Ask any barre babe or fitness junkie from New York City to Los Angeles for the name of her favorite pair of workout sneakers, and you’ll likely hear the same three-letter response on repeat: APL. That stands for Athletic Propulsion Labs, and the company’s grown quite a cult following since its launch in 2014.
For the unfamiliar, APL is known for making cool, minimalist kicks in luxe fabrics like cashmere and other natural knit fibers that toe the line between fashion and function. And today, the brand announced that it’s adding another drool-worthy design to its collection: a next-gen running shoe made of Merino wool (yes, really!) that it created in collaboration with The Woolmark Company, a global authority on Merino wool.
Dubbed the TechLoom Breeze , it’s APL’s coziest sneaker yet. “After spending more than 18 months engineering and testing, we finally created the first technical-knit footwear to be certified by The Woolmark Company,” said Adam Goldston, APL’s co-founder in a press release, meaning that the wool used in the shoes passed rigorous quality standards set by Woolmark. The shoes are made of 80-percent Australian Merino wool, which Goldston notes is “a naturally sustainable super fiber that helps protect against odor, is incredibly strong, yet is light enough to be worn during all of your workouts and has beautiful hand feel and texture.” (So yeah, this is way different from your grandma’s hot, itchy wool sweaters.)
By using new technology where the shoe is knitted to the final shape rather than being cut and sewn together, the brand says it can produce each pair of performance shoes with less waste—making them part of the cool new guard of sustainable sneakers hitting the market at the moment. Merino wool also has extra natural stretch, which makes the shoes more comfortable, breathable, anti-microbial. It also can keep your feet from getting overheated thanks to its ability to regulate temps. Basically, the only thing it can’t do is perfect your lunge form.
All this technological advancement and quality does come at a cost, however—$250. The collection comes in five colors in men’s and women’s sizes, and if you aren’t quite sold on the blush, navy blue, olive green, or grays currently on offer, just know there will be more where that came from. Goldston says, “This is just the beginning of many more innovations to come in the coming months and years.” Can’t wait.
Every day, it seems like there’s another brand embracing sustainable fashion. Here are 18 we love right now. Plus, the eco-friendly fall collection from H&M that’s got holiday dressing inspo for days.
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