Skechers and Goodyear collaboration boost demand for soy oil
May 26, 2022 | Joseph Hopper
Goodyear’s soy oil innovation is changing another way rubber hits the road – whether we run or walk – through a partnership with footwear company Skechers.
A collaboration was announced between Skechers and Goodyear in 2020, featuring Skechers footwear with Goodyear Performance Outsoles, which are made with soybean oil.
The Iowa Soybean Review checked in with Kurt Stockbridge, vice president of product development and innovation for Skechers to learn about this collaboration – and new use for soy.
How did this collaboration come together, and what makes these outsoles special?
As Skechers is The Comfort Technology Company™, we’re always looking for ways to offer our consumers new and innovative products. We’ve been working with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company for years, integrating their recently developed soy rubber technology, which they utilize in their Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady tire line and in products for men, women and kids. Styles featuring Goodyear Performance Outsoles offer enhanced grip, stability and durability. As we were developing the product, we were both confident this same technology created for tires could help Skechers make a better outsole. After several iterative test trials, we soon had a rubber outsole compound that featured dramatically improved traction across a wide range of temperatures and conditions. The outsole durability improved as well.
How is soybean oil used to create these outsoles?
The soybean oil replaces conventional petroleum-based oil in this polymer. Its use in the rubber reduces the use of petroleum-based raw material, making it a more sustainable product – a goal we have throughout Skechers.
Soybean oil is sustainable – how is this important in footwear?
Sustainability is only one of the many great attributes of soy-based rubber. Skechers collaborated with Goodyear to build a better, more durable, longer-lasting outsole. Goodyear’s soy rubber technology allows the rubber to be more flexible at low temperatures, which is why it is used in Goodyear’s Assurance WeatherReady tire line. The rubber results in a tire, or in this case a shoe sole, with superior traction in both wet and cold conditions.
What Skechers shoe lines feature this collaboration/ these outsoles?
Early in our relationship with Goodyear, we recognized that nearly all consumers could benefit from improved traction and durability. Now, Goodyear Performance Outsoles are featured in almost every Skechers footwear product line.
Where should farmers and consumers look to purchase these shoes?
Our Goodyear Performance Outsoles can be found nearly anywhere Skechers footwear is sold, including skechers.com and Skechers retail stores nationwide.