New York – Adidas has developed a new performance running shoe that it claims is 100% recyclable. The Futurecraft.Loop shoe is made from TPU.
In a closed loop manufacturing model, the raw materials are repurposed multiple times.
However, in this case, the plastic is not merely reused to make a bag or a water bottle: it is used to make a new pair of running shoes.
Sports footwear typically includes complex mixtures of different polymers and glues to hold all the pieces together.
Adidas claims to have spent nearly a decade working with materials and recycling partners on the project, using just TPU and no glue in the shoe’s manufacture.
Each component is made from 100% reusable TPU, according to Adidas.
The polymer is spun to yarn, moulded and clean-fused to a Boost midsole using Adidas Speedfactory technology.
Once the shoes reach end-of-life, they are washed, ground to pellets, and then melted to make the raw materials for a new pair of shoes.
The first generation of the shoes is being rolled out as part of a beta programme, with 200 people around the world using them to run in, before returning them and sharing their experience.
Their feedback will be used in the second generation, and to shape the roadmap for the shoe’s wider release.
The company hopes this will be in spring/summer 2021.
“Futurecraft.Loop is our first running shoe that is made to be remade,” said Eric Liedtke, the executive board member responsible for Adidas global brands.
It is, he added, a statement of the company’s intent to take responsibility for the entire life of its product.