A new optimization procedure to design the surface shape of tire patterns is proposed in which the optimality criteria is combined with finite element method. The effectiveness of this new procedure to control tread‐element contact pressure distribution was verified by building and testing the rubber block samples. The objective function was the pressure uniformity on the block and the constraint was to keep the contact area in the optimization process. The shape of the optimized surface was round at the edges and concave at the center where the pressure was large in the flat surface block. The pressure of the block with the optimized surface became uniform and the friction coefficient increased 10% on dry compared with the flat surface block. Furthermore, this procedure was applied to complicated block shapes such as tire patterns and it was verified that the optimized surface effectively improved vehicle handling, riding comfort and irregular wear.