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Athletic Propulsion Labs’ Merino-Wool Sneaker is Its Most Sustainable Yet

There’s nothing sheepish about this latest footwear trend.

Like Allbirds and India’s Neeman’s before it, Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) is adding wool to its sneaker lineup.

The APL TechLoom Breeze Merino Wool, which boasts 80 percent Australian merino wool, is the California brand’s most sustainable and lightest running shoe to date. It’s also the first technical-knit shoe on the global market to be certified by the Woolmark Company, a subsidiary of the nonprofit Australian Wool Innovation, which promotes the continent’s fibers. 

Two years in development, the certified Wool Rich Blend-engineered knit uses stain- and odor-resistant filament-wrapped wool yarns to prevent abrasion, maintain the shoe’s form and shape and extend its wear, the company noted in a press release.

APL constructs each single-piece upper using its patented TechLoom technology, which provides a four-way rebound stretch that delivers strength, elasticity and maximum support during “performance and sports lifestyle activities.”

The knitting technology also accommodates seamless design features such as breathable panels, which “enhance wool’s natural breathability” and make it suitable for year-round use. Because it’s knitted to its final shape, the shoe generates less waste compared with its conventional cut-and-sew counterparts.

Like all APL sneakers, the TechLoom Breeze Merino Wool incorporates Propelium, a proprietary compound developed by the brand for its EVA midsole and outsole. The material, it says, is designed to administer enhanced cushioning, shock absorption and energy generation.

“Australian merino wool 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,” said Adam Goldston, APL’s co-founder. “This is just the beginning of many more innovations to come from APL in the coming months and years.”

Retailing for $250 at www.athleticpropulsionlabs.com, the TechLoom Breeze Merino Wool is available in colors such as blush, gray and navy in both men’s and women’s sizes.