Words I did not expect to type today: plant-based running shoe. And yet, Reebok just announced the arrival of their Forever Floatride GLOW, which you guessed it, comes from plant-based matter. Sure, when you tell your mom that you want “plant-based running shoes,” she might tease you about being “so L.A.” like she did with your collection of crystals or your favorite farm-to-table pizza (who’s keeping tabs?!), but I can assure you that it will be well worth the initial reaction.
Reebok set out to create a sustainable version of their Forever Floatride Energy shoe, as part of a larger initiative to create products from natural or recycled materials. For example, in 2018, the brand launched vegan sneakers made of cotton and corn, but the Forever Floatride GLOW will be their first foray into plant-based performance running shoes. “The biggest challenge in making a shoe like this was developing plant-based materials that could meet the high performance needs of real runners,” says Bill McInnis, Vice President of Reebok Future.
And so, the brand spent three years developing the shoe, which will launch next fall. The upper is made from sustainably sourced, biodegradable eucalyptus tree, and the outsole is made from real rubber from rubber trees—versus petroleum-based rubber—that is also sustainably sourced. The midsole, AKA the part of the running shoe that cushions and absorbs shock, is made from sustainably grown castor beans. (How many more times can I say sustainably sourced in this story?) To round it all out, a bloom algae foam sockliner helps to stave off odor.
Before we part and you go mark your calendar for launch date, I’d also talk about how the color way feels very ’70s. The mustard yellow is groovy, and the way that the line arcs from the arch of the foot all the way up to the top heel gives it a vintage sport striping. I’m sad to have to wait, though, now I suppose I have time to set money aside for them in my budget, so there’s that. As more and more brands are growing to see sustainability as a vital part of their business, here’s to hoping that more brands will jump into the decade ahead with unique materials like sustainably source (managed to get it in again), plant-based sneaks.
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