FRANKFURT, Germany—Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. and shoe outsole company Vibram S.p.A. are partnering to develop futuristic concept tires and shoes.
Under the partnership, Hankook is unveiling two off-road concept tires, the DynaMIX and DynaSYNC, while Vibram is releasing three concept shoes, the DynaTREK, DynaSTRYKE BKL and Omnifuse. The shoes will serve as successors to Vibram's popular Vibram FiveFingers lineup.
“By combining the two companies' significant technological strengths and authentic styles, the collaboration has pushed the boundaries of performance in both industries,” the companies said in a press release.
Hankook said it has used Vibram's hyper-functional design for its latest concept tires, while simultaneously enabling Vibram to integrate tire technologies in its footwear offerings.
“This joint project fits ideally with our ongoing commitment to investing in technological innovations and performance-oriented designs," said Seung Hwa Suh, vice chairman and CEO of Hankook Tire.
"Moreover, from a macro-perspective, the project reflects Hankook Tire's longstanding core company value—progressive innovation. This momentum will be carried forward in the future as the company continues to take an authentic, meaningful approach to meeting the challenges of future driving experience,” Suh said.
The jointly developed products are being exhibited at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, Sept. 15-27.
Hankook said the DynaMIX and DynaSYNC were inspired by the flexible blocks on the outer soles of Vibram's hiking shoes. The blocks are designed to change their contact positions in response to variations in ground surface.
The DynaMIX tires feature Vibram's ultra-light 3D Cocoon technology in which multi-direction geometric dimensional blocks serve to protect the tires from road impacts. Traction, block stability and flexibility are improved while sidewall weights are reduced, the company said.
The DynaMIX's three-dimensional tread pattern helps with tough off-road conditions. The texture and design of particular tread blocks in the pattern have been tailored to maximize overall performance, the company said. The glitter surface of the tire is polished to enhance handling and wet performance, while at the same time promoting greater control at faster speeds.
Geometric sidewalls integrate Hankook's wet-tech holes, enabling the sidewalls to achieve greater flexibility and disperse shocks.
Hankook's DynaSYNC tire features Vibram's Carrarmato lugs design on its tread pattern to improve traction in mountainous terrain. The honeycomb grooves help prevent punctures and tire chips due to gravel or stones and improve shock absorption.
The tire's dual-layered sidewall structure prevent cracking by enhancing block stiffness and reducing severe deformations during cornering and high-speed maneuvers.
The sidewall also is available in a variety of color compounds allowing car owners to match the tires to their car's body color, the company said.
Vibram's DynaTREK and DynaSTRYKE BKL concept shoes are paired with the DynaMIX and DynaSYNC concept tires, respectively, as sister products.
The DynaTREK boasts a high performance outdoor/hiking outsole, and it uses the same Ultra-light 3D Cocoon Technology found in the DynaMIX to provide enhanced protection and shock absorption. It also sports the DynaMIX's center stripe around the entire sole.
The DynaSTRYKE BKL features a Megagrip rubber outsole and interlocking lugs for winter running performance. Thermochromatic pigment induces a subzero appearance with the color shifting at the toes.
Vibram's Omnifuse adapts motifs from conventional tire products.
Italy-based Albizatte is principally a rubber compounding specialist firm, which licenses its sole compounds to renowned shoe companies worldwide.