The ubiquity and necessity of shoes in our lives masks a daunting set of facts: of the estimated 20 billion shoes manufactured each year, about 300 million shoes are discarded only to find their way into landfills around the globe. That’s a considerable amount of materials gone to waste. But what if shoes were designed not to be thrown away once completely worn down, but instead intended to be completely recycled as raw material to see yet another lifetime?
Adidas Running footwear developer Amanda Verbeck and her R&D team set out to meet those goals of redrawing the timeline of running shoes from singularly directional to one modeled as cyclical. Already in its second test group iteration, the Phase 2 FUTURECRAFT.LOOP represents the footwear brand’s hope to offer shoes designed to be worn, then fully recycled at its end-of-life, to be made yet again into new running shoe components.
Gathering materials from their small batch of first generation adidas FUTURECRAFT.LOOP samples – 200 pairs of shoes total – pieces were disassembled and melted into new pellets to be heated to form new components, including the eyelets and outsole. Virgin TPU material was used for the remaining components of the midsole and upper. The amalgamation of new and recycled components were then fused together to create the blue and white colorway Generation 2 running shoe.
Strides to add a greater deal of sustainability in footwear could not arrive soon enough, but the commercial release of FUTURECRAFT.LOOP is set to arrive in Spring/Summer 2021, so mark your calendars.