Adidas’ new plastic sneaker is fully recyclable

Adidas revealed a pair of fully recyclable plastic shoes. Adidas set the Futurecraft.Loop for a limited release. The company will send out 200 pairs of these running shoes to test out if they will be the possibility for a commercial release.

The Futurecraft.Loop sneaker is made of plastic, and fully recyclable.  Image via Adidas
The Futurecraft.Loop sneaker is made of plastic, and fully recyclable. Image via Adidas

The Futurecraft.Loop is the first running shoe that is made to be remade, said Eric Liedtke, an executive board member at Adidas.

The shoemaking process does not involve any glue, which is detrimental to factory workers’ health. Adidas uses thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), a type of plastic as the main ingredient for the Futurecraft.Loop.

However, the recycling process is not yet 100%. To make sure the shoes would meet the production standard, only 10% of the used shoes could be used to make a new pair. The rest could be recycled as plastic waste.

According to Liedtke, Adidas wants to end the concept of ‘waste’ entirely. It is a part of Adidas Futurecraft.Loop project to tackle the problem of plastic waste worldwide.

Adidas Futurecraft.Loop utilizes Speedfactory technology to knit the shoe up.  Image via Adidas
Adidas Futurecraft.Loop utilizes Speedfactory technology to knit the shoe up. Image via Adidas

The research team uses plastic material for every bits and piece of the shoe, including the knit upper, the boost midsole, the outsole, and even the laces.

After the shoes are ready for recycling, they will be melted, broken down into pellets. The process produces zero unusable waste.

The Futurecraft.Loop is designed for high-performance running. Image via Adidas

This beta program of the shoe will be limited to 200 handpicked Adidas influencers to test out. Adidas hopes for a commercial release in the spring of 2021.

In 2016, Adidas started an initiative with Parley for the Ocean to make a shoe out of recycled ocean plastic. The partnership is expected to produce 11 million pairs in 2019. Adidas has also pledged to only use recycled plastic to make their clothes and shoes by 2024.

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