Adidas and Allbirds Unveil Low-Carbon, High-Performance Running Shoe
The eco-friendly kicks, dubbed Futurecraft.Footprint, generate 6.5 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per pair. | Photo courtesy of Adidas x Allbirds

Adidas and Allbirds Unveil Low-Carbon, High-Performance Running Shoe

Adidas and Allbirds have teamed up to launch a sustainable performance running shoe.

Adidas and Allbirds have teamed up to launch a sustainable performance running shoe.

The eco-friendly kicks, dubbed Futurecraft.Footprint, generate 6.5 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per pair.

This is significantly lower than your average running sneaker. According to a 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology study, the average pair of running shoes generates 30 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. This equates to keeping a 100-watt light bulb turned on for an entire week. 

The German apparel company and San Francisco-based footwear brand utilized innovative manufacturing and supply chain processes to create the low-impact, high-performance sneaker.

“Both the upper and the outside construction are inspired by the Tangram Principle, with all individual parts in their entirety achieving as little scrap as possible in production in order to reduce waste,” explained Jamie McLellan, Allbirds’ head of design, in a press release.

The sustainable sneakers feature an upper made with 70 percent recycled polyester and 30 percent Tencel, a material made from wood pulp. They also feature Allbirds’ proprietary technology, SweetFoam—a sugarcane-based midsole.

Adidas and Allbirds Unveil Low-Carbon, High-Performance Running Shoe
Allbirds and Adidas will release 100 pairs of the sustainable sneakers this month. | Photo courtesy of Adidas x Allbirds

Adidas and Allbirds Tackle Sustainability

The two companies first announced their partnership in 2020. And the teams collaborated digitally to reimagine their materials, manufacturing process, and packaging to be low-carbon in less than a year.

Brian Grevy, Executive Board Member Global Brands at Adidas, said the partnership is a great example of how innovative competing brands can be when they work together.

“By truly co-creating and providing each other with open access to knowledge and resources—such as Allbirds’ knowledge of carbon calculation and experience with natural materials, and adidas’ capabilities in manufacturing and performance footwear—this is a call-to-action for other brands, and a milestone in the sports industry achieving carbon neutrality,” he explained.

The new kicks are Adidas’ latest sustainable sneaker endeavor. The company launched recycling vending machines at the brand’s flagship stores in New York and Paris, allowing customers to pay for a pair of Stan Smith shoes using plastic bottles.

As part of its End Plastic Waste initiative, and to address its overall carbon footprint, the company pledged to ditch virgin polyester by 2024. In lieu of polyester, the company plans to use 100 percent recycled polyester in all of its products.

Adidas has turned to eco-friendly materials instead. The company began exclusively sourcing organic cotton in 2018. 

It also gave its iconic Stan Smiths a sustainable upgrade. The company’s Originals x Disney, Stan Smith collection features Primegreen, a high-performance, plastic-free fabric that Adidas makes using at least 50 percent recycled materials.

Adidas also recently introduced the Stan Smith Mylo. The vegan sneakers are the brand’s first-ever shoe to feature mushroom leather, sourced from biotechnology company Bolt Threads.

Sneakerheads eager to snag a pair of the Futurecraft.Footprint can take part in a raffle. Allbirds and Adidas will release 100 pairs this month. Ten-thousand pairs will drop in the fall, followed by a wider launch in 2022.