Who knew Michelin has a shoe division?
There are endless opportunities for companies to collaborate with one another to develop and sell a product consumers didn’t know they wanted. A speaker shaped like Porsche tailpipes? Check. Have you ever wanted a smartphone that is in no way technologically better than the competition yet still costs $2,450? This Lamborghini-branded phone is just what you’ll want. This doesn’t mean every automotive tie-in has to be expensive or ridiculous. Take the new Etnies Michelin Marana skate shoe, for example. The shoes are more than just a company logo and some new colors.
Etnies was having a problem with the durability of its popular Marana skate shoes. The upper, the fancy technical term for the part of the shoe that encloses the foot above the sole, was lasting longer than the sole itself during use. Luckily, Michelin reached out to partner with Etnies, and together they worked to improve the Marana shoe.
For the Marana, Michelin chose its PC00 rally racing tire to provide the compound for the shoe. The tire company works with shoemakers to design a sole that meets the expectations and demands of the consumer. In this case, 30 skaters tested the shoe’s durability over the period of one month.
Now, it may seem odd for Michelin to work with a shoe company, but, in reality, Michelin has been working with shoemakers since 2014. That's when it launched Michelin Technical Soles, a division dedicated to working with shoe brands. The division makes sense, too. Shoes need to have adequate grip, flexibility, and durability – just like tires on cars. Why wouldn’t a shoemaker work with a tire company to improve its shoes? Right now, Michelin Technical Soles works with just over a dozen different shoe brands.
Unlike that expensive Lamborghini phone, the Etnies Michelin Marana shoe retails for a very affordable $74.99. Men’s sizes range from seven to 14 depending on the shoe’s color scheme. There will always be automotive companies looking to expand their audience in a crowded marketplace. At least Michelin is doing it right.