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BLOG | PRODUCT REVIEWS | 04 October 2016

Arctic Grip by Vibram and Crossover AG by Bestard—Magic on Ice

We test the new Arctic Grip sole by Vibram, with a result on ice that far exceeds everything that’s come before.


The Arctic Grip compound by Vibram makes it possible to manufacture the “stickiest” soles on ice and wet surfaces that we have ever tried. The grip is extreme, almost as good as on dry surfaces, unrivaled by any other similar sole on the market.

The steel-gray sole feels extremely gritty and sturdy to the touch. The compound hardens as the temperature drops to literally stick to the ice for superior traction.

Like we said, we tried it and can confirm that it’s a game changer, the grip is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. We’re not talking about frozen snow, or thin sheets of ice that can break; as you can see in the video, we’re talking about wet, glassy ice like the kind you find at an ice rink, and with the soles’ enhanced grip we can practically walk normally across the ice, almost as if the boots had cleats.

We gave the sole a try with the Crossover AG by Bestard, a semi-rigid boot for mountaineering and successor of the brand’s successful Crossover BG3, a high-performing boot for three-season mountaineering and alpine climbing. It should be noted that Arctic Grip should never be used in place of crampons in high-mountain conditions where better traction is required; Vibram’s sole simply ensures added security in mountaineering when ice is possible. Its grip on wet rock is also outstanding.

This exceptional grip in frozen conditions has also been incorporated into everything from hiking to urban footwear used in winter. Merrell has manufactured a number of models with this technology, including warm boots for hiking and trekking in icy conditions.

Arctic Grip provide the best performance when used on soft soles. When used on the central area of rigid or semi-rigid soles, there are times when the lateral or front part of the sole prevents the Arctic Grip area from coming into contact with the ice. With a soft sole, this area is always in contact with the ice.

Bestard Crossover AG

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