Whether you’re hitting the road for a run or a drive, you can now do so with soy-based rubber technology. U.S. soy is now available in Skechers footwear, thanks to their collaboration with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company — opening the door to a new market for U.S.-grown soybeans.
The United Soybean Board regularly collaborates with Goodyear on research to learn how to incorporate soy into its rubber technology. This research led to the discovery that soybean oil could not only improve tire flexibility across temperatures but also provide enhanced grip on road surfaces, making it an ideal choice for Goodyear’s all-weather tire line. Building off Goodyear’s discovery, Skechers utilized the same technology to deliver grip, stability and durability for select models of their running shoes, with plans to incorporate the rubber into more styles throughout 2020.
“This collaboration is an example of two trusted brands coming together to create a high-tech product that will truly benefit our consumer,” said Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers.
Today, there are more than 1,000 different soy-based products available, including everything from turf grass to machinery lubricants to asphalt. USB is committed to continuing its work to research, develop and expand new uses, including these tires and shoes, to build demand for U.S. soybean farmers.
“U.S. soybean growers are pleased to see this multiplier effect growing from their own collaboration with Goodyear through the soybean checkoff,” said USB Director Ralph Lott II, a USB director and soybean farmer from New York. “USB worked with Goodyear to support their innovation with U.S. soy that is now available in four lines of Goodyear tires. We’re enthusiastic that consumers have a new choice for performance as well as sustainability with U.S. soy in a range of Skechers footwear.”
Once just a byproduct, soybean oil is now a lucrative value driver for farmers, being used as a sustainable, environmentally friendly and functional replacement for petroleum in industrial products. Now, both Goodyear tires and Skechers shoes utilize soybean oil. In fact, Goodyear recently announced it will be increasing its use of soybean oil in 2020 by 25%, with even loftier goals for inclusion by 2040.
“Goodyear has always worked to create innovative products that provide consumers with high-performance tires, and now we’re using that same ingenuity to enable consumers to wear high-performance shoes,” said Christian Jurado, Goodyear’s global director of licensed products.
Skechers’ soy-based shoes are available in stores and online now in the Skechers GOrun collection. The brand shared plans to expand the range of styles and colors available through 2020, including branching out into trail, work and safety footwear categories for men, women and children. All models utilizing the soybean oil will be labeled as having Goodyear Performance Outsoles.
Goodyear’s soy-based tires are also available in the U.S. and Canada in several sizes and styles, including some of their top-performing tires: the Assurance® WeatherReady®, Eagle Exhilarate™, Eagle® Enforcer® All Weather® and the Assurance ComfortDrive®.