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 Post subject: Sole but not unique
PostPosted: 03 Dec 2017, 08:43 
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I started playing "spot the sole" after noticing other shoes with the same sole pattern as the shoes I bought in KL earlier this year. It's not really a big deal; it's more a curiosity than anything - it's not as if the inevitable combination of movement analysis and materials science is a sole pattern made up of manufacturer's logos or whatever.
Attachment:
Gewo-Joola identical soles.jpg
Gewo-Joola identical soles.jpg [ 136.68 KiB | Viewed 590 times ]

Attachment:
Star Elite-Joola-Stiga identical soles.jpg
Star Elite-Joola-Stiga identical soles.jpg [ 143.9 KiB | Viewed 590 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Sole but not unique
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2017, 00:46 
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I began to notice that first pattern myself many years ago ( like more than 20). I'm fairly sure Adidas used it on their own court shoe type models and I think some of the table tennis companies just had their shoes contracted to be made by Adidas and then branded with their own logos up top. I think Tibhar had a light weight shoe with that same sole pattern most likely made by Adidas. I liked that pattern for traction, but that style shoe was very light and had hardly any support. Not up to snuff compared to what you can get in light weight modern designs like Yonex badminton shoes.

Other companies may have just had Adidas style knock offs made in cheaper factories. I haven't ever seen a patent marked for a sole design. Can't be very hard to make a mold of a sole.
Wouldn't be very surprised to find out Stiga and Joola get their shoes contracted from the same factory.

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 Post subject: Re: Sole but not unique
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2017, 01:06 
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fleetwood999 wrote:
I began to notice that first pattern myself many years ago ( like more than 20). I'm fairly sure Adidas used it on their own court shoe type models and I think some of the table tennis companies just had their shoes contracted to be made by Adidas and then branded with their own logos up top. I think Tibhar had a light weight shoe with that same sole pattern most likely made by Adidas. I liked that pattern for traction, but that style shoe was very light and had hardly any support. Not up to snuff compared to what you can get in light weight modern designs like Yonex badminton shoes.

Other companies may have just had Adidas style knock offs made in cheaper factories. I haven't ever seen a patent marked for a sole design. Can't be very hard to make a mold of a sole.
Wouldn't be very surprised to find out Stiga and Joola get their shoes contracted from the same factory.


Given that Butterfly, Stiga, Donic etc. are primarily TT companies (who know a few things about blades and rubbers), they know very little about shoe making, and thus simply outsource manufacturing to a well-known shoe company, be it Adidas, Asics or Mizuno. Mot likely they work with OEM on visual design, but it would be quite inefficient for Asics to develop a totally new sole from scratch just to make Stiga happy (made up example).

Mizuno is an interesting example of the same process in reverse (Adidas was for a bit too) - they are mostly shoe/apparel company who tries to extend their brand into TT - wonder who makes their rubbers and blades...

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 Post subject: Re: Sole but not unique
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2017, 01:23 
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Yeah. I'll bet they're all OEM'ed by the same factory. Probably in China or Indonesia or Vietnam... :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Sole but not unique
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2017, 08:02 
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Here's a fourth example of the second sole pattern.
Attachment:
Mizuno Wave Drive 6 sole.jpg
Mizuno Wave Drive 6 sole.jpg [ 126.52 KiB | Viewed 513 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Sole but not unique
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2017, 10:50 
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 Post subject: Re: Sole but not unique
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2017, 01:59 
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pgpg wrote:
Mizuno is an interesting example of the same process in reverse (Adidas was for a bit too) - they are mostly shoe/apparel company who tries to extend their brand into TT - wonder who makes their rubbers and blades...


ESN or Daiki for the rubber, I suppose... unless they're Chinese.

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 Post subject: Re: Sole but not unique
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2017, 06:57 
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Even highly respected shoe companies normally buy their soles from specific sole manufacturers, like Vibram or Michelin. Hiking boots manufacturers often tell people on their website which sole they use for which shoe, because some people might only buy a boot with a specific sole.

That said, in table tennis most companies are only brand names that don't manufacture anything. Tibhar, Donic, Andro, Gewo, you name it, all they do is put their badge on things. Rubbers are from ESN, tables are from Sponeta, blades are from China, Sweden, or from Soulspin (expensive ones). Textiles are all sourced from China.
Joola and Cornilleau (used to be a carpenter) actually produce their own tables, but for everything else, it's the same.

In some cases the table tennis branding gets ridiculous. Timeout clock are 300+ bucks. They're stopwatches worth less than a dollar. But they're table tennis branded.


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