The sneaker is based on the popular Adidas Lightstrike midsole with a Futurecraft.Footprint midsole compound reimagined with Allbirds’ bio-based sugarcane, to offer a low-carbon component made partially with natural materials. The shoe is tested to the same performance standards as the regular model. It sells for €120 RRP at launch, and the range will be expanded in Spring 2022 with four more colourways.
The upper material is made with 77-per-cent recycled polyester and 23-per-cent natural Tencel – a material made from wood pulp – for a smooth, lightweight upper with a reduced carbon impact compared with traditional materials. The outsole is made with 10-per-cent recycled rubber.
The first conceptual Futurecraft.Footprint sneaker was revealed last May to produce 2.94kg CO2e per pair. Adidas says the concept represents “a personal best for both brands” whose collective ambition was to make a performance running shoe with as small a carbon footprint as possible.
“We are accelerating the critical race to a carbon-neutral future for sports and fashion, and are proving that low-carbon performance footwear can be scaled,” said Adidas in a statement.
Brian Grevy, executive board member, global brands, at Adidas said the company has a heritage of working closely with partners to scale new innovations.
“Our ambition is to take Futurecraft.Footprint from moonshot concept to something that sparks systemic change. 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.
“We see the possibilities of collaboration and are able to bring expertise in manufacturing, for example – in 2015 we collaborated with Parley to produce a single concept shoe made using recycled ocean plastic, and by the end of 2020, 30 million pairs of these shoes had been made. Now, our sights are set on a 15 per cent average CO2e footprint reduction on every product by 2025, and Futurecraft.Footprint is a major step forward for this ambition and our journey to create low carbon footwear at scale.”
Futurecraft.Footprint is one of the lightest performance shoes Adidas and Allbirds have created, the design achieving savings on materials and using only what’s needed, whilst keeping the performance integrity of the shoe, such as a carved-out midsole structure instead of a torsion bar.
“These learnings are laying the foundations for what will come next, with us exploring low-carbon design and creation across a broader range of products, and Allbirds applying project insights and its dedication to engineering natural materials to its portfolio of performance and lifestyle products,” said Adidas.
“It also paves the way for a new approach to collaboration in an industry that is usually prone to secrecy, giving other brands the permission to work together to find new solutions as well.”
Tim Brown, co-founder and co-CEO at New Zealand-founded Allbirds, said the company is on its own journey to cut its per-product carbon emissions by 95 per cent by 2030.
“The unrelenting focus both teams brought to Futurecraft.Footprint is exactly what we’ll need to achieve this ambitious goal,” he said.
“But far beyond its impact for either of our brands, our hope is that this product can inspire others in the industry to rethink the way things have ‘always’ been done, and that specific learning from our development process can unlock carbon savings for their teams, as well.”