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Product review (and contest): Vibram Lace

By P.J. Harmer and Jack Trageser — Rattling Chains staff

Vibram has taken its next step in the disc golf market.

After months of anticipation, the Lace — Vibram’s first long-distance driver — was released to the public Nov. 23, or Black Friday as many refer to the day after Thanksgiving in the United States.

Reviews from around the Internet seem to be extremely positive for the new disc, which Vibram says is a stable driver.

When you get to Jack Trageser’s part of this review, you’ll get a more in-depth feel about the disc and what it can do for somebody with a stronger arm and with more ability to do what he wants with the disc.

My part is going to talk about the disc from the vantage point of a light-armed thrower and one who doesn’t have a lot of control over a disc.

Allow me to note I’m a Vibram user. The Ibex is one of my best discs as I can actually  get it to (usually) do what I want. I also putt with a Summit and, in the past, I’ve carried and used a Trak, V.P. and Ascent. So it’s safe to say I like Vibram’s products.

Still, I’m not much of a long-distance driver person. Mainly because I don’t feel my strength, throwing style and power is enough for that kind of a disc. The only true driver I carry is an Innova Blizzard Katana (132g), and that’s because it’s extremely light and I can actually get decent distance out of it if there’s not a strong wind.

But, being a fan of Vibram, I was extremely excited to get my hands on a Lace.

First, the feel of the Lace I received is awesome. It’s pretty soft to touch and it felt right in my hand. That’s usually the first thing I notice when I throw a disc — whether or not it actually feels right.

The Lace — Vibram’s newest disc. You can win this disc. See details at the end of this post.

I used the Lace several times over a couple of rounds and also did some throwing in a field. Besides that, I also had three or four others, including a couple of much higher-level players.

For me, honestly, it seemed like a little too much disc. I don’t feel my style or power truly matches up with the capability of the disc. Though a stable disc, it didn’t hold a line long enough for me. Instead, it tended to fly out with a stronger bend to the left (I’m a right-handed thrower).

In my field tests, I couldn’t get a ton of distance out of it. I still couldn’t get over how good the disc felt in my hand in throwing, however. So I kept trying. I had a few throws that really took flight. My best throws came when I kept the disc a bit lower, giving it a chance to basically cut through the wind.

If I tried to really get into a throw, it would take off and quickly cut left. Other Vibrams — such as the Ibex, Trak, or even an Obex — held lines a little stronger for me.

Another area amateur, who is quite a bit better than I am, had a couple of really nice throws that had distance in a round I played with him. The two top-level players who threw the disc agreed it was stable and each of them got some awesome distance out of the disc.

For those of you who can wing it or have really good control over throws and discs, I’d highly encourage you to try the disc. However, if you’re someone like me and doesn’t usually throw more than 250 feet (on a good day), you might want to ease yourself into the Lace by throwing the Trak or something like that in the Vibram line.

I do love the feel, though. And I plan on getting another Lace or two and working on them so I can hopefully, one day, really use the disc to its full capacity.

See below Jack’s part of the review on how to win the disc I reviewed.

Jack Trageser

Is there anything Vibram’s X-Link Rubber Compound disc’s can’t do?

For two years now, I’ve touted the durability, the grip, and even the consistent flight path. But I always assumed distance was the one area where the tackier rubber material would not be able to match the sleekness and superior aerodynamics of plastic.

After testing the Lace, Vibram’s first true long-distance disc, I think I may have been wrong. Very wrong.

When I give it some thought, though, I should have seen this coming. After all, the Obex and Ibex can produce incredible distance for mid-range discs, and the Trek and Ascent both fly pretty far for being supposed fairway drivers. The Lace takes things to a whole new level. I’ll do my best to explain, but after a couple fieldwork sessions and a stellar round at DeLaveaga (6-under par, thanks in part to the Lace) I haven’t quite figured out how the disc flies so fast and long, so effortlessly.

Those who have read my reviews in the past know I’m not big on the technical aspects of discs. If you need to know that stuff it’s on Vibram’s site. And while you’re there you might read their description of the disc, which says, in part, that it’s “like a faster Trak with a ton more glide thrown in as a bonus.” I don’t totally agree with that assessment.

While it is indeed much faster and goes way farther than a Trak, this disc is way more stable. In fact, I think it’ll act like most other super-fast discs do for players without a surplus of power. I grudgingly let me friend throw it once, and he’s an accomplished player. Even after telling him it could handle all the power he wanted to give, he still underestimated it and let it hyzer out way too soon. It’s happened to me a bunch of times, too. But even when I didn’t get the gradual S-turn I plan for when going for maximum distance, I still ended up longer than expected, time and time again.

