Adidas Makes Running Shoes from Recycled Ocean Plastic

Each pair of the UltraBOOST Uncaged Parley shoes uses the equivalent of 11 recycled plastic bottles. Photo: Courtesy of adidas

A lot of running shoe brands have turned to more environmentally friendly materials and manufacturing processes in recent years, but adidas is about to unveil a new model with an even more unique “green” backstory.

Within the next week, adidas will unleash its new UltraBOOST Uncaged Parley running shoes, the first mass-produced footwear created using recycled plastic recovered from the ocean. The shoe features a Primeknit upper made from a mix of Ocean Plastic, a material created from plastic waste retrieved by Parley coastal interception and clean-up operations in the Maldives (95 percent) and recycled polyester (5 percent).

Each pair reuses the equivalent of 11 plastic bottles. The shoe laces, heel cap base material, heel webbing, heel lining and the sockliner cover are also made with recycled materials. Its design is inspired by ocean waves, to reflect the shoe’s unique story and adidas and Parley’s commitment to end the cycle of pollution in the oceans.

UltraBoost Uncaged Parley shoes ($200) will be available for purchase at adidas.com and select adidas retail shops, but only 7,000 pairs have been produced.

“Nobody can save the oceans alone. Each of us can play a role in the solution. It’s in the hands of the creative industries to reinvent faulty materials, products, and business models. The consumer can boost the demand for change. But it’s up to eco innovation leaders, like adidas, to make change a reality,” says Cyrill Gutsch, Founder, Parley for the Oceans. “With this shoe we demonstrate what’s possible. It’s even more than a shoe. It’s a flag, an invitation to join our movement.”

UltraBOOST Uncaged Parley is created using new technologies specifically engineered to up-cycle marine plastic debris into technical yarn fibers. The specially-developed Primeknit upper is combined with UltraBOOST’s signature elements to deliver an innovative running shoe that requires no compromise on performance.

One June 7, adidas celebrated World Oceans Day by releasing the first-ever edition running shoe—the adidas x Parley—in partnership with Parley for the Oceans. With a limited run of only 50 pairs available worldwide, Instagram users were given the chance to win a piece of sportswear history by raising awareness of the cause and uploading a video to show how they implement Parley A.I.R. and pledge to avoid single-use plastic.

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