KNOW YOUR TECH breaks down the scientific technology used in your favorite sneakers and activewear. Let’s demystify your next purchase: today’s technology is Vibram XS Grip. This durable rubber compound is designed for use on free climbing shoes, providing necessary traction in a number of conditions and surfaces.

What is it? A rubber compound designed for freeclimbing. Introduced in 2006, Vibram XS Grip offers 30% more adherence than their previous compounds. Best for outdoor or indoor freeclimbing, Vibram XS Grip delivers excellent traction on smooth rock surfaces.

How does it work? Vibram researches worked over a long period of time to develop a compound with an ideal compromise of grip and resistance. Through a number of tests in different climbing situations, XS Grip was born. Even the brand's logo incision was carefully tested and placed so that it would not affect performance. The result is an outsole compound with heavy duty traction, whether you're on granite or limestone. XS Grip is also engineered to withstand extreme temperatures, allowing it to function just as well in winter and summer conditions.

Notable Products: La Sportiva Solution, La Sportiva Speedster, Scarpa Stix

Bottom Line: Whether you're looking to take up freeclimbing or upgrade your current shoes, Vibram XS Grip is the compound you'll need.


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