A couple of  times at DeLaveaga, I even discovered new possibilities — and I’ve been playing that course for almost 20 years! It’s hard to put into the right words, but when I watch the flight of my Lace, I expect to find it in one place and I end up finding it somewhere else, usually farther down the fairway and closer to the hole.

Case in point was hole No. 20, a dogleg right, which goes over and around tall trees. It was my first hole of the day with the Lace and I didn’t expect it to be so stable. It hyzered way sooner than I wanted, and I started plunging into the trees thinking it went in short, and maybe even trickled down into the canyon. Nope. It was on the right fringe, but barely, and only 40 feet short of the hole. A good throw would have blasted past the basket. It’s that glide that Vibram touts.

As far as feel is concerned, the Lace has that superior grip that just makes you feel like you’re in control. Some power discs feel uncontrollable in my hand, but not this disc. It fit into my hand comfortably and came out smoothly.

Another thing related to the rubber compound that I like, as with the other Vibram discs, it tends to stop pretty soon after touching down, which I consider a bonus with a long-range driver in certain cases. There are times when you need to get 400-plus feet, yet you need the disc to stop quickly. Until now, that really hasn’t been an option. If you wanted distance, you had to be willing to risk the possibility of skipping and/or sliding at the end of the flight. Now, with the Lace, you can have your cake and eat it, too.

I don’t hide the fact that I love Vibram’s rubber discs, and I’m mildly surprised that the rest of the disc golf world hasn’t yet gone ga-ga for rubber. I guess these things take time. But I have a prediction. In golf there is the well-known saying — “drive for show, putt for dough.” Distance and power get the most attention, and now with the Lace here, expect Vibram to start getting a lot more attention.

Win the disc

Though the Lace is now readily available, the disc used by P.J. Harmer in reviewing is available to win!

Win this disc!

The disc is lightly used with no noticeable wear. Note that it did hit a few trees in testing, though! The weight is 173 grams.

Winning the disc is simple enough — comment on this story about your thoughts on the Vibram Lace or Vibram in general.

We’ll even give you a second entry by sending out a tweet (exactly as below) so others can find out about this disc giveaway.

Visit @rattlingchains to see how you can win a Vibram Lace! http://rattlingchains.com/?p=2229 #discgolf

We’ll select a random person sometime Sunday (Dec. 2) night and do a quick post announcing the winner.

If you have any comments, questions, thoughts, ideas or anything else, feel free to e-mail me and the crew at: pj@rattlingchains.com. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

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  • andrew belet says:

    Still waiting on mine to arrive…I love Vibram products (see the recent post on this site about Vibram for my quote) so I’m very excited to see how this driver turns out…

    November 27, 2012 at 11:56 am
  • Luke says:

    I’ve never had a chance to throw any Vibram discs, but they look awesome and I’d love to try one out.

    November 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm
  • Marty B. says:

    I like the idea of seeing a driver stop quickly upon landing and would love to try putting that into practice with a Vibram driver. I’ve never used Vibram before, a couple guys I play with swear by it, but I still haven’t ventured out yet. Maybe with this disc, it’s time to try.
    Marty B. recently posted..Disc Golf Video Game ProjectMy Profile

    November 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm
  • Kevin King says:

    I’ll be honest – I’ve never had or thrown a vibram disc. I love the idea of a crazy durable, nice-feeling disc but being Canadian, we don’t have access to the big dg stores that you guys have. Maybe the Lace will
    Be the gateway drug that gets me hooked on rubber.

    November 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm
  • Jake Lauber says:

    havent tried to many vibrams, I have a summit in my bag that i like to use for turnover shots though!

    November 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm
  • Bill V. says:

    Haven’t tried any Vibram discs yet, but I am anxious to try them.

    November 27, 2012 at 12:22 pm
  • Morgan Kelly says:

    I’ve always been afraid of throwing a floppy rubber disc. But the more good stuff I hear about vibram, the more I’m looking forward to throwing some of their new stuff. Perhaps a lace might just be what I’m looking for.. Although, if I’m really being honest, some of the way the rubber is pressed into the discs looks really really bad.

    November 27, 2012 at 12:22 pm
  • Thomas Branham says:

    This was my year to try new stuff…Lat64 (River/Saint), Legacy (Ghost), MVP (ION), DGA (Squall), but sadly no Vibram.

