Vibram® Expands Reach With ‘Winter Sports’ Footwear

Designs Soles for Snowboarding Boots, Winter Mountain Bike Shoes And Step-in Snowshoe
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CONCORD, Mass., January 23, 2008 – Continuing its pursuit of a younger, broader audience, Vibram® announces partnerships with several companies in the winter sports industry. For 2008 Vibram has designed soles for: K2 and Burton snowboard boots; Lake winter mountain biking shoes and LL Bean's step-in snowshoe, the Trailblazer.

“The winter season is ripe with opportunities for Vibram to move beyond the traditional mountaineering applications most associated with our company,” explains Lawrence Anastasi, sales and marketing manager, Vibram USA, “Although we will always cater to our original core customer base, pursuing new markets is an integral part of future expansion plans for Vibram USA.”

Burton's new SLX snowboard boot will showcase Vibram's exclusive new Gumlite 3D sole. Gumlite 3D delivers a sole that is 30-40% lighter, while using traditional rubber in key zones for its high-traction/high-wear qualities. The reduced weight delivers a more limber and precise ride.

The upgraded Burton Driver X boot, an all-mountain freeride boot, features Vibram's Ecostep™ outsole, designed to deliver superior uphill and downhill traction. The sole addresses all of the key criteria of a high performance boot. In the toe there is a snow-cat inspired tread for uphill traction in backcountry and hard pack. Contrasting colored “Ice Spikes” enhance surface penetration. In the heel, the lugs' sharp leading edges provide excellent downhill breaking. Along the binding, lugs are flat and wide for maximum stability. Broad spacing between lugs improves snow release and reduces weight. Lug shape, size and position, and compound choice were all balanced to provide the highest level of durability.

K2 is once again featuring the Vibram Super Light Sole in its upgraded T1 and T1D.B. all terrain, team inspired boots. The sole is 30 percent lighter than previous offerings but still maintains superior on snow performance. The tread pattern has been precisely designed with Vibram for snowboard performance, reducing the rubber coverage while offering superb traction and durability where needed. Other features include: open zones for traction and release of snow and a harder compound in the toe and heel sections for driving into ice and hardpack in climbs and descents.

Lake's most popular winter mountain bike shoe, the MXZ302 features the SPD compatible Vibram Comp V sole with removable metal and composite Mudstudsâ„¢ in the toe for added traction on snow, ice and mud. The MXZ302 features a boa push/pull lacing system with heel hold, a water resistant leather Pittards upper with a neoprene cuff, and an outlast liner.

With Vibram's sole as an integral part of the system, L.L.Bean is pleased to be the first retailer in North America to market a recreational “step-in” snowshoe. Called the L.L.Bean Trailblazer, the revolutionary snowshoe features groundbreaking TSL Step-In technology that enables users to simply put the snowshoes on by stepping into the bindings. The sole's multitraction lugs provide traction in any direction, the sharp, vertical lug walls of the peripheral lugs provide biting traction in snow, and the soft, rounded lug profiles in the central forefoot and heel are designed to optimize snow release. To complement the strategic lug placement and design, Vibram's Trek compound ensures grip on a multitude of surfaces.

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 TIME Magazine's Best Inventions of 2007. For further information, visit www.vibram.com or www.vibramfivefingers.com.

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