Image Alt

Michelin X Speedland: a new generation of trail shoes

By Davide Fioraso

A new brand, born from the experience of two world-renowned designers. A new shoe, that brings together the best technologies on the market and aims to innovate the world of trail running. Let’s find out what’s behind Speedland SL:PDX.

A fully customizable running shoe, realized using the best materials and technologies on the market. They call it a true innovation, something that could revolutionize the world of trail running. In short, it is destined to cause discussion. It’s named SL:PDX, launched by Speedland, an American brand founded by Dave Dombrow and Kevin Fallon, creatives and designers with a past of more than twenty years between Nike, Puma and Under Armour.

You suddenly decided it was time to design your own shoe.
We have worked together for many years and saw that compromises were being made to hit a certain price. The idea was simple: we wanted to see what we could create by combining the best materials on the market. We were interested in experimenting, structuring the company on a no compromise approach, which could give something to the outdoor world in a meaningful way, designing products taking into account their life cycle.

Why did you decide to focus on the trail running sector?
Both of us have a passion for trail and outdoors in general. Additionally, we saw that much of running R&D from large footwear companies was being put into road running rather than trail. We believe that trail athletes are doing amazing things and deserve the best equipment in the world.

In this adventure, Dave and Kevin have decided to use the best solutions on the market, starting with Boa Technology, with its double Li2 Fit closure system specially designed to guarantee maximum performance in terms of speed, safety and precision, continuing with JVI-soles by Michelin, with the design of a revolutionary sole.

The Michelin sole, which for the first time uses cuttable blocks technology, is impressive due to its possibility of customizing lugs, offering the possibility to customize the traction as you wish. How does it work?
The cuttable blocks technology comes from mountain bike tires. With this idea you have two blocks stacked on top of each other. With a small clipping tool or cutting pliers you can trim the top lug, reducing overall height by 3mm. In its most basic form, if you live in a super dry climate like Southern California you might trim all the top lugs, while in a more rainy region you might keep all the lugs long. In the arch area you also have the option to trim for drainage if you frequently encounter river crossings. SL:PDX’s sole also stands out for its light weight, thanks to the use of the Fiberlite technology in the Michelin outsole.

Not only technologies but also premium materials. A Pebax compound has been chosen for the midsole, an advanced material that guarantees high performance and excellent reactivity. Inside there is a carbon fiber plate that can be removed at any time to ensure different running modes: a performing one or a relaxed one. On the upper there’s a very light Dyneema knit fabric that sets the total weight at just 280 grams.

Quality cannot be borrowed or negotiated. But it can be built. In short, this is a shoe that refuses to compromise.
Yes, a no compromise approach is a founding principle of the company. With an SCF Pebax midsole, Removable Carbitex Plate, Dyneema knit, dual Boa Li2 dials and Michelin Outsole we don’t see this as just a shoe but rather as Hyper Performance Equipment for trail running.

From the beginning, sustainability has been at the forefront of the SL:PDX design process. Not only for the innovative moccasin-stitch design that drastically reduces the use of adhesives. At the end of its life cycle, SL:PDX can be easily disassembled into its parts in order to be distributed to the respective recycling plants. But there’s more, some parts can be replaced to extend their life.

Collecting, disassembling and disposing of components. How does your Product Recycle Program work?
We have designed the SL:PDX with the end of life in mind. With our unique moccasin construction and removable midsole/plate, we minimize glue usage which allows us to easily disassemble at end of life and recycle the parts accordingly. Once athletes have deemed that the shoe has come to its end they can contact us and we will email them a return label and recycle the parts accordingly.

Share this Feature