Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Adidas shoes made of recycled ocean plastic on sale this month

adidas x Parley: From Sea to Shoe
The Adidas X Parley shoe we told you about earlier in the summer will be available on the market this month. The innovative shoe is comprised of recycled ocean plastic. The sleek wrap-around upper is devoid of the trademark three stripes, but does have a modern look to complement the futuristic/humanistic production method. About 7,000 pair of these will be available at retail stores and online, with a price tag of $220.

“We will make one million pairs of shoes using Parley Ocean Plastic in 2017 — and our ultimate ambition is to eliminate virgin plastic from our supply chain,” Adidas said to The Verge. This Adidas/Parley For The Oceans site has more details on product availability.

Asked to imagine a shoe made from ocean garbage and you might think of rolled up chips packets for laces, a discarded flipper for the outsole, and part of a plastic bottle for the tongue.

Thankfully, Adidas, in partnership with conservation group Parley for the Oceans, made a bit more effort when faced with the same challenge, creating a stunning piece of footwear as stylish as it is functional.

A year after unveiling a prototype of the Adidas x Parley shoe, its designers pulled the wraps off a ready-to-wear version constructed with yarn created from netting and dumped plastics pulled from the ocean.

The ongoing project aims to demonstrate how recycled garbage can be transformed into something useful, and also to highlight the environmental issue of ocean garbage and efforts to deal with it.

Some of the shoe's raw material.
Some of the shoe’s raw material. Kelli George

The shoe was created using Adidas’s Tailored Fiber Technology, described the company as a “revolutionary manufacturing technique that enables unique footwear designs to be tailored to the individual needs of any athlete.”

Adidas’s Kelli George, the company’s senior materials manager in footwear materials, posted an interesting account of some of the work it took to sort  the garbage and turn it into workable material for the shoe. The process involved “manually unpacking the cords [and] shaking out the ocean gunk” before throwing the whole lot into a washing machine to give it a good clean.

At the start of this year, after the garbage had been transformed into a usable material, Adidas was presented with a bundle of “the most beautiful teal green yarn,” George said, adding, “I made everyone look at it, I told my children about it (who frankly didn’t get what was so exciting about it!), I oohed and ahhed over it. It is quite beautiful, though I may be a little bit biased.”

Having created the new shoe, George said the company now has “the understanding and the know-how [to] potentially provide the solutions for future manufacturing processes.”

In other environmental efforts, Adidas recently stopped using plastic microbeads in its body care products, and it’s also committed to doing away with plastic bags in its retail stores by the end of this year.

While it’s not clear if the Adidas x Parley will ever go on sale, the sports firm does have 50 pairs up for grabs. To have a chance of slipping your feet inside a pair, you’ll have to create a video showing how you’re trying to avoid using single-use plastic items in your daily life. Full details are coming to Adidas and Parley’s social channels.

Updated on 11-06-2016 by Brinke Guthrie: Updated post to reflect shoe is now on sale shortly, with cost and availability.
Article originally published on 06-08-2016.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
You can run a thousand miles in Inov-8’s new graphene-infused shoes
Inov-8 Graphene shoes



Read more
Asics is making your running shoes more durable, easier to run in
Asics Cellulose Nanofibers

One of the biggest challenges that running shoe manufacturers face is finding ways to improve the lifespan of their products without compromising weight. Over the years, many have discovered ways to improve durability, but they often end up creating heavier shoes as a result. But Japanese sportswear company Asics believes it has found a solution to this problem in the form of cellulose nanofibers (CNF), a potential material that is made from the biomass of plants.

Asics announced that the latest edition of its flagship long-distance running shoe, the Gel-Kayano, will feature a new version of the company's trademark Flytefoam midsole technology. This material has been a staple in Asics' shoes for several years now and has been lauded by athletes for its ability to absorb the impact that comes with running while also quickly bouncing back to its original form. This allows FlyteFoam to provide the same level of cushioning across the entire length of a workout, reducing injuries and keeping a runner's legs fresher as a result.

Read more
The best running shoes for women
The best running shoes for women keep you comfortable mile after mile
Aftershokz Trekz Titanium running lifestyle8

Running is an incredible workout for your mind and body, but not if you don't have the right shoes. Afer all, it's hard to really tap into a runner's high if your feet feel sore and achy. Luckily, there are plenty of quality running shoes available, and they're getting better each year. Recently, big advances have been made in athletic footwear ranging from new outsole technology to high-tech fabrics and materials. There's even dial-closure systems and pairs embedded with sensors to sync to your smartphone. Generally speaking, it's a great time to buy footwear.

But what specifically should you look for in a pair of running shoes? First, you need to decide how much cushioning you prefer. For some runners, comfort takes precedence and they're willing to allow added weight in exchange for ultra-soft, maximum support. Others prefer their shoes to be as lightweight as possible, forgoing extra comfort for a nimble shoe that moves fast and doesn't feel heavy or cumbersome.

Read more