Tire-maker Michelin has formed a partnership with Chinese textile company Jihua to manufacturer soles for high-performance footwear including motorcycle boots with tread patterns inspired by the company’s tires.
Michelin will employ its experience in developing rubber compounds and tread patterns with Jihua’s footwear arm JV International to create technical soles. The two companies hope to secure a 5-10% share of the technical sole market within five years. That may not seem like a significant share until you realize it represents some 500 million pairs of shoes.
The first products from the new partnership will be used on work boots, mountain biking shoes and motorcycle boots. Italian manufacturer TCX will offer the first motorcycle boots with Michelin soles. TCX will use Michelin’s Pilot Road 3 tire-inspired Urban sole on its X-Cube EVO WP andX-Square Plus boots and the Anakee 3 tire-inspired Adventure sole for the Infinity EVO Gore-Tex touring boots.
The Urban sole uses a tread pattern based on the Pilot Road 3 tire which uses Michelin’s patented X-Sipe Technology design to improve grip on wet surfaces. The sole also uses siping dots inspired by Michelin’s Pro Grip 4 bicycle tires.
The Adventure sole uses the Anakee 3 touring tire’s groove patterns for dispersing water, gravel and mud surfaces. The sole also features a diamond-finished surface for improved grip and stability on footpegs.