The Vibram 430 sole has good traction. The Vibram 100 has ultimate traction. It is like comparing having an all-weather radial tire and a snow tire on a vehicle. The treads on a traditional snow tire are bigger and thus have more traction.
But you only need that level of traction when the road conditions are exceptionally crappy. Same is true for Vibram 100 soles. Unless you intend to be riding in mud and snow, then you really won't find a difference between the Vibram 430 and Vibram 100 soles as far as traction goes. Motor officers generally use Vibram 430s and haven't complained. In fact, those soles are a bit lighter which makes the boots easier on the feet for all-day wear.
Some guys prefer the Vibram 100 big lug sole because it appears heavier and more masculine. This a matter of personal taste and opinion.
Here is information about Vibram 100 and Vibram 430 soles, provided by Big Black Boots.
“The” original Vibram lug sole. It is used on logger, lineman, engineer, and some wildland firefighter boots. The sole provides excellent traction. It is long-wearing and fire resistant. It is made of natural rubber and may leave black scuff marks on some floors, but not motorcycle pipes.
The sole is non-oil resisting. This does not mean that your soles will dissolve into a gooey mess if you step on some oil while parking your motorcycle. But, if you worked in a job where you were constantly standing in oil puddles, the soles would eventually soften and deteriorate.
Thickness: Approximately 7/8” (2.2cm) in the sole and 2” (5.1cm) at the highest part of the heel when used on most Wesco boots with the standard logger heel. On the Motor Patrol and combat boots with the lower heel style, the heel is about 1.4” (3.7cm) at its thickest point.
When heated above it's temperature limit the #100 sole will slowly char.
The #100R sole is identical in appearance and dimensions to the #100 soles. It is made of a special synthetic rubber which gives it improved performance. It provides excellent traction, and is long wearing, fire resistant, oil resistant.
Because it is made of a special synthetic rubber, it's a non-marking sole which won't leave black scuff marks on floors like the #100 sole does. It is flexible, slightly harder and slightly more springy than the standard #100 sole. It is also oil resistant. So this is a better sole for most uses, but it is more expensive. Boots made with this sole feel more cushioned than those made with the other sole options.
The #100R sole is available as an option on any custom Wesco boots where the #100 Vibram sole can be selected.
The #100F sole is identical in appearance and dimensions to the #100 soles. It's made of the newly developed Vibram® FIRE Compound #316 which gives it excellent fire resistance properties (better than the #100 and #100R soles) and it is also oil resistant. Heat Resistance - 475° F / 246° C for 40 minutes. It passes the NFPA 5905 standard.
The research and development team at Quabaug Corporation developed this new Vibram® FIRE compound. This unique, proprietary formula was developed to meet the needs of both structural (NFPA-flame resistance) and wildland (thermal-resisting) firefighting. The FIRE compound meets NFPA requirements for flame resistance and abrasion. In addition, this new compound provides a higher level of performance and durability.
The #100F soles are earmarked with a distinct red lug on the outsole.
This sole looks and feels about the same as the traditional #100 Vibram lug soles. It does leave some scuff marks on floors, but not much as the #100 soles do. This sole is standard on the Firestormer boots and is available as an option on all other boots.
This sole provides medium traction. It is long wearing, oil resisting, and non-marking.
Available on: Wesco Highliner Lineman boot, Jobmaster work boot, Boss engineer boot, Wesco harness boot and Wesco motor patrol boot.
Thickness: Approximately 5/8” (1.6cm) in the sole and 1 ¾” (4.4cm) at the highest part of the heel.
Note: The Vibram name is a registered and protected trademark of the Vibram S p A, Italy. Worldwide protections of the name apply. Visit the Vibram company website for more information.