Footwear: Sustainable options

Day 150 – If you read this title and thought I would be sharing a variety of footwear options, like heels, boots or nice dress shoes, sorry. My footwear consists of gym shoes. Thankfully, I do not have many opportunities to wear anything different. So, today’s post is a list of sustainable gym shoes, also known as sneakers. What? Sustainable gym shoes? Yes, they do exist and they just might find their way on to your feet in the future. While researching for this post, I purchased my first eco-friendly gym shoe. I can’t wait for my new shoes to arrive!

This list consists of shoes good for running, while other are better for walking. It is by no means a complete list. There are many sustainable brands out there. Which is a good thing. I’m always a bit shocked by the price of athletic shoes. The cost of these sustainable brands are comparable to non-sustainable brands.

Allbirds – Allbirds uses wool from merino wool. With fibers that are 20% the diameter of human hair, superfine merino wool is breathable, temperature-regulating, and moisture-wicking, all without that irritating scratchiness. Shoelaces are made from recycled plastic bottles. Castor bean oil helps increase the natural content in their insoles. Their packaging is made from 90% recycled cardboard. They are a B-Corporation. They offset all emissions to operate as a carbon neutral business.

Adidas & Parley -Adidas has partnered with Parlay, whose technology turns plastic into high-performance fabrics. Adidas has a goal to use no virgin polyester by 2024. They have created a line of shoes and apparel. Adidas also has a take back program, which will recycle material from old shoes to be used in their new shoes.

Merrell – Merrell is beginning to incorporate more sustainable practices into their shoe making process. Instead of using virgin polyester, they are using material created from plastic bottles. They are incorporating post-industrial scrap rubber into the soles of some of their shoes (Gridway collection). They use EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) from the midsole manufacturing process in a variety of their shoes.

Newton Running – Boulder, Colorado-based Newton Running is the leader in performance running shoes that promote gait efficiency for people at all levels of the sport, from first-time 5k runners to seasoned marathoners. In addition to its devotion to help people run better, Newton Running is committed to corporate responsibility through sustainability efforts and through the support of numerous charitable organizations and has been nationally recognized for these efforts.

Icebug – Since 2019, Icebug is the first climate positive outdoor footwear brand. From 2020 onwards, they’re offsetting 200% of carbon emissions caused. They are a 1% for the Planet member. They have reduced the number of different materials they use and switched to less environmentally harmful alternatives. Whenever it’s possible, they use recycled material.

Nothing New – With every pair of sneakers produced, 5.6 plastic bottles are repurposed & 160 gallons of water are saved. They are committed to purchasing “carbon offsets” from verified emissions reduction projects to offset the emission created from shipping their shoes. Their shoes are made from 100% sustainable materials. They offer a take back program, where you send your shoes back to Nothing New, they’ll pay for shipping and give you $20 off your next purchase.

Arbor Collective – Arbor’s footwear collection is produced from low-emissions factories and features repurposed materials like their Rubber Regrind and recycled materials such as their polyester fabrics and paper packaging. With every purchase of Arbor footwear, a portion of the proceeds is donated towards their Returning Roots program, which assists in the preservation of the Koa forests in Hawaii.

SAOLA – Depending on the style, each pair of SAOLA shoes contains between 3 and 7 recycled PET bottles. SAOLA insoles and many of the shoes’ outsoles are made with recycled Algae Foam. SAOLA has partnered with the team at Bloom Foam to harvest harmful algae and create eco-friendly, bio-sourced materials for the insoles and outsoles of their shoes. They use organic cotton for their shoelaces. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers are replaced by natural compost, and this cotton requires half as much water as traditional cotton. SAOLA is also a member of 1% for the Planet.

I’m very excited for my SAOLA shoes to arrive! This company is super impressive, the shoes look good and the price fit my budget. Looking forward to taking another step to helping the planet.

Tomorrow, another great option for recycling your sneakers.