Sustainably-made apparel has been seeing a surge in demand over the last few years and it's moving into activewear territory in a big way. In its latest move to be more conscious, Reebok is releasing plant-based sneakers. And it’s an environmentally-conscious upgrade for one of the brand’s best performing kicks.
The activewear brand announced on Dec. 3 that its newest shoe seeks to reduce the use of petroleum-based plastics in footwear. Named The Forever Floatride Grow, the plant-based shoe is another initiative to expand on Reebok’s Cotton + Corn lifestyle footwear collection which launched in 2018. The vegan Cotton + Corn sneaker line that's currently available has 100% cotton uppers and a sole made from corn, but this updated sneaker goes the extra mile for sustainable shoe-making.
In terms of performance, Reebok updated its award-winning Forever Floatride Energy sneakers with sustainability at the helm. Using a responsive, cushioned midsole that is derived from sustainably-grown castor beans, the plant-based Floatride Grow sneakers offers the same lightweight cushion as the original Floatride Energy. Other plant-based features on the shoe include an upper made from a sustainably-sourced eucalyptus tree that’s both airy and biodegradable. Plus, the interior shoe lining uses bloom algae foam also making the shoe odor resistant. Sealing the sustainable shoe deal on the outsoles, Reebok also uses a durable rubber from rubber trees.
“With Forever Floatride Grow, we’re replacing oil-based plastic with plants,” Vice President of Reebok Future Bill McInnis said in a press release. “The biggest challenge in making a shoe like this was developing plant-based materials that could meet the high-performance needs of runners. During the three years we spent developing this product, we heard loud and clear that the idea of a plant-based running shoe resonates strongly with serious runners. But those same runners felt just as emphatically that they would never compromise on performance. The Forever Floatride GROW is the result.”
Overall, the activewear brand is honing in on two sectors of sustainability: [Ree]GROW for products made with naturally sourced materials and [Ree]CYCLED for products using recycled and repurposed materials. By 2024, Reebok plans to drift away from using virgin polyester in its list of materials altogether.
Unfortunately, the Forever Floatride GROW plant-based sneaker won’t hit shelves for you to purchase until Fall 2020. However, you can sign up now for updates on its launch. As runners and athletes take sustainability more seriously, brands are pulling up to make performative sports sneakers greener than ever.