WORKER GETS HIS OWN TECHNOLOGY
During A+A, the world trade fair for occupational safety, Vibram presents several high-performance, avant-garde and environmentally friendly solutions
Vibram, a leading company in the production and development of high- performance rubber soles for over 80 years, has always been recognised as an expression of quality, innovation and durability. The importance given to research and study of latest generation compounds and revolutionary design concepts, are the distinctive signs that confirm the yellow octagon as a top brand also in the industrial footwear market.
On the occasion of A+A, the international exhibition specialised in safety at work, the company presents the Vibram Coltello design technology, created to offer workers in the Ho.Re.Ca and Health Care worlds a selection of comfortable and high-performance soles for specific surfaces, often contaminated by oils and on which there is a need to move quickly.
Performance and innovation have always gone hand in hand with great attention to the environment: in recent years Vibram has offered the world of safety footwear an alternative compound made with around 30% recycled rubber from production waste. The result is Vibram Ecostep Pro, already present on the safety footwear of the most advanced and environmentally friendly brands.
SIXTON PEAK JUST GRIP
Vibram Coltello, an example of how specific compound and design become an essential element for excellent performance, especially for operators in the Ho.Re.Ca. sector. The flat design allows for a greater contact surface and is characterised by modulated treads with edge reliefs to favour traction on smooth surfaces influenced by oils and grease. With VIbram Coltello design technology, the excellence of Vibram grip is available to the Ho.Re.Ca and Health care worlds to ensure stability and safety in movement.
VIBRAM ECOSTEP PRO
SIXTON PEAK FORCE HIGH BOA®45477-07L
Vibram Ecostep Pro, the perfect balance between sustainability and performance. It is the first pioneering compound composed of over 30% recycled rubber derived from production waste and adapted to the Work & Safety sector. It offers very high standards of grip, traction and durability on difficult, unstable surfaces, especially in the presence of oil and grease. Designed for an environmentally conscious consumer, but who cannot compromise on the grip and performance of Vibram soles.
EMMA CROSS FORCE X
Strong, light, dynamic, metal-free and made with a Vibram Ecostep Pro sole, EMMA Cross Force X was developed with the aim of presenting the safety world with a comfortable, high-performance product designed to respect the environment as much as possible. The Vibram Ecostep Pro sole is made with about 30% recycled materials from production waste and offers excellent grip performance, thanks also to the specific design, studied in close collaboration between Vibram and Emma labs, to emphasise the properties of the compound. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor workers, the shoe is developed with different recycled components, partially or totally (lining, laces, insole, midsole).