Contagrip vs. Vibram Hiking: What Is the Difference?

What is the difference between Contagrip vs. Vibram hiking? Look no further to find the answer to this question. Let’s read this post to clear your query right now!

Top Rated Best Budget Salomon Contagrip

Top Rated Best Budget Vibram

Contagrip vs. Vibram for Hiking: Comparison Table

Contagrip Soles Vibram Soles
Company Salomon Vibram
Longevity And Durability Lower Higher
General Insulation Lower Higher
Mobility And Traction Higher Lower
Used for Salomon shoes Other shoe brands

Overall Of Contagrip And Vibram Soles

Contagrip Soles

Contagrip soles belong to Salomon, an outdoor gear brand that began with making grips and skis boots. Nowadays, they are famous for their high-quality and durable equipment for all types of outdoor trips.

Contagrip is used for Salomon shoes, while Vibram soles are on other brands. Their design is straightforward, but they are comfortable designs that make bending and movement feel quite natural.

However, Contragrip soles are also very durable since they are both weatherproof and hardly damaged by any rough surface. These soles prioritize mobility, which is more remarkable than other outdoor gear brands.

These models are quite thinner at their tips than other brands, which means you will get less safety at your foot’s front. In return, they provide better mobility and speed because of a greater distribution of their weight.

Vibram Soles

Vibram soles have their roots derived from the Italian company of the same name.

These models are made from vulcanized rubber, allowing them to be waterproof and difficult to degrade over time. So they will be a good investment for your hiking trips.

Their founder focuses too much on mountaineering. So it is no surprise that Vibram soles are durable.

As the vulcanized rubber material is electric and slips resistant, these soles will be ideal for people working in kitchens and many trade jobs.

Contagrip vs. Vibram Hiking: A Head-To-Head Comparison

Hiking Contagrip vs. Vibram Shoes is better for a specific purpose, which I will discuss further in the following sections.

Longevity And Durability

Most mountaineers, runners, and hikers at any skill level can notice negligible differences between Contagrip and Vibram soles. Both are superior in this category and are more robust than many other brands.

They all work well to resist tough surfaces and trails. Many people think Vibram soles may generally feature better insulation, but both options are unlikely to become damaged or easily degrade.

That said, Vibram® shoes have the ability to last longer thanks to their solid vulcanized rubber. This material just features a few weak points, where any damage might take place.

While neither of these options will disappoint you, you will probably prefer  Vibram soles if you need a bit more secure material.

General Insulation

Regarding insulation, the Contagrip soles seem to take second place since the different rubber densities will result in pretty inconsistent padding. But it is not typically noticed in most situations and climates.

Contagrip soles provide less warmth when mountaineering and hiking in the cold weather because of the large amount of cold rubber in their center. So you should move a bit more caution.

Vibram models lack this entirely. They are so dense and thick that they have the ability to resist anything, from electricity to frozen snow.

In most cases, no non-physical condition and hazard can penetrate the Vibram sole. Also, they are typically solid vulcanized rubber, making them one of the most invincible soles to any element and hazard they can encounter.

Mobility And Traction

When talking about traction, these two soles are typically equal as this factor depends more significantly on the king of the lugs instead of the material.

These excellent options use quite solid rubber material. While Vibram utilizes a more robust vulcanized rubber, these two options can deliver decent traction on any terrain the shoes they are on are made for.

However, we will clearly see the difference between Contagrip and Vibram when it comes to mobility.

Vibram soles are far less bendable. Although they maintain traction and protect your foot well, they will be less useful on any lighter trail.

Contagrip soles, meanwhile, are superior in this category. Their density and weight distribution allow you to move on more flexible surfaces with easier.

Yet, again, the mobility should depend on the exact model of the Contagrip and Vibram soles and the shoe’s design.

Performance Options

Here are several examples of Vibram soles you can find:

  • Kletterlift: It is a robust outsole suitable for mountain ranges. This sole features thick rubber with strategically-placed ridges, giving comfort and excellent shock absorption on a long hike.
  • Casual Wedge: It is the lightweight option of the Vibram sole with a decent grip on paved and indoor surfaces. It is made from thinner Morflex rubber, providing a unique grip.
  • Ripple Soles: These soles provide a fantastic level of bending without cost to traction, allowing you to create lighter and bigger steps on rough and inconsistent terrain.

Next, here are a few common examples of Contagrip layouts:

  • X-Scream 3D: These thin lugs work better for pavement and forestry trails. They are much flatter but far more flexible than similar soles.
  • Fellraiser: They have more lugs to give decent traction on all surfaces. They are much thinner at the base and center for additional flexibility.
  • Speedcross: They have heavy lugs, making great traction on any muddy terrain.  They are quite thin across the whole outsole.

Contagrip vs. Vibram Hiking: Which Sole Is Better?

At the end of the day, we believe no one is greater than the other when comparing Contagrip and Vibram hiking. However, it does not mean there are not any differences.

They are both incredibly tactile and robust technologies. When you are running or hiking on any challenging surface, you will not feel like you are put in danger.

They have different pros that make them suitable for different shoe styles.

Vibram soles will work best for any challenging trail and hazards, especially regarding temperature.

When it comes to boots, they will last for years in most cases. They also last longer than most other footwear products used for mountaineering and hiking.

The thinner nature of Contagrip makes these soles better for lighter shoes, exceptionally light hiking shoes, or trail running shoes.

The weight distribution helps these models maintain comfortable speeds, something most treacherous and slower hikers do not need or want.

Whichever of these two options you choose, you will not be disappointed as they will be equal for any hiking trip.

But if you are more professional and need the finer-tuned material, you must opt for the sole that matches your style of running or hiking best.


Below here is common questions and answers related to contagrip vs vibram hiking.

Who Makes Contagrip?

Salomon made Contagrip as it wanted to be 100% certain that its footwear could deliver a flawless performance, come shine,  rain, asphalt, or rock.

Are Vibram Boots Good for Hiking?

Their founder focuses too much on mountaineering. So it is no surprise that Vibram soles are durable, and ideal for hiking.

What Kind of Sole Is Good for Hiking?

It is Vibram. Many premium hiking shoes and hiking boots outsource their outsoles from Vibram.

Is Vibram Good on Ice?

The answer is Yes. You can use Vibram soles on wet ice without major performance compromise.

What Does Contagrip Mean?

Contagrip soles are a combination of various compounds with different densities. It means different zones of the outsole can be harder or softer, depending on where they are placed.

Is Contagrip Non Slip?

The answer is Yes. They are great non-slip choices for hikers.

What Is the Toughest Vibram Sole?

It might be Vibram Commando Lug soles, which are ideal for those looking for something durable, rugged, and comfortable.

What Is So Special About Vibram Soles?

In short, they are the most durable shoe soles on the planet, ideal for any activity.

Are Vibram Soles Good on Wet Rock?

The answer is No. Vibram soles are the worst wet-rock grip.

Are Vibram Soles Good in Snow?

It depends on the model, but most are not ideal for snowy surfaces.

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