First look at Adidas’ 100% Recyclable Trainer

As much as I like trainers, one problem with the modern running shoe is that after they get worn out, you can’t resole them like you can a nice dress shoe. So inevitably, old beat trainers end up in the bin where they rot in a landfill somewhere for the next few decades or more. However, with some help from its forward-thinking FutureCraft design studio, Adidas has created the Loop, which includes some important innovations that could help reduce waste from shoe manufacturing, even if it hasn’t magically solved the problem yet (Scroll down for video).

The Loop got its name because instead of being part of a dead-end pattern that sees millions of trainers get thrown away every year, Adidas is hoping to create a 100 percent recyclable sneaker that can be manufactured, worn, shredded, and then reborn again as a brand new shoe, over and over again. Additionally, no glues or adhesives are used to construct the shoe, resulting in less waste, and making it easier to break down the shoe when it’s time to get to the dirty work of recycling. In the place of adhesives, Adidas is simply using heat to bind various sections of the shoe together. The Loop is intended to be up-cycled, meaning materials from the Loop will be reused to make future pairs of shoes and not other products.


Images courtesy Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)

However, all of this optimism and innovation comes with a big caveat: Right now, Adidas can only recycle 5 to 10 percent of the Loop. That’s a long way off from the “100% recyclable” tag featured on the Loop’s laces. Williamson claimed that Adidas already has more recent Loop prototypes featuring as much as 50 percent recyclable content, so it might be possible for Adidas to hit or get close to its target by the time the Loop officially launches sometime in the second half of 2020.

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First look at Adidas' 100% Recyclable Trainer
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First look at Adidas' 100% Recyclable Trainer
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