    November 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm
  • Joshua Winn says:

    I have never thrown Vibram. Wear the soles all the time though!

    November 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm
  • Travis says:

    I love the concept of using rubber instead of plastic. Seems like a no-brainer. Vibram is on the cutting edge of DG technology…something our sport needs more of. Did I win? :)

    November 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm
  • K_dub says:

    I have limited time with this company but enjoyed the few times I got to use one of their discs. Would love to win one….

    November 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm
  • Derek O'Neil says:

    I have been impressed with Vibram’s ingenuity! When on a course with lots of trees, I am more apt to throw a Vibram disc, this way when I hit a tree, I know it will not be able to do any lasting damage to the disc.

    November 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm
  • Adam Karstens says:

    The vibram drivers are definitely starting to gain more traction around here in Iowa. The only Vibram disc that I have had a chance to throw more than a handful of times is the summit, and I love it. Would love to see the tackiness of rubber combined into a 400 ft shot. I agree that the skip and fade that is required to throw that shot makes me lay up more than go for it, so it will be interesting to see the difference between rubber and plastic when it comes to the disc hitting the ground. Keep it up with the blog, love it!

    November 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm
  • Andy P. says:

    I just picked up a lace last Saturday and though I have only had a few drives with it I can confidently say it will be one of my staple drivers, along with my nukes, and has bumped my katana out of my bag. The grip is superior and the release is as smooth as anything I have ever thrown. My drives usually measure in the 300-325 range and it was pushing it on every throw. I will concur that I had also noticed the heavy fade at the end of the flight but because of the smooth release it seems to get down range so much faster that the fade didn’t seem to harm my distance at all. Throwing it with a slight anhyzer also seems to carves a steady s-curve. Overall, once you can figure out the strong fade it is a solid driver that should definitely be ranked among the top high-speed drivers in production!

    November 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm
  • Roger says:

    I have worn Vibram for years on my feet – haven’t thrown any of their discs just yet. Being relatively new to the sport, I’m open to anything and everything and your articles on the company and their discs have been nudging me towards giving their stuff a try. These drivers look much more presentable as far as coloration goes – some of their discs are just a bit too tie-die swirly for my taste.

    November 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm
  • Wade O. says:

    Trying to think outside the (Innova) box. Ready to try something different :-)

    November 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm
  • Trey says:

    I haven’t tried a Vibram disc yet but I’m up for trying one when it’s free. I’ve ended up throwing Discraft because they are in Michigan, where I am, and host several tournaments.

    November 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm
  • Ken T. says:

    I only have one Vibram disc, an Ibex, and I don’t throw it regularly. However, since I throw a decidedly mixed bag of tricks (Gateway, Discraft, Innova, and Latitude), and since it seems that Vibram is rounding out their complement of molds by adding drivers, I think they would certainly be worth a try. It’s a different style, and creative, especially when it comes to design and visual appeal. Good luck to Vibram, and good luck to all those who commented with the hopes of winning this disc!

    November 27, 2012 at 4:09 pm
  • Tim J says:

    “I got Vibram on the soles of my shoes.” (after Paul Simon)
    I went to the Vibram open (to watch).
    I have a VP.
    Please choose me.

    November 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm
  • Z73 says:

    Used to work in a rubber factory. I can see rubber can be a great option. I very interested to try it. It has a thicker rim, which I prefer, and I have yet to read any glaring negative comments on the Lace or Vibram.

    November 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm
  • NylesJ says:

    Vibram disc last forever. I’ve had one for 2 and a half years, throw it each round and have no noticeable wear on it. I agree with PJ, it really does feel good in my hand. I was skeptical at first, I thought plastic was better, but am starting to change my mind. I wish Vibram could produce some lighter discs. Most are too heavy for me.

    November 27, 2012 at 7:33 pm
  • Ven Vardin says:

    In Sept I played in the Ausable Chasm tournament. Our entry fee got us 4 of DGA’s rubber discs and they are fantastic! I am looking forward to trying some of Vibram’s more modern rubber discs. This review has me ready for some Lace.
    Ven Vardin recently posted..The Dawn of 3D CapitalismMy Profile

    November 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm
  • BlueAndy says:

    I am excited to see a second article on Rattling Chains to showcase Vibram in such a short period of time. The last one prompted me to comment twice. Being such a Vibram fan, I had to comment on this one, too.

