Vibram, a leader in high-performance soles and premium-rubber products, launched its Vibram Arctic Grip sole technology last week at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

Demonstrating the new tech to retailers and press at the U.S. Olympic Training Site in Salt Lake City, Vibram officials said a new material integrated into the soles of footwear specifically reacts to cold, wet and icy surfaces, gripping like a wet tongue to a flagpole. Indeed, take one of those elements out, the the shoe demoed at the event grips like any other, but when all three are present — such as a cold, wet, icy sheet encountered on winter run — then there’s a noticeable increase in grip.


Six Wolverine Worldwide brands will serve as exclusive Arctic Grip launch partners for 2016: Merrell, Sperry, Hush Puppies, Wolverine, Saucony, and Cat Footwear.

“Our partnership with Vibram allows us to be the first in the industry to bring this innovative technology to market and allows Vibram to launch its technology across our entire brand portfolio” said Blake Krueger, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Wolverine Worldwide. “Vibram Arctic Grip will be a differentiator for us and a key initiative for our brands in Fall 2016.”

“Our intention with Vibram Arctic Grip is to push the bounds of sole technology on icy surfaces,” said Michael Gionfriddo, president and chief executive officer of Vibram USA. “In Wolverine Worldwide’s Fall 2016 collection, consumers will see Vibram Arctic Grip complemented by some of the most advanced footwear technologies available.”

vibramWolverine Worldwide’s collection with Vibram Arctic Grip spans a range of shoes including:

  • Merrell Moab FST Ice+ Thermo Waterproof
  • Sperry Cold Bay Ice+
  • Hush Puppies Parkview Ice+
  • Saucony Razor Ice+
  • Wolverine Crossbuck FX Ice+
  • CAT Footwear Stiction HI WP Ice+

All Wolverine Worldwide products with Vibram Arctic Grip will feature designated lugs that grip slick wet ice, as well as thermochromatic lugs, which sense when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and change color in cold conditions. And while Vibram’s Arctic Grip works best on wet ice, it is also durable to maintain performance over miles of wear.

Vibram works with premium brands including Merrrell, Danner, La Sportiva, Low, Red Wing, Sperry, Scarpa, The North Face, and many more. Vibram’s Five Finger shoe line has of course been on the cutting-edge of the minimalist footwear trend. Wolverine World Wide, Inc. is one of the world’s leading marketers of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport, athletic, children’s and uniform footwear and apparel, carried by leading retailers in approximately 200 countries and territories.

Photos courtesy Vibram