Shoes spark Hankook's concept tire designs
Hankook Tire Co. Ltd.'s strategic partnership with Vibram, a company that focuses on premium outsoles for shoes, has resulted in the collaboration and creation of five products, including two off-road concept tires.
Hankook has utilized Vibram’s hyper-functional design for its latest concept tires, while simultaneously enabling Vibram to integrate cutting-edge tire technologies into its footwear offerings.
In all, five products are being unveiled. Hankook Tire is releasing two off-road concept tires, the DynaMIX and DynaSYNC, and Vibram is releasing three concept shoes, the DynaTREK, DynaSTRYKE BKL, and Omnifuse.
The five jointly developed products will be exhibited from Sept. 15 to 27 at the Hankook Tire booth at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany.
Hankook’s DynaMIX and DynaSYNC were inspired by the flexible blocks found on the outer soles of Vibram’s hiking shoes. These blocks are designed to change their contact positions in response to variations in ground surface. The use of different layer structures also allows for multiple style choices.
DynaMIX tires take advantage of Vibram’s Ultra-light 3D Cocoon Technology. Multi-direction geometric dimensional blocks serve to protect the tires from road impacts. At the same time, traction, block stability and flexibility are improved while sidewall weights are reduced. The DynaMIX’s three-dimensional tread pattern excels in tough off-road conditions. The texture and design of particular tread blocks in the pattern have been tailored to maximize overall performance. The glitter surface of the tire is polished, which enhances handling and wet performance, while at the same time promoting greater control at faster speeds. And finally, the geometric sidewalls integrate Hankook’s wet-tech holes, enabling the sidewalls to achieve greater flexibility and disperse shocks.
DynaSYNC features Vibram’s iconic Carrarmato lugs design on its tread pattern to improve traction in mountainous terrain. The honeycomb structure prevents puncture or tire chips due to gravel or stones. This improves shock absorption and provides powerful and safe handling. And the sidewall comes in a variety of color compounds, allowing car owners to match the tires to their car’s body color. Its dual-layered sidewall structure prevents cracking by enhancing block stiffness and reducing severe deformations during cornering and high-speed maneuvers.
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, highlighting the collaboration story between the two brands. The DynaSTRYKE BKL reflects the performance attributes of the DynaSYNC. The Megagrip rubber outsole and the interlocking lugs provide unparalleled winter running performance in a Vibram FiveFingers shoe. Moreover, thermochromatic pigment applied to the DynaSTRYKE BKL induces a subzero appearance with the color shifting at the toes. Finally, the Omnifuse adapts motifs from conventional tire products.
In many ways, Hankook Tire and Vibram are a natural fit for one another. Both have more than 70 years of growth and success under their belts. They both boast global distribution networks, and both have garnered recognition for innovation in their respective fields. And, of course, both companies specialize in providing superior traction.
“This joint project fits ideally with our ongoing commitment to investing in technological innovations and performance-oriented designs," says Seung Hwa Suh, vice chairman and CEO of Hankook. "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."
For more information, visit Hankook's global website at www.hankooktire.com/global.