When it comes to hiking boots, two of the most popular sole manufacturers are Contagrip and Vibram. Both companies have been in the industry for decades and have perfected their craft. As a hiker, you want the best possible grip and comfort, and that’s what both companies promise to deliver. But when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, which one reigns supreme? In this article, we compare Contagrip vs Vibram hiking soles to help you make the best decision for your next hiking adventure.

Contagrip Soles: Overview and Features

Contagrip is a brand owned by Salomon, a French company that specializes in outdoor gear. They pride themselves on delivering durable, high-traction soles for a variety of terrain. Their sole technology combines different densities and compounds to ensure that you have a firm grip on both wet and dry surfaces.

Contagrip soles are divided into two categories: Wet Traction Contagrip and High Traction Contagrip. Wet Traction Contagrip is designed to provide grip in muddy, wet terrain. The compound used in this technology has a soft rubber, allowing the sole to adapt to the terrain’s contours. High Traction Contagrip, on the other hand, focuses on providing stability and grip on dry and rocky terrain. This technology uses a harder rubber compound, enhancing the sole’s durability.

Vibram Soles: Overview and Features

Vibram is an Italian company that has been in the hiking and outdoor industry since 1935. They are known for their quality soles, which are used not just in hiking boots, but also in running shoes, fashion footwear, and even mountaineer boots. Vibram’s sole technology is designed to provide the best possible grip and support for your feet, whether you’re hiking on a mountain or running in the city.

Vibram soles are classified into several categories, each designed for specific terrains. For example, the MegaGrip technology focuses on delivering an all-terrain grip for hiking boots, while the ArcticGrip technology enhances grip on icy surfaces. Vibram soles are also made with a Vibram XS Trek compound, which gives them their durability and comfort.

Contagrip vs Vibram: The Comparison

Now that you have an overview of both Contagrip and Vibram soles, let’s compare them.

Grip and Traction

When it comes to grip and traction, both brands excel. Vibram soles have been a constant favorite thanks to their patented multi-directional lug design, which enhances stability and grip. However, Contagrip soles also deliver a firm grip, especially when it comes to wet terrain. The Wet Traction Contagrip technology adapts to the ground, providing stability even in muddy surfaces.


Durability is a critical factor when it comes to hiking boots. After all, you don’t want to spend money on boots that won’t last more than a couple of hikes. When it comes to durability, Vibram soles take the lead. The Vibram XS Trek compound used in their soles enhances their lifespan, making them scratch-resistant and hard-wearing.


Comfort is another essential factor when choosing hiking boots. Both brands offer a range of insoles and cushioned midsoles for extra comfort. However, Contagrip soles are designed to deliver support for your feet, especially when it comes to high-impact activities. The different densities and compounds used in their soles enhance comfort, making them ideal for long hikes.


When it comes to cost, both brands are somewhat comparable. You can expect to pay anywhere between $150-$300 for a good hiking boot with Vibram or Contagrip soles, depending on the brand and additional features.

Conclusion: Contagrip vs Vibram Hiking Boots

Choosing between Contagrip and Vibram soles is no easy task. They are two of the best options for hiking boots on the market. However, after comparison, Vibram soles take the lead when it comes to durability, while Contagrip soles excel in providing support for your feet. Ultimately, the decision comes down to the type of terrain you’ll be hiking, the level of comfort you require, and budget.

When looking for hiking boots, it’s crucial to consider the sole technology carefully. Choosing the right sole can enhance your hiking experience, and ensure that your feet are protected and comfortable. With Contagrip and Vibram, you’re sure to get the best possible grip and comfort for your next hike.