To ensure that the WINQS Zerofly ™ is convincing on all fronts, we brought a number of well-known partners on board right from the start. One of them is the legendary tire manufacturer Michelin. In addition to its recycled sole material, GeckoGrip ™ also enables an innovative repair solution.
In fact, the French company Michelin hasn't just kept more cars on the track for decades. Michelin has also made a name for itself as a top address for particularly demanding shoe soles - for example for outdoor sports or running.
"We had previous experience with Michelin's top soles," explains Jan Kratochvil, co-founder of Winqs. "When we heard that a new sustainability program was being launched there, we immediately made representations. And the result is our performance GeckoGrip™ outsole."
Michelin's Hybrid Rubber uses recycled rubber leftovers that are deliberately not created by the automotive industry, but exclusively from the manufacture of other shoes. This reduces the need for fresh rubber material. A small step towards zero waste. But the right material was only part of the journey.
Everything should fit together, as Morena Baleani explains, who is responsible for the project at JVI, Michelin's specialist sole developer. "Not only because we wanted to perfectly combine our new hybrid rubber technology with the athletic demands of the shoe," says Baleani. "The sole architecture, i.e. the profile that we developed, also had to deliver".
And she does. The GeckoGrip ™ outsole of the WINQS Zerofly ™ is ergonomically flexible, equipped with a pattern of multi-directional cells for optimal grip and interspersed with smart channels that transport water away and prevent aquaplaning. The raised heel edge also prevents unpleasant slipping in the event of sudden heel impact - for example on downhill runs.
"The Zerofly ™ was a big challenge," says Baleani. "And we are very proud to have worked with WINQS on this project."
But if the journey were to end here, we would still be too far from our expectations. So what could make the outsole of a top running shoe even more sustainable?
"At some point, of course, every outsole is due," explains Jan Kratochvil. "Either it was damaged too often or it was simply worn out. Therefore, wanting to sell a new pair of shoes right away would contradict our sustainability claim."
That is why WINQS makes new original parts available to its repair partners. If the sole has become a bit tired after the thirtieth marathon run, but the shoe is otherwise in good condition , the sole can simply be exchanged for a new one - and it is not necessary to manufacture a completely new shoe.