Vibram Gets USU on its Feet
For 2 days, near the Taggart Student Center on USU’s Logan Campus, representatives from the 80-year-old sole company, Vibram, resoled Vans, Chacos, Nikes and even cowboy boots, for free. It was all part of Vibram’s Sole Factor Tour where some of Vibram’s master technicians travel the country teaching the importance of resoling your shoes with quality rubber, rather than adding one more shoe that could have been salvaged to growing landfills.
In the 2 years that Vibram has taken its mobile cobbling shop on the road, this was the first visit to a university campus, and nobody was quite sure what to expect. The Vibram team was hosted by Outdoor Product Design & Development program and resulted in a significant turnout from students looking to have their “soles saved” as one Vibram advertisement read. In the 2 days that Vibram was on campus, cobblers resoled a total of 45 pairs of shoes, where they typically only do 30 for similar events. Judging by the number of hopeful students looking for new soles that had to be turned away, the team could have stayed even longer.
Vibram hopes that people all over the country think about what they put on their feet, and make sure they take care of them. A quality sole can last much longer, and do less harm to the environment. It’s that message that many in the OPDD program recognize and hope to take to companies they’ll work for after graduation. While Vibram only resoles shoes during the tour, the company is happy to connect people to local cobblers where they can have Vibram soles put on their shoes.
It’s possible that the Vibram Sole Factor Tour will be back in the future, but the company hopes people in the community think about what’s on their feet and work with a local cobbler to get more steps out of each shoe.
Industry collaborations made possible through the Manufacturing and Outdoor Products Support Hub, a partnership between Utah Manufacturing Extension Service and Outdoor Product Design & Development.