Automakers and supplies have a tendency to establish partnerships with other companies for products that are usually just a marketing trick – such as ridiculously-priced Lamborghini smartphone.
But there are also sensible partnerships actually stemming from technical difficulties – as is the case with the new Etnies Michelin Marana skate shoe. As the story goes, Etnies discovered there was a durability issue with its popular Marana skate shoes – with the sole not lasting the same as the upper, the part of the shoe that encloses the foot above the sole. To improve the Marana shoe, Etnies entered a collaboration with Michelin – the tire manufacturer actually giving way to all of its technical expertise. The French decided the PC00 rally racing tire was the best compound provider – and then worked with the shoe company for the perfect sole design. They even had 30 skaters test durability for a whole month.
All in all, Michelin has actually been involved in the shoemaking business since 2014, back then introducing Michelin Technical Soles, a division entirely dedicated to collaborations with shoe brands. And they’re actually making sense – shoes are for our feet like tires for a car – they need to provide good grip, flexibility, and durability. This is probably why Michelin Technical Soles has collaborations with over a dozen different shoe companies. Back to the Etnies Michelin Marana shoe – you can have it at an affordable $74.99.