“Our consumers have told us they want more sustainable products, and the running community has been the most vocal and passionate on this issue.”
Sportswear brand Reebok has said that it will be launching its first ever plant-based performance running shoe in the autumn this year.
While the brand has previously released a plant-based shoe as part of its Cotton + Corn lifestyle collection, the Forever Floatride GROW will be its first performance running shoe.
The newly-designed trainer replicates the same aesthetic as the brand’s Forever Floatride Energy model. However, unlike the latter the former has been created using an innovative combination of sustainably-grown materials.
The sole of the trainer is built from sustainably grown castor beans and was exclusively designed by Reebok (@Reebok) in Japan, while the upper is made from eucalyptus tree. The sockliner is made using Bloom algae foam and the sole is comprised of natural rubber sourced from rubber trees.
“With Forever Floatride GROW, we’re replacing oil-based plastic with plants,” said Bill McInnis, Vice President of Reebok Future.
He added: “The biggest challenge in making a shoe like this was developing plant-based materials that could meet the high-performance needs of runners. During the three years we spent developing this product, we heard loud and clear that the idea of a plant-based running shoe resonates strongly with serious runners. But those same runners felt just as emphatically that they would never compromise on performance. The Forever Floatride GROW is the result. Plant-based performance – with no compromise.”
“The earth is a runner’s arena, and we have a responsibility to help detox the world for the athletes who run in it,” said Matt O’Toole, Reebok Brand President. “Our Cotton + Corn collection was the first step in making shoes from things that grow. Now, we have taken an award-winning running shoe, the Forever Floatride Energy, and reinvented it using natural materials to create what we feel is the most sustainable performance running shoe on the market.”
“Our consumers have told us they want more sustainable products, and the running community has been the most vocal and passionate on this issue,” said O’Toole. “We want to help runners perform at their best, while also feeling good about the products they wear.”
According to Reebok, it will be pushing ahead with its sustainability efforts under two pillars -[REE]GROW, which focuses on the creation of products from natural materials; and [REE]CYCLED, which focuses on creating products using recycled or repurposed materials.
In a statement, Reebok said that it was committed to reducing virgin polyester from its material mix and eliminating it altogether by 2024.
Reebok is the latest in a long line of sportswear brands to have launched plant-based products. US-based company Thousand Fell unveiled new bio-based recyclable trainers last month and UK-headquartered Vivobarefoot launched a new shoe made from “30%-plus” bio-based materials.
These brands are pushing ahead with their green plans as a result of more and more consumers demanding environmentally-friendly products.