Columbia and Icebug are the two latest footwear manufacturers to adopt Ice Control Technology developed by the R&D department of Michelin Technical Soles, based in Verona, Italy. The new outsoles provide up to 40% greater traction on ice, according to designers.
With the slogan "from tires to soles,” Michelin, best known for 128 years as a manufacturer of high performance tires, is revolutionizing the field of outsoles for outdoor applications, bringing innovation where for a long time, there had been no evolution.
The new outsoles will be introduced by Columbia on its Canuk Titanium Omni-Heat OutDry Boot, and by Icebug on its Solus M walking boots.
“There isn’t a more problematic surface than a layer of ice or heavily snow-covered ground. Under these conditions footwear reliability should not be compromised,” said Andrea de Pascale, Head of Marketing & Partnership Development for Michelin outsole licensee JV International.
How It Works
Ice Control features a specific balance between the visco-elastic properties of rubber and the mechanical behavior of the ground generated by the "profile" of the sole. In this manner it’s similar to the tread of a tire. The specially-designed 100% rubber compound develops a high grip on ice and compacted snow, simultaneously maintaining good flexibility even at low average temperatures, thus allowing the shoe to accommodate the natural flexing of the foot while walking
Supporting the action of the Ice Control rubber is the sole design, where Michelin know-how in the field of snow tires inspires precise design such as the angles of incidence, multidirectional laminar structure, and lugs that offer a large contact area.
With Ice Control technology, traction on ice is 40% greater, compared to a traditional outdoor sole, with performance maintained even after several weeks of use and with unmatched wear resistance.
Columbia Directors of Toughness Traveled the World in Ice Control
In three months, Columbia’s Directors of Toughness, Faith Briggs and Mark Chase, traveled to some of the most hostile regions known to man to validate the performance of the Ice Control technology used in their Columbia Canuk boots.
The duo faced a journey in stages in the most inhospitable places on Earth including Iceland, a predominantly mountainous territory and covered with glaciers and rugged volcanic surfaces punctuated by the presence of spectacular geysers. They also crossed the Vatnajokull glacier, an enchanted place with crystal blue caves.
The passage in the Canadian Yukon was an even tougher trial for the two testers with temperatures well below freezing. Under these conditions, fishing on the frozen lake became the only way get food and their dog sled was the only reliable means of transportation. Ice Control technology provided the highest degree of traction on ice and high traction on snowpacked trails, even after long use on challenging terrain.
Michelin Ice Control Technology in the outsole delivered superior ground control in snow and ice with no trade-off. It offered perfect adherence and optimal flexibility, anti-slip 100% rubber combined with a specific tread design, flexibility at both medium and lower temperatures, and good abrasion resistance on and off the ice, while alternating seamlessly on mixed routes, whether paved, gravel, snow-covered or icy.
Icebug Solus is for Everyday Use, Wherever Ice or Snow Lurks
Icebug, the Swedish brand specializing in footwear to tackle slippery surfaces, also entrusted Michelin Ice Control technology for their Solus M walking boots. The perils and pitfalls of ice are not only found in the most distant places, but danger can often lurk on a comfortable excursion.
Thus the Solus was designed for light use – from dog walking in the neighborhood to walks on snow-covered roads. It features everything needed from a three-season shoe: water repellency, fleece lining and superb all-around winter traction thanks to the Michelin Ice Control rubber outsole. It’s for those who face snow-covered streets and driveways, or who have to travel for work on mixed, often snowy terrain.
(Suggested retail price of Icebug Solus with Michelin Ice Control technology sole: Euro 179.95, approx. US $211)
With more than a century of deep know-how in the development of tires, Michelin has entered the world of technical soles, succeeding in developing creative solutions to real problems.
JV International is the global strategic partner chosen by MICHELIN for the design, development and manufacturing of high-performance MICHELIN-branded technical soles. The company is based in Italy with its partnership development offices in Como and a design and product development centre in Verona; headquarters are in Hong Kong China, as well as a production site and an R&D centre.