The Vertika slipper features a an asymmetric, aggressive design with a strong toe box and good hooking features.


Maybe you have seen someone wearing those freaky Vibram FiveFingers shoes. So why are we talking Vibram in a review of the Decathlon? Because Vibram’s legendary XS grip rubber is the heart and sole of this shoe, and for the price you’ll be hard pushed to find another shoe with Vibram XS.


The Vertika slipper features a an asymmetric, aggressive design with a strong toe box and good hooking features.


The shoe is distinguished above all by the grippiness offered by Vibram. Designed snugly for intense climbing, the fit rules it out for anyone with Morton’s toe, an condition where the middle toes of the foot extend further than the big toes. It’s breathable leather gives your poor tootsies a bit of break from the claustrophobia. It’s an elasticated slipper so it’s pretty easy to slip on and off which makes it practical for the wall.







It seems like Vibram is a new thing, but the design and material has a long history nearly eight decades long. Given the fuss about Vibram’s one-of-a-kind design in fashion magazines you might be surprised to know that Vibram first saw the light in Italy back in 1937 – and it was designed for climbers.


When a climbing accident claimed the lives of friends of Vitale Bramani, he decided that poorly gripping shoes were to blame and with a little help from Pirelli he created a stiff but grippy rubber outsole material for climbing shoes.  Since then, the Vibram name has long been associated with grip, and grip is just what we’re looking for on the wall.



In-House Testing


Our very own Vy has been putting the Vertika shoes to the test and her immediate reaction is positive.


“They are definitely comfortable and good for wide feet thanks to the adjustability of the twin velcro fasteners,” she says, “and in particular I find it a really good fit around the toes. The tiptoe is very strong and the asymmetric design can feel a bit strange for the less experienced. It should be said that the heel cup is a very aggressive design making it a good shoe for experienced climbers, especially for bouldering. “I also find that it’s maybe not the best shoe for people who sweat a lot because of the leather upper which tends to retain the smell, as does the tongue, but it’s well priced and easy to get on and off thanks to those velcro fasteners and the twin heel loops to haul on.”


So there you have it.  A very reasonably priced technical shoe with a legendary sole, but if you do have a delicate sense of smell, or a partner with one then don’t go keeping your shoes in the bedroom.





Words by Steve Shipside.