We have discussed Vibram rubber soles on different occasions here on our website.
Briefly, the brand was founded in 1937 in Northern Italy by Vitale Bramani who invented the first rubber lug soles.
These soles were used first in mountaineering boots and today the company has become famous worldwide with many footwear and outdoor brands using their outsoles for their shoes.
We have previously talked about the different types of Vibram soles. In this article, we’ll focus on two particular types of their sole compounds: the XS TREK and the MEGAGRIP.
We’ll show you their main differences and compare them. So, let’s get started!
- 1. The Vibram® XS TREK Sole
- 2. The Vibram® MEGAGRIP Sole
- 3. Differences and Comparison
- 4. Where To Find Them?
- 5. Conclusion
1. The Vibram® XS TREK Sole
The Vibram XS TREK outsole compound is designed for a good all-round performance for various sports applications.
It can be used in different situations, for example, mountain biking, skiing, or water sports.
Its main characteristics are:
- wet traction;
- it’s non-marking so it can be used indoors, or on a boat;
- responsiveness on uneven terrain.
(A pair of hiking shoes with Vibram soles)
2. The Vibram® MEGAGRIP Sole
The Vibram MEGAGRIP rubber compound, as the name suggests is designed to offer great grip features on both wet and dry surfaces.
It can be used in various outdoor activities such as hiking / trekking, trail running, or mountain biking.
Its main characteristics are:
- great grip on wet and dry terrain;
- increased safety on slippery surfaces;
- durability on long distances;
- good control;
- good balance of flexibility and stability.
You may have also heard about MEGAGRIP PRO soles. These are designed for work and safety shoes that will be used in extreme working situations and can resist oils and a wide range of temperatures. At the same time, they maintain Vibram’s high standards of durability and grip.
3. Differences and Comparison
So, on the surface, it doesn’t seem like these two types of Vibram soles are that much different from each other.
But if we examine them more in detail and after extensive research, we’ll find that:
The MEGAGRIP sole is the best of Vibram sole compounds when it comes to performance on wet surfaces. It offers great safety and grip on wet slippery terrain. For example, it is great during descends on wet terrain when you’re doing trail running.
The downside is that, while it also offers good durability, it suffers a bit on dry surfaces as it’s stiffer and can get consumed faster.
On the other hand, Vibram XS TREK provides an optimal balance between traction and durability. It is designed for stability and comfort, and for being dynamic and responsive on technical terrain.
In the end, you’ll not notice any big differences if you practice outdoor sports rarely and on an amateur level because these are two excellent sole compounds for a variety of activities either outdoor or indoor.
When your experience level increases you’ll begin to have more specific needs. And in that case, when you’re shopping for new shoes, you should keep in mind the main differences between these two high-performance sole compounds:
- Vibram MEGAGRIP offers superior grip on wet and dry surfaces, especially wet terrain, with good overall durability;
- Vibram XS TREK is a more “versatile” sole with a good balance of traction and durability.
4. Where To Find Them?
You can find them both online and in physical stores in your country.
The main brands in the market today that use Vibram MEGAGRIP in their footwear soles are New Balance, Hoka One One, but also The North Face, and Columbia Sportswear.
On the other hand, you’ll find Vibram XS TREK on some hiking and trail running shoes from Topo Athletic. For example, the Topo Athletic Trailventure 2 shoe which is available in both XS TREK and MEGAGRIP versions.
And that’s all for this comparison. We just learned the main differences between Vibram XS TREK and MEGAGRIP which will hopefully help you during your next purchase.
Have you tried any of these Vibram products? What has your experience been like? Let us know in the comments.