Adidas and Allbirds finally gave the low-carbon performance running shoe they designed together a commercial launch Wednesday.
With a reported carbon footprint of 2.94 kilograms of CO2 equivalent per pair, the Futurecraft.Footprint represented a personal best for both brands when they unveiled it in May. Now, seven months later, they are releasing the shoe to the public in a limited 10,000-pair drop. The footwear—priced at 120 euros, or an equivalent amount in local currency—will be available online and at Adidas and Allbirds stores. An “even wider” release is scheduled for the spring and will include four new colorways, Adidas said.
The Futurecraft.Footprint combines proprietary technology from both brands, including in the midsole, which is composed of a mix of Adidas’ Lightstrike midsole EVA and Allbirds’ lower-carbon, sugarcane-based SweetFoam EVA. The shoe’s upper represents another collaboration. The newly developed material is made with 77 percent recycled polyester and 23 percent natural, wood pulp-based Tencel.
Brian Grevy, executive board member, global brands, Adidas, described the shoe as “a major step forward” in his company’s goal of achieving a 15 percent average CO2e footprint reduction on every product by 2025.
“Our ambition is to take Futurecraft.Footprint from moonshot concept to something that sparks systemic change,” Grevy said in a statement. “We wanted to demonstrate how collaboration and an open-source mindset can create a halo effect across the industry and help make progress towards net zero.”
Speaking with Yahoo Finance Live Tuesday, Allbirds co-CEO Joey Zwillinger also zeroed in on the importance of collaboration.
“It’s about still fiercely competing for market share and stealing the attention of consumers, but collaborating when it comes to sustainability,” Zwillinger said. “I think it’s acknowledging that the problem we’re facing is just that it’s vastly bigger than any single company can combat. And so, coming together is a great opportunity to do this.”
Adidas hiker upcycles supply chain waste
The Futurecraft.Footprint is not be the only Adidas footwear release this week focused on sustainability.
On Sunday, Adidas’ outdoor-centric Terrex brand introduced the Nothing Left Behind Free Hiker Gore-Tex. The shoe sports an upcycled Primeknit upper made with leftover materials from the company’s own supply chain. A breathable Gore-Tex membrane keeps the wearer’s feet dry, while the Continental rubber outsole ensures all-terrain traction. The shoe also features the responsive Boost midsole first seen in Adidas’ running category.
The Nothing Left Behind Free Hiker Gore-Tex is available now for $225 to members of Adidas’ Creators Club loyalty program.
The shoe’s launch comes at a contentious moment for Adidas’ Primeknit technology. Just last week, Nike formally asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to block the import of all Adidas footwear made with Primeknit—a material it alleges infringes on its Flyknit patents. In an accompanying lawsuit, Nike identified four dozen products as “examples of the infringing products,” including multiple variations of Adidas’ Terrex Free Hiker family.
Adidas designs for the female runner, honors Black excellence
Released globally Thursday, Adidas’ latest Ultraboost is giving long-overdue attention to the needs of female runners.
Created by an all-women team of designers and product developers, the Ultraboost 22 women’s silhouette relies on a fine-tuned last with a narrower heel pocket, shallower forefoot profile and lower instep area. According to Adidas, the team based the design on insights gathered from an online anatomy database of 1.2 million foot scans. The company described the Ultraboost 22 as “the biggest update to the Ultraboost line-up yet.”
“We created the Adidas Ultraboost 22, by taking a more holistic approach to the way we design our running shoes,” Nora Wilimzig, senior product manager, Adidas Running, said in a statement. “The Ultraboost 22 is crafted with the goal of supporting our female running community by providing them with a shoe that delivers ultimate expression of comfort and responsiveness.”
The shoe features a new upper and torsion system that, combined with the Boost midsole, offers women 4 percent more energy return than the Ultraboost 21. It also sports an updated version of Adidas’ Primeknit material—dubbed Primeknit+—that is made with yarn containing 50 percent Parley Ocean Plastic.
Also this month, Adidas’ Honoring Black Excellence initiative partnered with the Liberty City Optimist Club to unveil a mural recognizing two leaders of the athletic non-profit’s after-school program. Brandon Breaux, an artist best known for his work with Chance The Rapper, painted the piece.