Vibram Expands Trailrunning Business with Ahnu and Patagonia

Vibram® continues to expand on its mission of reaching a younger, broader audience by partnering with innovators in the trail running field. For spring 2009, Vibram designed outsoles for Ahnu, Hi-Tec, Merrell, Patagonia and Saucony trail runners.

CONCORD, Mass., August 25, 2008 – Vibram® continues to expand on its successful mission of reaching a younger, broader audience by partnering with innovators in the trail running field. For spring 2009, Vibram designed outsoles for Ahnu, Hi-Tec, Merrell, Patagonia and Saucony trail running shoes.

“Vibram 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.”

Ahnu relied on Vibram to design the sole for their top end men's trail runner. The Fire Trail features a triple density EVA molded midsole and an anti-stone bruising plate in the forefoot. Ahnu's Redwood Trail also runs on a Vibram sole with a single density EVA molded midsole and an anti-stone bruising plate. Both soles are designed with multiple compounds for the best performance. TC1-Dura is used in the high wear toe and heel areas for extra durability and TC1 is used in the balance of the shoe for superb grip and traction. Complementing the high performance compounds are exclusively designed lugs for the ultimate flexibility, traction and grip.

A serious trail runner, Hi-Tec's V-Lite Eruption is powered by the exclusive Vibram Trail Jet sole. It is thin and flexible, emphasizing speed and agility, while the Vibram Supertrek compound provides increased grip for scrambling on the rocks. 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 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/TC5+ Rubber makes this Merrell trail runner a great choice for the most extreme conditions.

For traction on uneven trails, the women's specific Vibram® Release sole provides exceptional grip and durability for Patagonia Footwear's trail runner. The Release is a durable, stability trail companion with a Dynamic Fit Lacing System that runs through the upper and connects down to the midsole for a secure and individual fit. Gender specific trail running lasts with Patagonia Air Cushion Plus provide shock absorption and a precise fit for both men and women. A 70 percent recycled EVA and 30 percent recycled Vibram EcoStep® heel strike pad absorb shock and reduce impact on the environment. The women's specific style sports a 3DM triple density EVA midsole for extra control specific to a woman's unique biomechanical needs and matching with the women's specific Vibram® outsole.

For hard core trail runners, Saucony chose Vibram to develop the exclusive ProGrid™ Xodus outsole. The shoe was recently presented with the “Editor's Choice” Award by Runner's World Magazine. 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.

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 or