U.S. soy is now found in new lines of Skechers footwear, thanks to their collaboration with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

“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.

The soy checkoff-supported research by Goodyear showed soybean oil could improve tire flexibility across temperatures and enhance traction in rainy and snowy weather conditions. The rubber technology contains a special polymer made with U.S. soybean oil.

And Skechers was paying attention. The footwear company now uses the same technology to deliver grip, stability and durability for select models of their running shoes.

“USB worked with Goodyear to support their innovation with U.S. soy that is now available in four lines of Goodyear tires,” said Ralph Lott II, soy checkoff farmer-leader from New York.

Partnerships Expand Markets

USB remains committed to its work supporting the research, development and expansion of soy in new products. The more than 1,000 different soy-based products available — everything from machinery lubricants to asphalt to shoes — help drive demand for U.S. soy.

When soybean oil replaces petroleum-based materials, it provides a sustainable and renewable product for consumers and a market opportunity for U.S. soybean farmers. Goodyear announced in October 2019 its plans to increase soybean oil usage in 2020 by 25% and fully replace their use of petroleum in this way with soybean oil by 2040.

“Goodyear has always worked to create innovative products that provide consumers with high-performance tires,” said Christian Jurado, Goodyear’s global director of licensed products. “And now we’re using that same ingenuity to enable consumers to wear high-performance shoes.”

Skechers has launched the soy-based shoes in their Skechers GOrun collection. The soy-based models carry the label “Goodyear Performance Outsoles.” The company plans to bring this technology into a wider assortment of styles and colors throughout 2020 and beyond, including branching out into trail, work and safety footwear categories for men, women and children.

“U.S. soybean growers are pleased to see this multiplier effect growing from their collaboration with Goodyear through the soybean checkoff,” said Lott. “We are excited consumers have a new choice for performance as well as sustainability with U.S. soy in a range of Skechers footwear. More opportunities are out there.”

For more information on soybean oil’s role in rubber and other industrial uses, visit https://soynewuses.org/common-uses/rubber/.