Running Shoes And Sustainability

Do you think about where your latest pair of worn out running shoes goes when they are no longer fit for purpose? 

It is estimated that over 90% of footwear produced will end up in landfill, often within just 12 months of being purchased and decomposition can take over 50 years.

When the global pandemic hit and the world went into lockdown, planet earth seemed to have a moment to recover. Suddenly there was less traffic on the roads, no planes in the sky and for many of us, getting outside into nature became a respite from being stuck indoors, perhaps giving us all a greater appreciation of the natural environment around us.

Levels of air pollution dropped so much in India that the Himalayas were once again visible for the first time in 30 years.

Runners and triathletes tend to have an affinity with the great outdoors, exploring trails and breathing in fresh air so it would make sense for brands to think more carefully and considerately about the effects of manufacturing on the environment.

Now moves are being made in the sports manufacturing industry to become more sustainable by using innovation, design and technology to come up with products that not only perform well on the run but are also good for the planet.


Super-cool Swiss brand, On Running, already known for its innovative designs and performance boosting products has launched it’s unique subscription service with the Cyclon shoe, a shoe that is made from castor beans! These shoes are designed to be fully recyclable, a zero waste product that you will never actually own thanks to the monthly subscription service that means you get a new pair of shoes whenever you send your current pair back.

Pre-registration is available now with plans for the shoe to drop in Autumn 2021.


Adidas have been producing footwear and sportswear from up-cycled marine plastic waste with its Adidas x Parley Ocean Plastic range for some time now. The ocean plastic collected from remote islands, beaches and coastal communities is reworked into high-performance polyester yarn and used to replace virgin plastic in the range.

Now Adidas is looking to go even further by creating closed loop solutions in its products with fully recyclable high-performance running shoes.

FUTURECRAFT.LOOP is a 100% recyclable performance running shoe that can be returned to Adidas, broken down and then reused to create a new pair.

Currently in beta-testing mode, Adidas are looking to launch the shoe in Summer 2021.


Minimalist footwear company, Vivobarefoot have been eco-conscious from the start with their ultra-light footwear designed to be good for both foot health and planetary health.

They have now launched Revivo where they are reviving worn and returned Vivo footwear for purchase. The intention is to reduce the number of shoes that end up in landfill, prolonging the life of the shoes and therefore reducing the impact on the planet.

Read even more about recycling in our blog here.