Adidas spins a web of biodegradable shoes made from synthetic spider silk

A fully biodegradable shoe has been developed by Adidas. By harnessing the strength of synthetic spider silk, the new shoes are as strong as they are eco-friendly.

The Futurecraft Biofabric prototype is the first performance shoe that is made entirely out of Biosteel fiber. The material was developed by AMSilk, and is completely biodegradable. Being eco-friendly doesn’t mean these shoes will fall apart. In fact, Biosteel fiber has the potential to be strongest, 100 percent natural material available. An added benefit is that it remains 15 percent lighter than other synthetic fibers.

The shoes are a continuation of Adidas’ eco-friendly platform. Their innovation began with virgin and recycled plastics and a partnership with Parley for the Oceans. Since then, the company has worked to harness science and nature in order to further innovation.

Beyond the prototype, Adidas has partnered with AMSilk in order to expand the use of the unique material. Their hope is to incorporate it into performance products on a much larger scale. The partnership was announced during the Biofabricate Conference in New York.

“In a year of ground-breaking innovations from Adidas, the announcement of our partnership with AMSilk — and the unveiling of the Adidas Futurecraft Biofabric shoe — is another step in our commitment to redefining the sports industry,” said James Carnes, vice president of strategy creation at Adidas. “By using Biosteel fiber in our products, we have achieved an unrivaled level of sustainability.”

Adidas has had a busy year when it comes to sneaker innovations. Using new manufacturing techniques, the Futurecraft Tailored Fiber allows consumers to customize personalized footwear. Using a combination of synthetic and natural fibers, the shoe can be tweaked to better fit and support the wearer’s foot. Additionally, the company opened up their first Speedfactory, a fully robotic factory that cuts down the production time to mere hours instead of weeks.

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