Innovating, reversing trends, creating uniqueness: these are Michelin Soles’ key words.
A tangible proof comes from the SS 2019 footwear collections showcased in trade fairs. From Mammut to Salewa, from Garmont to Aku, through Salming, Camper, Under Armour and Northwave, the Michelin Soles models are growing in number.
Michelin has entered the technical soles world with a unique strategic approach, in a sector which has been static for a very long time, thus creating a real interest among footwear producers, who are always looking for new innovative solutions. That is why the new Michelin rubber soles were at the booths of prestigious outdoor brands such as Mammut, Garmont, Viking, Mizuno, Northwave and Under Armour during the most important international footwear fairs in June and July: Outdoor and Eurobike in Europe, Icast and OR Summer in the USA.
The whole idea comes from the ‘ground contact’ expertise; a concept Michelin has been working on for over a century, and on several fronts: from automotive to agriculture, from aeronautic tyres to two-wheel motor and pedal vehicles – the French business has an exclusive know-how on the dynamics of contact between a moving object and the ground in all its forms: from tarmac to rock, from ice to mud. That is what is behind Michelin Soles, the project which uses the most diverse competences to develop personalised soles according to the specific requirements of footwear businesses from all over the world.
“During the past four years, Michelin Soles stood out on the technical soles market thanks to a customised approach applied not only to soles design, but also to marketing, communication and trade marketing management, – comments Ambrogio Merlo, Michelin Soles C.E.O.: – a strategy which is bearing fruit, opening the doors to 10 different market areas: from the outdoor sector to lifestyle footwear, the latter being the result of a recent partnership with Camper”.
The Michelin Soles project is based on the know-how of the entire brand, applied in an unconventional way, with the aim of creating unique performing models. The search for uniqueness leads Michelin Soles’ product specialists to relate differently to each brand partner, introducing innovations which do not usually belong to the outdoor sector, but that become a part of it when personalised solutions are needed. This process results in innovative footwear, designed and tailored to meet the needs of the customer.
Numerous partners can now boast a wide selection of Michelin rubber soles in their collections.
Mammut, undoubtedly a trend-setter in the world of the outdoor, is presenting its sixth Michelin-branded project in Friedrichshafen: “Mammut and Michelin have been working together successfully in the past – says Ruben Hogreve, Product Manager Footwear at Mammut – and Mammut is looking forward to develop specific footwear solutions with Michelin in the future”. The Saentis Knit Low will be the staff shoes at the fair booth. The new Mammut shoe has been developed for a wide range of activities, from easy and fast-paced day hikes to short trail runs. It is equipped with Michelin engineered soles exclusively developed for Mammut. It has been inspired by the MICHELIN JET XCR mountain bike tyre, which is light-weight and features hollow sculptures that improve terrain adaptability, the very sculptures that can be found on the sole to ensure optimal stability and traction. Thanks to the sock-like design of the shaft , the pleasantly lightweight multi-functional shoe Saentis Knit Low ensures a perfect fit. The 3D Knit Technology seamlessly integrates and combines a wide range of material properties and processing methods in a single material. Furthermore, the shoe features a hybrid shell construction: the mixture of soft inner and stable outer materials gives the shoe the necessary hardness in appropriate places, while at the same time adapting ideally to the foot for a comfortable feeling.
Garmont has always believed in the innovative partnership with Michelin as well. The Italian brand, a leader in mountain and outdoor footwear, used Michelin’s know-how to develop products that re-shaped, as for the 9.81 line, or even tapped into a new market area, as with the Tikal model for Active Travel. Garmont will be showcasing six Michelin models by summer 2019, among which the updated 9.81 shoes, enhanced by the GORE-TEX® SURROUND® technology to ensure lightness and breathability. The new multi-purpose 9.81 N.Air.G GTX® SURROUND® is aimed at all fast mountain activities, from speed hiking to trail running. The Michelin sole features rubber sculptures that improve adherence and adaptability to a wide range of terrain, while stronger sculptures in the heel area support deceleration.
The partnership with Salewa has produced 7 projects and the brand has decided to include one of these as its Hero Products for the summer 2019. The Lite Train K, an updated model with breathable mesh of the already successful Lite Train model. The Michelin sole has a tread design that guarantees optimal traction on all types of terrain; the thin sole allows for advanced ground control. It’s the perfect model for mountain adventurers and speed hiking lovers.