Vibram® Expands Group of Trail Running Partners

Chosen By Saucony, Merrell and Hi-Tec to Design Trail Running Soles
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CONCORD, Mass., January 23, 2008 – Vibram® continues to expand on its successful mission of reaching a younger, broader audience with work for innovators in the trail running field. For fall 2008, Vibram designed outsoles for Saucony, Merrell and Hi-Tec trail running shoes.

“Vibram's expertise in outsole design for a wide range of mountain activities has served us well in these other athletic disciplines,” explains Lawrence Anastasi sales and marketing manager, Vibram, USA. “The technology and innovation we apply to keep climbers safe on the peaks translates effectively for less extreme but equally demanding outdoor sports.”

For hard core trail runners, Saucony chose Vibram to develop the exclusive ProGrid™ Xodus outsole. Featuring Vibram®TC1Dura compound, the shoe is formulated to meet performance trail-running demands: supple enough to grip on smooth rock or pavement and firm enough to bite into on-trail soil and extend on-road durability.

Broad lugs around the Xodus' sole periphery provide stability, comfort, and durability; wedge-shaped lugs in the forefoot feature alternated orientation for uphill thrust and downhill braking. Dedicated lugs in the forefoot and heel provide lateral security for off-camber trails. Multidirectional lugs offer the trail runner an uncompromising grip while their open-spaced placement keeps mud on the trail, not stuck to the outsole.

The Xodus offers hardcore trail runners a cushioned ride and ultimate response on any gnarly surface with Saucony's proprietary heel ProGrid technology, SRC Impact Zone and HRC forefoot cushioning.

Another serious trail runner, Hi-Tec's V-Lite Eruption is grounded on a Vibram sole. The exclusive Trail Jet sole is thin and flexible, emphasizing speed and agility, while the Vibram Supertrek compound provides increased grip for scrambling and bouldering. Multidirectional lugs guarantee a sure grip and strategic lug placement optimizes release of mud and grit. The shoe incorporates Hi-Tec's proprietary 4:SYS cushioning system, designed specifically for a running gait.

Merrell's Overdrive II trail runner is new for spring 2008 but will be in line for fall 2008 and features Vibram® Ultra-Traction™. For adventure runners who want to maintain speed over changeable terrain the Overdrive has evolved, back to front. The heel pod maintains the same braking power with increased durability. When loaded, TPU studs, flush cut at the forefoot, improve traction on uneven terrain. Vibram® Ultra-Traction™ Dual Density/TC-5+ Rubber make this Merrell trail runner a winner.

Vibram® is recognized worldwide as the leader in high performance soles for outdoor, recreational, work and fashion footwear and is relied on by the world' s greatest climbers and athletes. Vibram® soles have set the standard since Vitale Bramani created mountaineering's first rubber lugged sole in the late 1930's. Vibram® soles have gone on to conquer Mt. Everest, K2 and a host of the world's tallest peaks. Today, the company works with premium brands including Danner, La Sportiva, Lowa, Merrell, Red Wing, Scarpa, The North Face, Timberland, Vasque, Wolverine and many more. Vibram FiveFingers was named one of TIME Magazine's Best Inventions of 2007. For further information, visit www.vibram.com or www.vibramfivefingers.com.

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