    I read a few reviews elsewhere about the Lace, but something that P.J. and Jack mentioned really caught my attention: the great feel of the disc in their hands. I like my Trak, but it has never felt very comfortable in my hand (unlike other Vibram discs I own). Consequently, I usually throw a Leopard or a Surge in its place. Hopefully the Lace will “fit my hand” better.

    November 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm
  • Chris Leo says:

    I can’t agree more with what Vibram has done for the sport, and revolutionized discs by using rubber. Yes, the same stuff they make thier soles out of. See what I did there? I carry in my bag almost all their putters sans the sole. My personal favorite is the Ridge. I did like the Trak and Ascent, but preferred others, although I’m thinking of adding them back. If you’ve never tried a Vibram disc I would highly suggest it, they are truly an amazing disc! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. If your trying to decide in the firm or medium X Link, the medium is really gummy with a slight firmness to it, and the firms are just that. I’ve been trying to spread the Vibram love in Michigan.

    November 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm
  • Keith says:

    I wasnt a big fan of Vibram putters at first. The rubber feel wasnt comfortable in my hand. I didnt wanna sell or trade them. So now I use them for short or canopy rollers and I couldnt be happier.

    November 27, 2012 at 11:30 pm
  • Philbert says:

    I have been very interested in the x-link compound that Vibram uses.
    Never had the chance to throw any of their product as none of the shops seem to carry them here. The Lace looks like a very sweet disc.

    November 27, 2012 at 11:37 pm
  • Brandon Redmond says:

    I’ve had the pleasure of holding a Vibram disc of two, and the rubber compound is quite intriguing. I haven’t had the chance to throw any of their molds yet, so I’d love the chance to rip this bad boy. I’m always looking to just try different things, and am a big proponent of smaller markets, my entire bag is Latitude64, and would love the chance to help along Vibram in our sport, by being able to throw the Lace, and offer my review of it to my friends and fellow golfers.

    November 28, 2012 at 4:01 am
  • Bryce O says:

    I do not have much experience with Vibram products (besides shoe soles), but I have noticed that those who do throw Vibram are always singing its praises. I do think the lack of a driver has been holding the company back, as newer players (and vets too) are always looking for that next driver. It is harder to get a new player excited over a putter or a midrange, but perhaps once the Vibram throwers start hawking this disc to their friends, those friends will be more inclined to listen. I hope the disc is as good as advertised in this review, because more competition in the market will hopefully breed better quality all around. Could the next great disc golf debate be rubber versus plastic?

    November 28, 2012 at 5:58 pm
  • RedBeard says:

    I love my two Vibrams. My Obex is my go-to disc for almost any shot under 200′. Aside from loving how it flies (predictable and overstable enough to handle my forehand without turning over), the rubber is wonderful and my Obex feels fantastic in my hand. I also keep a soft Ibex in the bag for tight, short wood shots. I don’t love how the soft rubber feels, but you can’t complain too much about a disc that will drop straight down if…well…when I hit a tree. For anyone holding off on giving rubber a chance because you’re concerned about the rubber feeling floppy, try the firm rubbers. They are as stiff, if not more so, than some of the softer plastics.

    Really looking forward to trying this disc out. Throw primarily forehand, so always looking for a new fast, stable disc.

    November 28, 2012 at 7:52 pm
  • Jason says:

    I’m excited to try this driver, heard so many good things about it!

    November 29, 2012 at 11:04 am
  • Dylan says:

    I carry a Med VP and floppy ridge but couldn’t get into either the trak or ascent. I can’t wait to try a Lace out as I typically throw destroyers for distance but love the feel of rubber for control.

    November 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm
  • Erik J. Barzeski says:

    Just got a full set of Vibram discs and can’t wait to give them a try!

    November 29, 2012 at 11:04 pm
  • Ben Wonders says:

    I just got one today, but I haven’t had a chance to throw it yet. I’m going to change that over the weekend. It would be cool to win one, as well. The holidays are coming up, and I think it would make a great gift.

    November 30, 2012 at 12:21 am
  • Aaron says:

    Very interested in trying this disc. Would like to see how it compares to what I throw now.

    November 30, 2012 at 2:00 am
  • Scott Cunningham says:

    I have yet to try the Lace but I’ve owned 5 of the 9 Vibram Discs. Let me just say, Vibram discs are amazing! When I first began throwing Vibram discs I was initially appealed to the rubber factor and the beautiful colors. Little did I know that these same discs would kick out some of my other favored discs.

    Just recently I lost my favorite midrange( Gateway Warrior). The only mids I had in my bag were two rocs. I hated them passionately. I sold one to someone local and I picked up an Ibex. Just last week, I was playing a local course and decided to throw the Roc over a water hazard. It went in the water and I couldn’t have been more happier. Finally I lost the Roc and I would be forever in love with the IBEX. The Ibex was consistent for me everytime I threw the disc. It also is the closest thing that I’ve felt to the warrior but feels wayyyy better! I decided to pick up a Trak as well which was another great decision.

    Before the Ibex and Trak it’s been a year since I’ve used any Vibram Discs. I’m so glad that I came back and joined the Family once again. I’m anticipating trying out the Lace and the Sole because I firmly believe that these discs after much research will benefit my playing style and ability.

    Keep it up Vibram!

    November 30, 2012 at 5:30 am
  • Scott Parr says:

    I am new to disc golf this fall but have been playing as often as possible. I’m learning to throw for distance and have to keep in mind ‘throw 80%’. When I overthrow, I’m it goes high, stalls out and then left. I use Discraft most of the time but want to get some Vibram into my bag. I’ll be picking up this disc, a midrange and a putter to see what they do for me. My putter is a Soft Magnet and I love the grippy feel. I think I am going to be a big fan of Vibram! Thanks!!! – Scott

    November 30, 2012 at 7:02 pm
  • Trevor T says:

    The Ibex has been in my bag for about 2 months and has found it’s place permanently. Before my ibex I bought an R-pro Roc, and I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. It was my utility disc, my do anything disc and I did nothing but sing it’s praises. I won an Ibex in a closest to the pin challenge at a small local tournament. I wear Vibram 5 Finger shoes on a regular basis so I was already acquainted with the brand and knew that Vibram produced quality stuff. I was curious as to what they could do for my disc golf game so I threw it once, and haven’t really touched my Roc since. It just fit in my hand so nicely and could do anything, hold any line, and do whatever I needed. It became my go to and I couldn’t put it down. The durability and predictability were unrivaled. I am a Vibram convert. I would love to have a Lace to add to the already awesome Vibram rubber on my feet and in my bag.
    Trevor T recently posted..Left Handed SurgeonMy Profile

    November 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm
  • Todd says:

    I love all of my Vibram putters and can’t wait to try out the Lace.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:40 am
  • micah johnson says:

    I just added the Trak to my bag, and love it. I converted all my putters to Vibram- replaced my Magics with Summits and Wizards with Ridges (Sorry Dave Mac). Just ordered my Ibex, Obex, and Lace today. Excited to try the distance driver with Vibram rubber.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:46 am
  • mtrozzi says:

    Great write up guys! Always appreciate honest reviews from both lower and higher powered players.

    The Vibram vibe has been quickly spreading from the soles of my shoes to the tips of my fingertips with my X-
    Link soft Ridge (and hopefully soon a lightly used 173 gram Lace. Tree hits totally fine!). Can’t wait to check out as many Vibram discs as I have a chance to.

    December 2, 2012 at 3:23 am
  • Steve Thompson says:

    I was turned on to vibram discs when I picked up my first ibex. Not having the money to purchase new equiptment i found this in the used bin at my local shop. Due to an injury I have never been very accurate under power when driving off the tee so i have always clubbed down to mid ranges. Distance has always been sacrificed for safe accuracy. As i was thumbing through the mids I found this and gave it a try. For a mid, the distance and stability was unbelievable. I gain 70 ft easily with so little effort and it goes straight everytime. Knowing vibram from owning some 5 fingers I have to say theyre doing things right. Im now willing to try a driver if its as easy to throw as the ibex.

    December 2, 2012 at 5:58 pm
  • P.J. says:

    Comments from here on out are appreciated, but the contest is officially over.
    P.J. recently posted..Going toe to toe with EMacMy Profile

    December 2, 2012 at 10:22 pm
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    The winner of the Lace is…

  • Steve Gardiol says:

    I’ve been playing for 2-1/2 years and have had Vibrams in my bag for over 1/2 that time. I love my Ridge putter and have nailed many approach shots, for bird, with it. The way all Vibrams resist skip is a huge plus. I also putt with a Steady Ed Blow Fly. The Accent is my go-to driver when I need to play it safe. The Accent won’t get me the extra 30′ that the 157G Blizzard Boss will give me, but I know it will keep me out of trouble.

    I’m headed to a very popular online website to hand pick a Lace right now. Can’t wait to see if the Lace will match my Boss in distance.

    Currently I have the Ibex, Obex, Ridge and Accent. Looking forward to a new tool for my bag!

    April 30, 2013 at 12:52 am

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